Earlier this week Geelong’s oldest living player Alex Mathieson celebrated his 99th birthday and we thought it was only fitting to tell you a bit more about him.
Alex grew up in Geelong and started playing football at Newtown and Chilwell in the Geelong District Football League.
Shortly afterwards the war intervened and there was no more football being played in Geelong, so the Army stepped in and organised to play a game of football at Kardinia Park against former Geelong players.
“They recruited me because I was tied to South Melbourne at the time, but I didn’t play much at South as I was working shift work,” Mathieson said.
“Then I went into the Airforce and I was doing a course at Melbourne Tech, and Geelong came back in 1944 and they recruited me.”
Mathieson played seven senior games for Geelong before he was transferred to Papua New Guinea for 15 and a half months.
It was a challenging period for Mathieson. Within 10 days of his return he went down with Malaria, which he had on and off for the next two years.
His first game for Geelong was against the Bombers at Windy Hill in 1944 and he recalls that moment like it was yesterday.
“When I ran on the ground, I was on a half forward flank where I had never played any football.”
“The ball was in our forward line five minutes into the game, (Elton) ‘Duffy’ Plummer was playing in the back pocket for them, he got the ball and came racing out and I grabbed him about 48 yards out from goal holding the ball and got my first kick.
“I (then) lined up for goal and kicked the goal. At quarter time they moved me to centre half back.”
That was the first and only goal of Mathieson’s short career. He spent the remainder of his time rotating between the key defensive posts.
Alex followed in the footsteps of his uncle Jim Mathieson, who played 71 games for the club between 1920 and 1924.
This article is proudly presented by Ryman Healthcare.