Australian Football

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Key Facts

Full name
Robert Main-Warring Chitty

Known as
Bob Chitty

Born
4 July 1916

Place of birth
Cudgewa, VIC (3705)

Died
4 April 1985 (aged 68)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 20y 336d
Last game: 30y 58d

Height and weight
Height: 174 cm
Weight: 86 kg

Senior clubs
Carlton

Jumper numbers
Carlton: 33, 6

Recruited from
Carlton (1947); Benalla (1950); Scottsdale (1954)

State of origin
VIC

Family links
Peter Chitty (Brother)

Bob Chitty

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
CarltonV/AFL1937-1946147320.2267%15.883.3815
BenallaGVFL1947-1949
ScottsdaleNTFA1950-1953
RingaroomaNEFU1954-1955
Total1937-1955147320.22

Pre 1965 stats are for selected matches only

AFL: 4,503rd player to appear, 1,327th most games played, 2,798th most goals kickedCarlton: 536th player to appear, 84th most games played, 224th most goals kicked

A brilliant, versatile footballer for Carlton for over a decade, Bob Chitty's talent seldom enters the discussion when his VFL career comes under review, for one simple, but very valid, reason: Bob Chitty was one of the toughest, most fearsomely aggressive footballers ever to take the field. Some players manufacture aggression, others seem born to it; as far as Bob Chitty was concerned, aggression oozed out of his every pore.

That said, it was, for the most part, controlled and focused aggression: Chitty was no thug. Reported countless times over the course of his 146-game VFL career, he was suspended for a total of just sixteen weeks, eight of which accrued from his involvement in the multifarious flare-ups which sullied the 1945 so-called "Bloodbath Grand Final".

Recruited by Carlton from Sunshine, Bob Chitty spent a season in the Blues' reserves before making his senior debut in 1937. Thereafter, he was never dropped, although an inevitable legacy of his style of play was that he often ended up taking the field whilst carrying injuries that would have sidelined lesser men for weeks. On one occasion the top of the middle finger of Chitty's left hand was sliced off in an industrial accident; Chitty simply had it stitched back on, and the following Saturday he was back doing what he did best, scaring the life out of Carlton's opponents, and giving his own smaller team mates an armchair ride.

In 1938, Bob Chitty was on a half back flank, his favoured position, as Carlton overcame its most hated foe, Collingwood, in the Grand Final. Chitty often reserved his most antagonistic performances for clashes with the Magpies; in the 1945 preliminary final, for example, his persistent brutalisation of Collingwood champion Des Fothergill was a major contributory factor to his team's win. Captain of Carlton by that stage, Chitty put in another compelling performance in the following week's Grand Final against South Melbourne as the Blues secured the second premiership of his career.

Twice a Carlton best and fairest winner, Chitty emphasised that he was eminently capable of playing good football by running fourth in the 1941 Brownlow Medal count. For the most part, however, Chitty was happy to concentrate on being effective rather than eye-catching; no matter how ostensibly violently he behaved, the underlying aim was always to further the Carlton cause, which is something that Bob Chitty managed with as much passion, and arguably as much efficacy, as anyone.

After departing the VFL scene at the end of the 1946 season, Chitty spent three seasons as captain-coach of Victorian country side Benalla, during which time he starred as Ned Kelly in the feature film The Glenrowan Affair, before finishing his career in the same role at Scottsdale. Chitty continued to live in Scottsdale after his retirement as a player, describing himself as a "naturalised Tasmanian".

Author - John Devaney

Sources

Full Points Footy's Tasmanian Football Companion

Footnotes

* Behinds calculated from the 1965 season on.
+ Score at the end of extra time.