Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Frank Anderson

Known as
Frank Anderson

23 October 1913

6 March 1997 (aged 83)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 20y 264d
Last game: 30y 315d

Height and weight
Height: 183 cm
Weight: 84 kg

Senior clubs
Brunswick; Carlton; Preston

Jumper numbers
Carlton: 1

Recruited from
Brunswick (1934); Carlton (1945)

Family links
Graeme Anderson (Son)

Frank Anderson

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
VFA1933-1934, 1945-1946

Pre 1965 stats are for selected matches only

AFL: 4,192nd player to appear, 1,215th most games played, 2,377th most goals kickedCarlton: 512th player to appear, 73rd most games played, 187th most goals kicked

Frank Anderson was one of Carlton’s outstanding players against North Melbourne. Stationed at centre half back his spectacular high marking and sure ground play turned many North attacks.¹

Frank Anderson commenced his senior career at Brunswick in the VFA, where he caught the eye as a lively, powerful and extremely vigorous key position forward. In 1934, the Magpies found themselves in dire financial trouble, and one means they found of alleviating this was to sell some of their better players to clubs in the VFL. Thus, without being involved in any of the preliminary discussions, and indeed with no prior warning, Anderson found himself included in a group of three players off-loaded to Carlton in return for a princely, for the times, three figure sum.

Tried in a variety of positions, he struggled for a time to make his mark with the Blues, although he always managed to do just well enough to retain his place in the side. After being switched to the backlines, however, he really blossomed. He could play with equal effectiveness in almost any defensive position, and was regarded as one of the toughest and hardest to beat defenders in the VFL.

When the Blues beat arch-rivals Collingwood in the1938 grand final, Frank Anderson, lining up on a half back flank, scarcely put a foot wrong to be among the victors' best. He represented the VFL against South Australia in Adelaide in 1941, and would probably have played more interstate football had not the war intervened. Never one to take a backward step, he was reported eight times (but only suspended twice) during the course of a VFL career that saw him play 155 senior games and kick 44 goals between 1934 and 1944. In that time he had the misfortune to finish a narrow runner-up in the club's best and fairest award on three occasions

The final phase of Frank Anderson's playing career took place back in the VFA, this time with Preston, where he served as captain-coach in 1945 and 1946. One imagines that Frank Anderson would have been a strong candidate for inclusion in Carlton's official 'Team of the Century', but for some reason the club's selectors went almost exclusively for players from the post-war era. (Indeed, the only exception to this was the selection of Harry Vallence at full forward.)

Author - John Devaney


1. “Sporting Globe”, 19/5/37, page 9. Anderson’s fine display was in vain as North downed Carlton in this round four clash by two points.


Full Points Footy Publications


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