Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Jack Howell Jnr

Known as
Jack Howell


31 August 1924

12 June 1994 (aged 69)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 17y 258d
Last game: 29y 348d

Height and weight
Height: 193 cm
Weight: 92 kg

Senior clubs
Carlton; Oakleigh

Jumper numbers
Carlton: 13

Family links
Jack Howell Snr (Father)Scott Howell (Son)

Jack Howell

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
CarltonV/AFL1942-1944, 1946-1950, 1952-19541372461.8059%15.005.0065
Total1942-1944, 1946-1950, 1952-19571372461.80

Pre 1965 stats are for selected matches only

AFL: 5,033rd player to appear, 1,528th most games played, 285th most goals kickedCarlton: 567th player to appear, 98th most games played, 21st most goals kicked

Dubbed 'Chooka', like his father before him, because of his ungainly gait, Jack Howell was nevertheless deceptively agile and extremely quick for a big man. He also possessed extraordinary stamina, enabling him to ruck all day if required. He was versatile, too, and could play, with equal effectiveness, at centre half forward or full forward. A member of Big V carnival teams in 1947, 1950 and 1953, he was selected in the inaugural All Australian team after the last of those championships. In 1947-8-9 and 1953 he was selected in the "Sporting Life" Team of the Year, further testimony to the sustained and consistent nature of his brilliance.

Howell made his VFL debut with Carlton in 1942 but after just one match he was not selected again all year. It later emerged that his father, Jack Howell senior, himself a former Carlton player, had complained to the club that his son was too young for league football. He was not considered too young to serve his country, however, and the remainder of the war years saw him on active service with the RAAF. In 1943 and 1944 he managed a handful of games for the Blues while on leave, but to his immense regret he was forced to miss the entire 1945 season, and the possibility of involvement in a Carlton premiership.

Jack Howell's first full season was thus 1946. Tall for his era at 193cm, but initially weighing under 80kg, Howell used his long, spidery arms to gain the advantage at ruck contests, and his coach Percy Bentley for one regarded him as the most formidable knock ruckman in the history of the game. Selected to represent the Big V for the first time in 1946, he went on to become an automatic choice for most of the remainder of his career.

Carlton reached the Grand Final in 1947, beating Essendon, and again two years later when the Bombers turned the tables. Jack Howell led the ruck in the former game, and was at centre half forward in the latter. On both occasions he was among the Blues' best players.

In 1951, Howell received a couple of lucrative offers to play in Tasmania, but Carlton refused to let him go. Despite standing out of football for the year, he was unable to get the committee to change their minds, and so the 1952 season saw him reluctantly resuming in the VFL. After a season spent mainly in the forward lines, he topped Carlton's goal kicking list with 42 goals. He had earlier won the club's best and fairest trophy in 1946 and 1948.

In 1955, Howell crossed to Oakleigh as captain-coach but was unable to get the team into the finals. He retired as a player in 1957 after sustaining a serious knee injury.

Author - John Devaney


Full Points Footy Publications


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