AustralianFootball.com Celebrating the history of the great Australian game
4 January 1883
Place of birth
Stawell, VIC (3380)
17 December 1966 (aged 83)
Place of death
Fitzroy, VIC (3065)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 23y 135d
Last game: 31y 139d
Height and weight
Height: 177 cm
Weight: 89 kg
Rovers; Perth; St. Kilda; Carlton; North Melbourne
Carlton: 16, 19, 8, 20, 1
Rovers (1899); Perth (1905); Kalgoorlie City (1906); St. Kilda (1910); Carlton (1915)
State of origin
|Club||League||Career span||Games||Goals||Avg||Win %||AKI||AHB||AMK||BV|
AFL: 1,152nd player to appear, 2,236th most games played, 1,877th most goals kickedSt. Kilda: 243rd player to appear, 378th most games played, 631st most goals kickedCarlton: 232nd player to appear, 260th most games played, 159th most goals kicked
Nicknamed 'Balla' Jack Wells made his WAFA debut with Rovers in 1898, and had played 11 games for the club by the time it disbanded midway through the following season. At that point, along with several of his teammates, he crossed to Perth, which had been admitted to the WAFA as Rovers' replacement. An accomplished all round footballer, he could play with equal effectiveness on the forward lines, across centre, or in the ruck.
The last of Wells' 57 games with Perth was the losing 1904 premiership decider against East Fremantle. Wells finished as Perth's top goalkicker that year, kicking at least 17 goals (records are incomplete), which included a then club record 11 in a 25.24 (174) to 3.3 (21) annihilation of Subiaco.
The 1905 season saw Wells performing with consistent brilliance for Goldfields Football Association side Kalgoorlie City, and at the end of the year he won the competition's fairest and best award. Between 1906 and 1914 he plied his trade in the VFL, initially with St Kilda, for whom he played 39 games in an injury-interrupted four seasons, and then with Carlton, where his 66 games included the losing Challenge Final of 1910 against Collingwood.
A VFL interstate representative on four occasions, Wells was actually appointed state captain for a match against South Australia in 1912, but was forced to withdraw from the side owing to injury. Renowned as an astute and inspirational on-field leader, he captained St Kilda in 1907 and part of 1908, and the Blues in 1912 and 1913. The last phase of his senior career took place at VFA side North Melbourne in 1915 where he played a handful of games before the Association went into mothballs at the end of the season because of the war.
Author - John Devaney