Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
James McIlrick Caldwell

Known as
Jim Caldwell

11 August 1888

Place of birth
Williamstown, VIC (3016)

20 August 1929 (aged 41)

Place of death
East Melbourne, VIC (3002)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 20y 263d
Last game: 31y 40d

Height and weight
Height: 173 cm
Weight: 66 kg

Senior clubs
Williamstown; South Melbourne; Perth

Jumper numbers
South Melbourne: 4, 2, 6

Recruited from
Williamstown (1909); South Melbourne (1920); Williamstown (1923)

State of origin

Family links
Arthur Caldwell (Brother)

Jim Caldwell

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
WilliamstownVFA1907-1908, 1920-192270
South MelbourneV/AFL1909-1915, 1917-1919155340.2268%0
Total1907-1915, 1917-1924238340.14

AFL: 1,465th player to appear, 1,180th most games played, 2,663rd most goals kickedSouth Melbourne: 217th player to appear, 63rd most games played, 216th most goals kicked

Jim Caldwell commenced his senior career with Williamstown, and was on a wing as the side beat West Melbourne by 18 points in the 1907 VFA Grand Final. In 1909 he crossed to South Melbourne where he overcame the disappointment of missing that year's winning Grand Final against Carlton through suspension to develop into one of the finest centreline players in the VFL. Pacy, polished and poised, Caldwell was a cut above the majority of his opponents in most facets of the game, and was particularly renowned for his impeccably accurate foot passing. 

A regular 'Big V' representative, he spent his last few seasons with South as a rover, from which position he skippered the side to the 1918 premiership. In eleven straight seasons with the red and whites, Caldwell played 155 games and booted 34 goals. He returned to Williamstown as captain in 1920 before crossing to Perth as captain-coach in 1923. Caldwell spent two seasons with the Redlegs, playing a total of 13 league games, but as a coach he failed to propel the side to anything remotely resembling greatness, overseeing just 4 wins and a draw from 28 matches. Returning to the VFL once more in 1925, Caldwell spent part of the season as non-playing coach of Carlton.

Jim Caldwell's impact on the Williamstown Football Club was considerable, and not surprisingly he was adjudged worthy of inclusion in the club's official 'Team of the Century', which was announced in May 2003.

Author - John Devaney


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