Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Thomas Downs

Known as
Tommy Downs

22 May 1901

11 August 1981 (aged 80)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 26y 15d
Last game: 32y 89d

Height and weight
Height: 159 cm
Weight: 65 kg

Senior clubs
Preston; Northcote; Carlton

Jumper numbers
Carlton: 28, 3

Family links
Albert Downs (Brother)Johnny Downs (Cousin)Lyle Downs (Cousin)

Tommy Downs

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
CarltonV/AFL1927-1929, 1931, 193356440.7970%20.603.603
V/AFL1927-1929, 1931, 193356440.7970%20.603.603
Total1919-1929, 1931, 193356440.79

Pre 1965 stats are for selected matches only

AFL: 3,314th player to appear, 3,986th most games played, 2,238th most goals kickedCarlton: 441st player to appear, 312th most games played, 178th most goals kicked

Tommy Downs played his early football with VFA clubs Preston (1919 to 1921) and Northcote (1922 to 1926). While with Northcote he won the 1925 Recorder Cup. 

The 1927 season saw him lining up with Carlton in the VFL and it would be reasonable to describe his subsequent career as colourful in the extreme. Despite standing only 159cm in height and weighing a mere 65kg Downs seemingly relished the physical aspects of the game to a frankly outrageous extent, if the umpires are to be believed. His Blues career comprised 56 VFL games from 1927 to 1929 and in 1931 and 1933 but included numerous 'holidays' courtesy of the league tribunal. Most notorious among these were a 12 game suspension for striking in 1928, 19 games for the same offence a year later, and 29 games for kicking Richmond's Maurie Hunter in 1931. 

Downs and Carlton vehemently protested this last suspension saying that there were numerous witnesses who would aver that Downs had not in fact kicked Hunter but the league refused to re-open the case. Carlton therefore had a collection for the player which raised £74.

Author - John Devaney


Encyclopedia of AFL Footballers by Russell Holmesby & Jim Main; Wikipedia article


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