Australian Football

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Key Facts

Full name
William John Titus

Known as
Jack Titus

Nickname
Skinny

Born
9 March 1908

Place of birth
Maldon, VIC (3463)

Died
19 April 1978 (aged 70)

Place of death
Melbourne, VIC (3000)

Occupation
Hotelier

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 18y 130d
Last game: 35y 165d

Height and weight
Height: 175 cm
Weight: 66 kg

Senior clubs
Richmond; Coburg

Jumper numbers
Richmond: 12

Recruited from
Richmond (1945)

State of origin
VIC

Jack Titus

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
RichmondV/AFL1926-19432949703.3068%17.146.5237
CoburgVFA1945-1946231396.04
Total1926-1943, 1945-194631711093.50

Pre 1965 stats are for selected matches only

AFL: 3,219th player to appear, 100th most games played, 7th most goals kickedRichmond: 287th player to appear, 6th most games played, 1st most goals kicked

Standing just 175 cm in height, and weighing in at a meagre 66 kg, Richmond forward Jack 'Skinny' Titus could scarcely be said to look like a league footballer - until he took to the field. It was then that all of his pace, poise and extraordinary nimbleness, both of body and of mind, came to the fore. Like Kevin Bartlett in later years, he was supremely adept at keeping his lightweight frame out of trouble - or of earning free kicks on those rare instances that his incomparable skills of elusiveness failed him. Nevertheless, he was often prevented from training on Tuesday evenings as a result of knocks received on the preceding Saturday.

Recruited from Castlemaine in 1926, Titus played much of his early football on a half forward flank, before developing into one of the many highly accomplished full forwards to grace the VFL during the 1930s. When Richmond was a league power during the late 1920s and early 1930s, Titus was a prominent and influential figure. Among the best players on the ground as a half forward flanker in the Tigers' 1932 Grand Final defeat of Carlton, he was a near unanimous choice as best afield two years later when his six goals from full forward against South Melbourne effectively comprised the difference between the two teams.

Although he was undoubtedly a very prolific goal kicker, as his overall tally of 970 goals in 294 VFL games (at a per match average of 3.29) clearly attests, Jack Titus' contribution to the team cause always went far beyond the kicking of goals, which may be why the VFL selectors turned to him so often (14 times in all) rather than his ostensibly more prolific counterparts.

After retiring from football at the end of the 1943 season, Titus spent a year out of the game before making a one season comeback with Coburg in 1945. He immediately showed that he had lost none of his talent and nous by booting 119 goals for the year to assist his new team to third place on the ladder. It was the second time Titus had topped the century; the first was five years earlier, when his tally of precisely 100 goals for Richmond had enabled him to top the VFL goal-kicking list for the only time in his career. He was Richmond's top goal kicker 11 times, and won the club's 1941 best-and-fairest award.

Sixty years after his last game for the Tigers 'Skinny' Titus was a predictable and highly warranted choice as full forward in the club's official 'Team of the 20th Century'.

Author - John Devaney

Sources

Full Points Footy Publications

Footnotes

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