As Richmond Premiership captain, Brownlow Medallist, three-time club best and fairest and Old Paradian Trent Cotchin (2007) readies for Saturday’s Grand Final with Greater Western Sydney at the MCG, it’s timely to ponder two Old Paradians who have found a unique place in football history as former players with rival club North Melbourne.
The players in question are Charles Cameron (pictured here wearing the Big V) and Bill Serong - final year Parade Collegians of 1923 and 1953 respectively.
Charles, a member of Parade’s 2nd XVIII Premiership team of 1923, became the inaugural Syd Barker Memorial Trophy winner for North’s Best & Fairest – an award bestowed upon him in 1929.
Bill was famously part of Collingwood’s 1958 Premiership outfit which thwarted Melbourne’s quest for four Grand Final victories – but of the 12,754 players to have turned out at senior level since the League’s inception in 1897, he is also the only footballer in history to have won a best and fairest in his one and only season with a club (North Melbourne in 1962).
When the College’s 'Pride of Parade' team of greatest ever VFL/AFL footballers was named back in 2011, Charles was an unfortunate oversight, as at that time his connection with the ‘Old Bluestone Pile’ was not known.
However Bill (pictured third from the left in the back row with the College’s 1952 1st XVIII) was named on a wing in that coveted starting XVIII - alongside the legendary Collingwood figure Jock McHale in the centre and Essendon’s dual Premiership player and club best and fairest Jack Garden on the other wing.
Charles J. Cameron
November 22, 1907 - February 12, 1960
Parade College final year student, 1923
North Melbourne senior player in 122 matches, 1926–1934
Syd Barker Trophy winner 1929
Fitzroy senior player in 23 senior matches, 1934-1936
Fitzroy captain, 1935
Victorian representative in 11 matches
North Melbourne Senior Playing Coach in four matches, 1932
Fitzroy Senior Coach in 19 matches, 1948
William M. Serong
May 5, 1936 -
Parade College final year student, 1953
Collingwood senior player in 98 matches, 1956-1961
Collingwood Premiership player 1958
Brownlow Medal equal second, 1959
Copeland Trophy third placegetter, 1959
Copeland Trophy runner-up, 1960
North Melbourne senior player in 16 matches, 1962
Syd Barker Medallist 1962