William Henry Hutchison (28 April 1923 – 18 June 1982), often referred to as "Hutchy", was an Australian rules footballer in the Victorian Football League (VFL) with the Essendon Football Club, who played 290 VFL games, from 1942 to 1957, and kicked 496 goals.
|Full name||William Henry Hutchison|
|Date of birth||28 April 1923|
|Place of birth||Kensington, Victoria|
|Date of death||18 June 1982 59)(aged|
|Height||174 cm (5 ft 9 in)|
|Weight||70 kg (154 lb)|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1957.
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
The son of Scottish parents, Henry Kearton Hutchison (1884-1962), and Agnes Caskie Hutchison (1889-1977), née Brown, William Henry Hutchison was born at Kensington on 28 April 1923. He married Helen Isabel "Nell" Giles (1923-2011) in 1947.
Hutchison played with Essendon from 1942 to 1957.
He made his First XVIII debut on 16 May 1942 as a wingman, against Footscray, in round 2 of the 1942 season; originally listed as an emergency, he was a last-minute replacement for the unavailable Les Griggs.
Selected in every season from 1945 to 1954, inclusive, and, again in 1956, Hutchison played 30 games for Victoria, and kicked 67 gosls. He was selected in the All-Australian team in both 1953 and 1956, the two years in which he also captained Victoria at the ANFC Carnivals in Adelaide and Perth, respectively. He was also selected on eight separate occasions in the Sporting Life Team of the Year: 1947, 1948, and 1950-1955.
His last match was against Melbourne in the 1957 VFL Grand Final. He was captain and first rover in the Essendon team that lost to Melbourne 7.13 (55) to 17.14 (116). He retired after the Grand Final, and did not participate in the end-of-season night football competition that was held immediately after the final series.
Once established as a rover, he consistently polled well in the Brownlow Medal vote count:
- Polling 8 votes in 1946 (winner, Don Cordner).
- Finishing ninth to Bert Deacon in 1947.
- Finishing third to Bill Morris in 1948.
- Finishing eighth to Ron Clegg, who won on a count-back from Col Austen, in 1949.
- Finishing sixth to Allan Ruthven in 1950.
- Finishing third to Bernie Smith in 1951.
- Finishing equal first with Roy Wright in 1952.
- Although their total votes and their "first votes" were equal, their "second votes" were not, and Wright (with more "second votes" and less "third votes" than Hutchison) was awarded the medal on a countback according to the rules that applied at the time; however, those rules were changed in 1989, and Hutchison was retrospectively (and posthumously) awarded a Brownlow medal for the 1952 season.
- Finishing first in 1953.
- Polling 10 votes in 1954 (winner, Roy Wright).
- Finishing second, by one vote, to Fred Goldsmith in 1955.
- Polling 9 votes in 1956 (winner, Peter Box).
- Polling 5 votes in 1957 (winner, Brian Gleeson).
Champions of Essendon
In 2002 at a "Champions of Essendon" gala event, Hutchison was voted the fourth greatest Essendon player of all time. The man who was voted Champion, Dick Reynolds, famously said: "I don't deserve this honour... Bill Hutchison was the best player I've seen."
Australian Football Hall of Fame
In 2003, Hutchison was inducted as the 18th "Legend" in the Australian Football Hall of Fame.
W. Hutchison Medal
The W. Hutchison Medal is awarded annually to the best and fairest player in the First Division of the Essendon District Football League.
- Births: Hutchison, The Age, (Saturday, 12 May 1923), p.5.
- Football Teams, The Age, (Friday, 15 May 1942), p.4.
- Taylor, Percy, "Record Score in Game", The Argus, (Monday, 18 May 1942), p.6.
- Maplestone (1996), pp.379, 380.
- Dons Weakened for Night Game at South, The Age, (Tuesday, 1 October 1957), p.20.
- Keen Struggle for Brownlow Medal, The Argus, (Thursday, 5 September 1946), p.12.
- Votes Decide Brownlow Medal Winner: Deacon Wins from Bray; Tie for Third, The Argus, (Thursday, 4 September 1947), p.20.
- Morris Wins 1948 Brownlow Medal, The Age, (Tuesday, 7 September 1948), p.8.
- Brownlow Medal to Ron Clegg After Count Back; C. Austen Runs Second, The Age, (Thursday, 1 September 1949), p.12; Voting for Medal, The Age, (Thursday, 1 September 1949), p.12.
- A. Ruthven Wins Brownlow Medal by Three Votes; Flanagan Second, The Age, Thursday, 31 August 1950), p.14.
- Bernie Smith Wins 1951 Brownlow, The Age, (Thursday, 6 September 1951), p.14.
- Who will Top Voting?, The Argus, Tuesday, 2 September 1952), p.8; Brownlow Winner Beat a 'Jinx', The Argus, (Thursday, 4 September 1952), p.1.
- Buggy, Hugh, "Dramatic Finish to Brownlow Voting: Richmond Follower Snatches Narrow Win", The Argus, (Thursday, 4 September 1952), p.8.
- Medals Awarded Retrospectively, The Canberra Times, (Thursday, 6 April 1989), p.18.
- Brownlow Medal to Bill Hutchison: Wins With Record Number of Firsts, The Age, (Thursday, 3 September 1953), p.16.
- Brownlow Medal to Roy Wright: Richmond Star Wins Second Award, The Age, (Thursday, 2 September 1954), p.10.
- Buggy, Hugh, "Goldsmith pips 'Hutchie' by Vote: Full-Back Makes History in First Medal Win", The Argus, (Thursday, 25 August 1955), p.18.
- Taylor, Percy, "Teammates Stopped James' Chance: Non-Stop Peter had Six Vote Lead, The Argus, (Thursday, 23 August 1956), p.22.
- Brownlow Medal to St. Kilda Follower, The Age, (Thursday, 29 August 1957), p.18.
- Deaths: Hutchison, The Age, (Monday, 21 June 1982), p.27.
- Dick Reynolds' tribute at the time of Hutchinson's death:
"HUTCHISON, Bill — Thank you for letting me share a big part of your life. I will always remember the happy times we had together both on and off the football field. I will miss you Bill. Your friendship was something I will always cherish. — Dick Reynolds (Deaths, The Age, (Monday, 21 June 1982), p.27.)
- "Champions of Essendon". Essendon Football Club. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
- Hutchison finally among the greats, The Age, 1 July 2003.
- Local Footy Stats: W. Hutchison Medal.
- Maplestone, M., Flying Higher: History of the Essendon Football Club 1872–1996, Essendon Football Club, (Melbourne), 1996. ISBN 0-9591740-2-8
- Ross, J. (ed), 100 Years of Australian Football 1897–1996: The Complete Story of the AFL, All the Big Stories, All the Great Pictures, All the Champions, Every AFL Season Reported, Viking, (Ringwood), 1996. ISBN 0-670-86814-0
- Eva, Bruce, "Bill Hutchison, Essendon", pp.113-116 in Slattery, Geoff (ed), The Brownlow: A Tribute to the Greats of Australian Football, Slattery Media Group, (Docklands), 2010. ISBN 9780980744743
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