|Full name||Brighton John Diggins|
|Date of birth||26 December 1906|
|Place of birth||Victoria Park, Western Australia|
|Date of death||14 July 1971 64)(aged|
|Place of death||Mount Eliza, Victoria|
|Height||183 cm (6 ft 0 in)|
|Weight||92 kg (203 lb)|
|Position(s)||Key position, ruckman|
|1932–1937||South Melbourne||65 (21)|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1940.
3 Coaching statistics correct as of 1940.
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
The son of Arthur Oswald Diggins (1878-1933) and Lucy Dolphin "Dolly" Diggins (1886-1945), née Mountain, Diggins was born on 26 December 1906. He married Amanda Eileen Murphy in 1928. He died on 14 July 1971.
Diggins began his senior football career at the Subiaco Football Club in the West Australian Football League in 1927. A key position player and ruckman, Diggins was a strong mark and a fast runner, and by 1930, he was considered to be the finest key position player in Australia. He played with Subiaco from 1927 to 1931, and played 88 matches for the Lions.
Diggins was one of several Subiaco players who joined South Melbourne in the early 1930s, including Johnny Leonard (who was coaching), Bill Faul and John Bowe, with the promise of immediate, long-term, secure, paid employment outside of football within the (137 store) grocery empire of the South Melbourne president, South Melbourne Lord Mayor, and Member of the Victorian Legislative Council, Archie Crofts.
The influx of players from interstate became known as South Melbourne's "Foreign Legion", and helped South's on-field performance significantly. Diggins won one premiership with South Melbourne in 1933, and played there until 1937.
Having been denied the opportunity to coach at South Melbourne, Diggins reluctantly moved to the Carlton Football Club in 1938, and was appointed captain-coach — he had been denied a transfer to Carlton a year earlier.
He flourished at Carlton. In his first season, he led the team to the 1938 premiership. He played two more seasons with Carlton, He played his last senior game in round four (18 May 1940) against Melbourne, when he suffered a serious injury to a knuckle. Due to that injury, and number of illnesses, he did not play for Carlton again that year, on medical advice; however he did continue as non-playing coach until the end of the 1940 season (round 18: 31 August 1940).
In 1947, he was appointed non-playing coach of Frankston Football Club. In September 1947, when an injured player was unable to return to the field after half-time, he "took the field [and] received a great ovation from the Frankston supporters. Diggins is the biggest man seen in Peninsular football for a long time. "Football News" put his weight down at 17 stone [viz., 108kg]". and, in the following season (1948), aged 41, he made another comeback, in which "he played inspiring football and was largely responsible for his side's two-goal win". He coached Frankston for three seasons (1947-1949).
In 1950, he became a football reporter for The Argus.
Subiaco Team of the Century
- Given that the official notices of his engagement to Amanda Eileen Murphy on 23 June 1928, the W.A. Registry's record of his marriage (in 1928, registration no.1747), his two service records (VX38178 and V147355), and the Victorian Registry's record of his death (in 1971, registration no.16085) all identify him as Brighton John Diggins; and, further, given the explanation given at Blueseum.org of his decision to prefer "Brighton" to his birth name of "Bryton", it seems certain that his name was "Brighton/Bryton John Diggins", rather than the "John Brighton/Bryton Diggins" suggested at Blueseum.org.
- Silver Wedding, The Western Mail, (Thursday, 22 December 1927), p.40; Deaths: Diggins, The West Australian, (Tuesday, 27 June, 1933), p.1; Deaths: Diggins, The West Australian, (Monday, 25 June 1945), p.1.
- Goldfields Gossip, The (Perth) Sunday Times, (Sunday, 1 July 1928), p.2; Engagements, The Western Mail, (Thursday, 5 July 1928), p.20; Deaths: Diggins. The West Australian, (Friday, 11 October 1929), p.1; Births: Diggins, The West Australian, (Tuesday, 15 July 1930), p.1; Births: Diggins, (Thursday, 9 June 1932, p.51.
- "Brighton Diggins". Blueseum. 26 March 2010. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
- Wishart, Ted. "History Timeline". Subiaco Football Club.
- Davenport, Jaclyn. "Subiaco Team of the Century". Subiaco Football Club. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
- Faul Championed, The (Perth) Mirror, (Saturday, 9 April 1932), p.5; Manzie, F.K. (Illustrated by Dick Ovenden), "Round the Training Rooms No.4: South Melbourne", Table Talk, Thursday, 22 June 1933), pp.10, 36.
- Men Behind the Team: Cr. A. Crofts' Tangible Interest, The (Emerald Hill) Record, (Saturday, 23 April 1932), p.1.
- The caricature at the foot of page 10 of Table Talk (22 June 1933) was created by Richard "Dick" Ovenden (1897-1972). It shows Diggins at the head of the South Melbourne "Foreign Legion". From left to right those represented are: Jack Bisset, the team’s captain; Dick Mullaly, the club’s secretary; Brighton Diggins, from Subiaco (WAFL); Bert Beard, from South Fremantle (WAFL); Bill Faul, from Subiaco (WAFL); Jim O'Meara, from East Perth (WAFL); Frank Davies, from City (NTFA); Laurie Nash, from City (NTFA); John Bowe, from Subiaco (WAFL); Jack Wade, from Port Adelaide (SANFL); Ossie Bertram, from West Torrens (SANFL); and Wilbur Harris, from West Torrens (SANFL).
- South Man Wanted as Coach for 1953, The (Emerald Hill) Record, (Friday, 5 September 1952), p.3.
- 'Forward', Interstate Struggle of a Player's Services", The Age, (Wednesday, 26 May 1937), p.20.
- Carlton without Diggins, The Age, (Friday, 24 May 1940), p.6.
- Carlton Wins Again, The Argus, (Monday, 8 July 1940), p.9; Diggins Enlists, The (Perth) Sunday Times, (Sunday, 28 July 1940), p.1.
- Around League Clubs, The Argus, (Friday, 21 June 1940), p.15; Another of South's Premier Players Enlists, The (Emerald Hill) Record, (Saturday, 22 June 1940), p.1; Carlton Full of Confidence, The Argus, (Friday, 12 July 1940), p.16.
- More Enlistments from South, The (Emerald Hll) Record, (Saturday, 20 July 1940), p.1.
- Service Record (VX38178).
- Devaney, n.d.
- Service Record (V147355).
- Weston, M., "Toughening Methods Used in Army, The Argus (Friday, 17 July 1942), p.2; Taylor, P., "Stories of Sportsman on Service", The Australasian, (Saturday, 19 September 1942), p.12; Dexter, F., "“I Became a Fifth Columnist”: Eerie Night Experiences with Tough Combat Patrols", The Australasian, (Saturday, 28 September 1942), p.6; P T School Excels in Life-Saving, The Argus, (Thursday, 7 January 1943), p5; Frankston P.T. School: Removal a Loss to Community, The (Frankston) Standard, (Thursday, 25 May 1944), p.1.
- B. Diggins to coach Frankston, The (Emerald Hill) Record, (Saturday, 5 April 1947), p.3; Frankston Football Coach, The (Frankston) Standard, (Thursday, 27 March 1947), p.1.
- , The (Frankston) Standard, (Thursday, 11 September 1947), p.6.
- B. Diggins makes a Comeback, The Argus, (Monday, 23 August 1948), p.6.
- Star Team to Write for "Argus", The Argus, (Wednesday, 19 April 1950), p.32.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Brighton Diggins.|
- Brighton Diggins at Blueseum
- Brighton Diggins's playing statistics from AFL Tables
- Boyles Football Photos: Brighton Diggins.
- World War Two Service Record: Diggins, Brighton John (VX38178): Enlistment date, 9 September 1940; Date of discharge 2 December 1940.
- World War Two Service Record: Diggins, Brighton John (V147355): Enlistment date, 3 March 1942; Date of discharge 20 October 1943.
- Find A Grave: John Brighton Diggins.