Ern Cowley

Ern Cowley (17 August 1892 – 20 October 1975)[1] was an Australian rules footballer who played for Carlton in the Victorian Football League (VFL).[2]

Ern Cowley
Cowley during his Carlton career
Personal information
Full name Ernest Clyde Cowley
Date of birth 17 August 1892
Date of death 20 October 1975(1975-10-20) (aged 83)
Original team(s) Brunswick
Height 178 cm (5 ft 10 in)
Weight 72 kg (159 lb)
Position(s) Forward
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1918–1919 Carlton 24 (51)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1919.
Sources: AFL Tables,


Cowley came to Carlton from Brunswick and had a strong debut season, kicking 35 goals to top the VFL's goalkicking. He played just one more year with Carlton before returning to the VFA where he joined Prahran. Cowley was also a proficient baseball pitcher who represented Victoria in interstate competition.[3]

Cowley invented the football game called "Austus", a combination of Australian and American football which was played between Australians and visiting American servicemen during World War II.[2] He was a journalist with the Sporting Globe and wrote on American sports, particularly baseball.[2]


  1. "Ern Cowley – Player Bio". Australian Football. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  2. "Ern Cowley". Blueseum – Online Carlton Football Club Museum. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
  3. "Medal for "Austus" inventor". The Argus. Melbourne. 12 July 1944. p. 11.
  • Ern Cowley's playing statistics from AFL Tables
  • Holmesby, Russell and Main, Jim (2007). The Encyclopedia of AFL Footballers. 7th ed. Melbourne: Bas Publishing.

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