Roy Cazaly

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Roy Cazaly
Cazaly taking a one-handed mark
Personal information
Full name Roy Cazaly
Nickname(s) Cazza
Date of birth (1893-01-13)13 January 1893
Place of birth Albert Park, Victoria, Australia
Date of death 10 October 1963(1963-10-10) (aged 70)
Place of death Lenah Valley, Tasmania, Australia
Original team(s) Middle Park
Height 180 cm (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 80 kg (176 lb)
Position(s) Ruckman
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1911–20 St Kilda 099 0(38)
1921–24, 1926–27 South Melbourne 099 (129)
Total 198 (167)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
Victoria 13 (?)
Tasmania 5 (?)
Coaching career3
Years Club Games (W–L–D)
1922, 1937–38 South Melbourne 52 (12–38–2)
1942–43 Hawthorn 30 (10–20–0)
1928–30 City (NTFA) 54 (25-27-2)
1932–33 North Hobart 37 (25-12)
1934–36, 1948–51 New Town 130 (72-56-2)
1941 Camberwell ?
Total 303 (144–153–6)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1927.
3 Coaching statistics correct as of 1943.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables,

Roy Cazaly (13 January 1893 – 10 October 1963) was an Australian rules footballer who played for South Melbourne and St Kilda in the Victorian Football League (VFL). He also represented Victoria and Tasmania in interstate football, and after his retirement as a player, turned to coaching. Known for his ruck work and high-flying marks, he inspired the common catchphrase "Up there, Cazaly!", which in 1979 became a popular song of the same name, securing his place in Australian folklore.

Cazaly was one of 12 inaugural "Legends" inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.


Cazaly was born in Albert Park, a suburb of Melbourne, on 13 January 1893. He was the tenth child of English-born James Cazaly and his wife Elizabeth Jemima (née McNee). James Cazaly was a renowned sculler and rower in Melbourne. Just before 6 July 1878 he was eliminated in a semi-final for the sculling championship of Victoria by the eventual victor, Charles A. Messenger.[1] Elizabeth was a midwife and herbalist from Scotland.


Cazaly learnt his football at the local state school, quickly becoming its first-choice ruckman. He tried out for VFL side Carlton Football Club in 1910, but quit the club when he injured a shoulder in a reserves match and could not get the Carlton medical staff to treat it.[2]

St Kilda[edit]

Cazaly crossed to fellow VFL side St Kilda and made his senior debut in 1911 during a players' strike, when many of St Kilda's regular senior players refused to play as a result of a dispute with the club's committee over dressing rooms.[3]

One of nine new players in the team, Cazaly played his only First XVIII match for St Kilda against Carlton, at Princes park, on 29 July 1911.

The other new players were: Alby Bowtell, Claude Crowl, Peter Donnelly, Alf Hammond, Otto Opelt, Rowley Smith, Tom Soutar, and Bill Ward – and, including that match, and ignoring Harrie Hattam (16 games), Bert Pierce (41 games), and Bill Woodcock (65 games), the very inexperienced team's remaining fifteen players had only played a total of 46 matches.

He played 99 matches with St Kilda.

South Melbourne[edit]

In 1920, he left St Kilda, signing with South Melbourne. He coached that club in 1922, and won South's most consistent player award in 1926.[4]

During the depression of the early 1930s, he worked on the Melbourne waterfront and played with waterside workers in a midweek football competition.

VFL fame[edit]

Cazaly was famous for his ability to take spectacular marks despite his small stature, and, at South Melbourne, teammates Fred "Skeeter" Fleiter and Mark "Napper" Tandy would simultaneously yell "Up there, Cazzer",[5] originating the phrase that would become synonymous with Australian rules football. He initially developed his marking ability by jumping at a ball strung up in a shed at his home, and held his breath as he jumped, an action that he believed lifted him higher. He also possessed the capacity to kick a football over 65 metres.[citation needed] In 2009, The Australian nominated Cazaly as one of the 25 greatest footballers never to win a Brownlow Medal.[6]

Coaching career[edit]

In 1928, he departed Victoria and headed for Launceston, Tasmania, before returning in 1931 to coach Preston in the Victorian Football Association.

His subsequent return to Tasmania was punctuated by short stints as non-playing coach of South Melbourne (in 1937–1938), coach of Camberwell (in 1941, at age 48, he was nominally a non-playing coach, but he did don a guernsey for a few games late in the season[7]), non-playing coach of Hawthorn (in 1942–1943), and as non-playing assistant coach of South Melbourne in 1947.

While coaching Hawthorn, he was reported to have given the club its nickname the "Hawks", as he saw it as tougher than their original nickname the "Mayblooms".


He is known to have played 322 premiership matches (198 in the VFL and 124 in the Tasmanian leagues), and 354 total career senior games (including 14 intrastate matches for the NTFA in Tasmania, and 18 interstate matches, 13 for Victoria and five for Tasmania). If his matches for Preston and Camberwell in the VFA are included, then Cazaly played in 343 premiership matches and 375 total career senior games. Cazaly also played country football for Minyip in 1925, and in a mid-week football competition during the 1930s.

Throughout his career, he stood at just 180 centimetres (5 ft 11 in), which is short for a ruckman, although his high leap made up for this, and he was incredibly fit. He retired from competitive football in 1941 at the age of 48. Later, he coached (non-playing) New Town to a number of Tasmanian Football League premierships. After his retirement from football, he was involved in many business ventures before his death in Hobart on 10 October 1963. His son, also named Roy, played for New Town after World War II.

The famous cry "Up there, Cazaly" was used as a battle cry by Australian forces during World War II.[8]

It is also the name of a famous song, released in 1979 by Mike Brady and the Two-Man Band.

Cazaly was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 1996 as one of the inaugural twelve Legends.

Cazalys Stadium in Cairns, Queensland, is named after Roy Cazaly.


  1. ^ Argomene, Launceston Examiner, THE SECOND MATCH BETWEEN CHRISTIE AND MESSENGER FOR £100 AND THE CHAMPIONSHIP OF VICTORIA,11 July 1878(as found in the NLA 's Trove)
  2. ^ Atkinson, p. 83.
  3. ^ "Cazaly's Career born amid crisis", AFL Record: 22, 29 July 2011
  4. ^ The Argus, 14 February 1927
  5. ^ Rohan, Jack M. (11 May 1935). "Whenever He Crouched for a Spring". Sporting Globe. No. 1335. Victoria, Australia. p. 7 (Edition2). Retrieved 3 June 2021 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ The Australian, 22 September 2009, retrieved 2009-09-22
  7. ^ "Cazaly engaged by Hawthorn". The Mercury. Melbourne. 22 October 1941. p. 10.
  8. ^ "From 1911 to 1920 Cazaly played for St Kilda Football Club, without pay, winning the club's 'best and fairest' award in the last two seasons. In 1921 he transferred to South Melbourne, where he formed 'The Terrible Trio' ruck combination with 'Skeeter' Fleiter and rover Mark Tandy. Though only 5 ft 11 ins (180 cm) and 12½ stone (79 kg), Cazaly was a brilliant high-mark; he daily practised leaping for a ball suspended from the roof of a shed at his home. He could mark and turn in mid-air, land and in a few strides send forward a long accurate drop-kick or stab-pass. Fleiter's constant cry 'Up there Cazaly' was taken up by the crowds. It entered the Australian idiom, was used by infantrymen in North Africa in World War II, and became part of folk-lore" (Counihan, 1979).


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