Former Magpie Alan Wickes has had many claims to fame over his extensive footballing journey: President of the VFA, President of the Frankston Football Club, founder of an entire junior competition in Frankston, coach and player and administrator, Collingwood senior player for 14 games and reserves player in a further 45. Plus, of course, being the subject of one of football’s most famous photographs.
But now he’s added one more to that already impressive list – author and publisher.
Alan has recently penned and self-published his autobiography, appropriately titled ‘Second Storey Man’.
The title is taken from the headline given to a newspaper photo of him that appeared in 1959. It was taken by legendary Herald photographer Bruce Howard, and showed Alan flying high over St Kilda’s Tom McKay at a boundary throw-in during the 1959 reserves first semi-final. (The photo would later win for Howard the British ‘Picture of the Year’ at an exhibition in London)
It became the best-remembered moment of Wickes’ three seasons at Collingwood, after which he returned to coach Frankston (at the ripe old age of 22!). And his story after that is a fascinating mix of local involvement but also with the VFA and other bodies (including a return to Collingwood in the 1990s).
“The Second Storey Man” A Time in the Australian People’s Game – Aussie Rules with Alan Wickes OAM is available through Alan’s website, www.alanwickes.net/