Rob McCooey was a very good player in the late 1940s and was one of the group who made sure the club was re-formed after the war. After his playing career, he became President, a role he performed with distinction until the end of 1958.
After one game at Xavier, the team adjourned to Turnley’s Hotel, now known as the Skinny Dog. Six o’clock closing was the order of the day, and the boys had a fair thirst after a grand victory. They put the hard word on Charlie Turnley, the owner of the pub, to give them a ‘niner’ (9-gallon keg) to take away. The owner duly obliged. Rob McCooey was a very popular bloke in those days, because he was in the car business. However, this night he was, for some reason, without wheels. So, how to get the barrel to Grutzner's, who lived near Burke Road? The keg, together with glasses, players and supporters, all headed off and boarded the next tram, ignoring Turnley’s objections and concerns that he might lose his liquor licence.
Richard Curtain played 155 games for the Old Xaverians and won three consecutive Best and Fairests in the Crocs after playing regularly in the seniors.
David Chachi Landrigan was a six-time premiership player with great skills and very accomplished on both sides of the body. Joining the club straight from school in 1990, Chachi played his first game for the club in the seniors. Not many have accomplished that since! David was a Big V A player on several occasions and was a joy to watch coming off half-back. He could sell the dummy like no other, his disposal was accurate and his ability to play at either end of the ground made him one of Xavs best. In 2017, thriteen years after retiring from senior football, David is still playing with the Crocodiles. In between, he played in a Crocs premiership, spent some time at Old Melburnians, where he coached the Club XVIII and later their seniors, before returning to coach the Old Xavs Reserves. Unlucky not to win a Best & Fairest but has plenty of premiership medals that he would consider the greater reward.
In the 2003 preliminary final, Chach delivered some entirely fair retribution to a Scotch player who had crudely spoiled him in an earlier encounter that season. The crowd erupted, and Xavs came from behind to win the game, and the next week, the premiership.
James Malla McDonnell enjoyed great success in the U19s and announced his arrival in senior ranks in a practice game against St Kevin's when his hip and shoulder sent his opponent flying into the advertising hoarding near the point post. Effective on both sides of his body, Malla's best early effort was at Mazenod, where he booted five as Xavs, with six players out on Big v duty, came from behind to win. In 2003, the big Raging Bull played on a forward flank opposite the equally tall James Drake, as coach Michael Sholly largely operated without a CHF.
James missed a lot of his career with injury, but continued to play great football in the Reserves and in the Seniors when required. Eventually, after winning the Best and Fairest in the Reserves in 2011, he joined the Crocs, where he won two more OX more best and fairest awards, VAFA medals, goalkicking awards and premierships. After 173 games, he called it quits. Malla has served on the committee and continues to be a great clubman beyond retirement.
Other Notable #4s
John Brimacombe was an Old Scotch boy who had played league football with Geelong and he was a very strong and talented ruckman. The story goes that some of the Scotch hierarchy saw him walking across the Swan Street ground that they shared with the Old Xavs, and presumed he pulling on the red jumper. Alas for them, former Old Xavs coach and legend John Sanders had been in his ear and he had arrived to join their co-tenants. Brimma played 57 games for the Claret and Stout and served as club secretary in 1982/83.
Denis Symeopoulos is a talented on-baller with speed. He reads the ball off the packs, is adept on either side and has kicked some vital goals in a career that is just moving into top gear.