Home » AFL great Carl Ditterich charged over alleged historical indecent assault of underage girl

AFL great Carl Ditterich charged over alleged historical indecent assault of underage girl

Ditterich was due to appear before the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday, but a report from Nine, owner of this masthead, said the former footballer was absent from the hearing.

Nine also reported that Ditterich’s lawyer, Tony Hargreaves, had supplied a letter from Bendigo Health excusing him from attending.

Hargreaves was contacted by this masthead for comment.

St Kilda issued a similar statement to the AFL on Friday. “St Kilda Football Club is aware of historical charges laid against Carl Ditterich relating to an alleged incident after his playing career. As the matter is currently before the courts, the club will not provide further comment.”

Victoria Police confirmed the arrest on Friday in a statement.

“Bayside Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team detectives have charged a man following an investigation into alleged historic child sex offences,” the statement said.

Carl Ditterich leaves a VFL tribunal hearing in 1966.Credit: The Age archive

“The incidents against one victim occurred in Heatherton in 1985.”

Ditterich, known as the “Blond Blombshell”, debuted with St Kilda in 1963.

He played 203 of his 285-game VFL career with the club, and is also a member of the Saints’ Hall of Fame, which he was inducted into in 2003.

He appeared before the VFL tribunal 30 times throughout his career, setting a then-record. He missed St Kilda’s only premiership in 1966 due to suspension.

Former St Kilda and Melbourne player Carl Ditterich has been charged by police.

Former St Kilda and Melbourne player Carl Ditterich has been charged by police.Credit: The Age archive

“He was an exciting and controversial footballer from start to finish and made a rich contribution to the club’s history,” says Ditterich’s St Kilda Hall of Fame profile. “He possessed that rare and indefinable quality – presence – and whenever he was on the field, the rest of the side walked tall. Ditterich was a natural athlete and combined the height of a ruckman with the pace and agility of a ruck-rover.”

He moved to Melbourne in 1973 under the VFL’s short-lived 10-year rule, but returned to St Kilda in 1976.

He won best-and-fairest awards at the two clubs, captained the Saints and ended his playing career as the Demons’ captain-coach in 1980.

Ditterich coached local football teams following his retirement, including Boort for some years in the North Central Football League.

He also ran as an independent candidate for the seat of Swan Hill at the 1999 state election, but was beaten by National incumbent Barry Stegall.