Team of the Century Nominees
This information supplied by Chris Donald, Club Historian. Copyright is held by Chris Donald and copies of his book "Fitzroy Team of the Century" can be purchased from Chris at:
PO Box 751, Ballarat 3353, tel: +613 5339 9312.

Coaches

Fred Hughson coached Fitzroy between 1943 and 1947 for 96 games. Of these, Fitzroy won 59, lost 35 and drew 2 to give Hughson a winning percentage of 63 %. He coached the club into the finals in 1943, 1944 and 1947 as playing coach. He engendered tremendous loyalty from his players. He is most famous as the last Fitzroy Premiership coach in 1944. He left after the 1947 season to coach in Warrnambool.

Percy Parratt coached Fitzroy 91 times in 1913-1915 and 1920-1921. Fitzroy had 62 wins, 26 losses and 3 draws in that time to give Parratt a winning percentage of 68 %. He coached Fitzroy into the finals in 4 of his 5 seasons where they played in 7 finals for one Premiership. That 1913 team is considered to be perhaps Fitzroy’s best ever. He later coached Carlton and Geelong.

Len Smith was recruited to Fitzroy from Melbourne and Northcote (VFA). He played 76 games with Fitzroy as a defender between 1937 and 1945. After the war, he coached the under-19s and coached them to a Premiership in 1956. He took over the senior coaching job in 1958 and coached Fitzroy into the finals that year and 1960. He developed the flick pass that was successful until the league banned it. In his 93 matches as coach between 1958 and 1962, Fitzroy won 51, lost 40 and drew 2 to give him a winning percentage of 56 %. He later coached Coburg (VFA) and Richmond.

Bill Stephen coached Fitzroy in three stints. The first was in 1955-1957 as playing coach. He again coached them in 1965-1970 and in 1979-1980. This gave him a total of 214 games as coach, which is a club record. He coached them for 68 wins, 145 losses and 1 draw to have a winning percentage of 32 %. It is perhaps his loyalty that he is best remembered for as a coach. He did have success in 1979 coaching in two finals and coaching the Fitzroy team that kicked the VFL record score. He also coached Essendon.

Robert Walls was recruited to Fitzroy as a player in 1978 after 218 games and 3 Premierships as a player with Carlton. He played 41 games for 77 goals as a centre-half-forward for Fitzroy in 1978-1980. He retired as a player and coached Fitzroy between 1981 and 1985. He coached Fitzroy 115 times for 60 wins, 54 losses and 1 draw to have a winning percentage of 53 %. He coached the team into 3 finals series where they played 5 finals. He later coached Carlton (to the 1987 Premiership), Brisbane and Richmond. He now works in the football media.

Captains

Fred Hughson captained Fitzroy in 96 games between 1943 and 1947, during which time he was also coach. He was an inspirational leader who played at full back. He was the captain and coach of the 1944 Premiership team.

Kevin Murray captained Fitzroy a record 159 times. This was in the years 1963-1964 and 1967-1972. He was also coach in 1963-1964. His courage and tenacity earned the respect of his teammates and he often played with injury, particularly in the latter part of his career.

Paul Roos captained Fitzroy 122 times in seasons 1988-1990 and 1992-1994. These were difficult times for the Lions with constant rumours of mergers and relocations to deal with apart from the normal on-field pressures. He conducted himself in an exemplary manner throughout this time. His leadership was recognized with captaincy of both the Victorian and All-Australian teams.

Allan Ruthven captained Fitzroy for 103 games in 1948, part of 1950 and 1951 to 1954. He led by the example of his skillful play. He was also coach between 1952 and 1954. Fitzroy made the finals in 1952 and he won the Brownlow Medal in 1950.

Garry Wilson was Fitzroy captain for 79 games between 1981 and 1984. He led by example both on and off the field. His dedication to training is rated highly by his teammates and this spurred them to follow his lead.

Backs

Vic Chanter played 108 games for Fitzroy between 1946 and 1952. He took over the full back position from Fred Hughson in 1948. He was a tough and mean defender and is the only full back to keep Essendon legend John Coleman goalless in a game. He won the Fitzroy best and fairest award in 1951 and played for Victoria that year.

Frank Curcio played 249 games for Fitzroy between 1932 and 1948, missing season 1937 to play the violin and season 1944 due to military service. He was Fitzroy’s games record holder for 23 years until Kevin Murray passed him. He was a ruckman and defender who protected his smaller teammates. He captained Fitzroy between 1938 and 1941.

Horrie Dawson was the nephew of Fitzroy Premiership heroes Fred Fontaine and Ern Jenkins. He played 140 games between 1931 and 1940. He started his career as a forward, finishing in the top three of Fitzroy’s goalkickers in 1932 and 1933. He settled well into defence and represented Victoria in 1937.

Clen Denning had a meteoric start to his VFL career, kicking 6 goals from his first 6 kicks with Carlton in 1935. He transferred to Fitzroy and played 159 games between 1938 and 1947. He led the Fitzroy goalkicking in 1939 before settling into the back pocket. It was there that he played in the 1944 Premiership team. He represented Victoria in 1941.

Eddie Goodger played 149 games for Fitzroy between 1949 and 1958. He kicked only one goal in his career as he was posted at centre half back. He was runner-up in the 1952 Fitzroy best and fairest award to Neville Broderick. He played in the finals in 1952 and 1958. His best mate from his days at Fitzroy is Bill Stephen.

Robert Henderson played 137 games for Fitzroy between 1953 and 1962. He played at full back, taking over from Vic Chanter, and only kicked one goal in his career and that on his debut. He played in the finals in 1958 and 1960 and was a member of the 1959 Night Premiership team. He represented Victoria in 1959.

Fred Hughson was recruited from Preston (VFA) and started his career as a forward, kicking 62 goals to lead the goalkicking in 1938. His coach, Dan Minogue, moved him to full back and it proved a success with Hughson finishing third in the Brownlow Medal in 1941. He played 164 games between 1938 and 1947. He was captain-coach between 1943 and 1947 and is best remembered as the last man to lead Fitzroy to a Premiership in 1944. He was named at full back in Fitzroy’s greatest team between 1944 and 1993.

Ern Jenkins played 182 games between 1897 and 1910. He was in the back pocket in the 1899 Premiership team and on the half back flank in the 1904 and 1905 Premiership teams. He captained Fitzroy in 1906 and 1907, played in 14 finals games and 4 times for Victoria. He later coached Richmond.

Wally Johnson played 191 games from 1907-1916 and 1919. This was the Fitzroy games record when he retired until Percy Parratt broke it four years later. He was centre half back in the Premiership teams of 1913 and 1916. Johnson captained the 1916 Premiership team and was captain again in 1919. He led the Fitzroy goalkicking in 1908, with 27 goals, and represented Victoria twice in 1914.

Grant Lawrie earned the nickname ‘Sticks’ because of his slight build but this did not stop him from filling the demanding centre half back position at times. He started his career on the half forward flank in 1978 and played until 1988 completing 151 games. He played in four finals series and represented Victoria in 1983. He later played for Box Hill (VFA) and St.Kilda and coached Fitzroy reserves.

Herbert Lenne played 157 games between 1910 and 1922. He was full back in the 1913 and 1916 Premiership teams. He played twice for Victoria in 1912. He seems to have been a tough defender with suspensions of 9 weeks for elbowing in 1915 and 6 weeks for charging in 1920. He was disappointed not to make the 1922 Premiership team and transferred to St.Kilda.

Chris Lethbridge played 148 games between 1913 and 1922. Recruited from Sydney, he was in the back pocket in the 1913 Premiership team in his first season. He missed the 1916 Premiership team through injury but played on the half back flank, as captain, in the 1922 Premiership team. He played in 14 finals games, represented Victoria three times and coached Fitzroy in 1925.

Alistair Lynch was recruited from Hobart in Tasmania and played 120 games for 173 goals between 1988 and 1993 for Fitzroy. He was used in a utility role at Fitzroy alternating between full back, centre half forward and full forward. He was runner-up in the 1991 Fitzroy best and fairest award playing at full back. However, 1993 was his best season where he won the best and fairest award, was Fitzroy’s leading goalkicker with 68 goals and won All-Australian selection. He played six State of Origin games for Tasmania. He transferred to the Brisbane Bears in 1994 and is a current player with the Brisbane Lions, having been co-captain from 1997 to 2000. He was named on the half back flank in Fitzroy’s greatest team between 1944 and 1993.

Graeme Mackenzie played 105 games for Fitzroy in 1956 and 1958-1962. He kicked his only career goal in his second game but played in the back pocket for the majority of his career. He formed a good partnership with full back Bob Henderson and played in the finals in 1958 and 1960. He was a member of the 1959 Night Premiership team. He was selected for the 1961 Victorian carnival team but did not play.

Harold (Lal) McLennan played 135 games for Fitzroy in 1907-1916 and 1919. He played in the centre in the 1913 Premiership team and on the half back flank in the 1916 Premiership team. He won the Fitzroy best and fairest award in 1912 and 1913 and played for Victoria in 1913. His brother Norman played for Fitzroy in 1907-1908. He was Fitzroy’s President from 1939 to 1947, including the Premiership year of 1944.

Harvey Merrigan played 197 games for Fitzroy between 1969 and 1981. He was considered one of the VFL’s best full backs of his time and won the Fitzroy best and fairest award in 1974. This made him only the second full back, after Vic Chanter, to win the award. He played three times for Victoria and was captain of Fitzroy in 1978 but unfortunately missed the 1978 Night Premiership due to injury. He kicked the goal that broke the VFL record in Round 17, 1979 and played in the finals that year. He was named on the bench in Fitzroy’s greatest team between 1944 and 1993.

Kevin Murray retired as the VFL games record holder in 1974 with 333 games dating back to 1955. He had a two-year stint, in 1965-1966, with East Perth where he played 44 games and coached the team into the W.A. grand final. He won the 1969 Brownlow Medal as a 31-year-old after a number of near misses. He won a record nine Fitzroy best and fairest awards. He captained the club a record 159 times and coached them in 1963 and 1964. He made the AFL Hall of Fame and was selected on the half back flank in the AFL team of the century and Fitzroy’s greatest team between 1944 and 1993. His father, Dan Murray, was a member of Fitzroy’s 1944 Premiership team. He later played with Sandringham (VFA) and in the Super Rules competition into his late 40s.

Barry Padley played for Fitzroy in 159 games between 1967 and 1978. He played some of his football on the forward line and on the ball as he kicked 95 goals. However, he played some useful football in the back pocket. He played in Fitzroy’s 1978 Night Premiership team, kicking a goal.

Gary Pert played 163 games for Fitzroy between 1982 and 1990. He was a dashing full back who worked well in combination with Paul Roos. He was occasionally moved forward and kicked 43 goals. In 1989 he became only the third Fitzroy full back to win the club best and fairest award. He played in six finals games and six times for Victoria. He suffered a bad knee injury in the final game of 1990 and was traded to Collingwood in 1992. He was selected in the back pocket in Fitzroy’s greatest team from 1944 to 1993.

Brian Pert played 125 games for Fitzroy between 1954 and 1965. He was 182 cm tall and weighed 76 kg. He was somewhat injury prone and played either at half back or on the wing. He played in finals games in 1958 and 1960. He and son Gary are the only father-son combination of the nominees.

Paul Roos played 269 games for Fitzroy between 1982 and 1994. Although his best football was at centre half back, he was often used in the forward line and as an on-baller. As such, he kicked 270 goals in his career and led the Fitzroy goalkicking in 1990 with 49 goals. He won the Fitzroy best and fairest award in 1985, 1986, 1991, 1992 and 1994. He was third in the Brownlow Medal in 1985 and 1986, being only one vote off winning in the latter year. He played 14 times for Victoria and captained them. He was a regular All-Australian selection and was given the captaincy of that team also. He transferred to Sydney in 1995 and is currently that team’s assistant-coach. He was named at centre half back in Fitzroy’s greatest team from 1944 to 1993.

Dennis (Dinny) Ryan played 70 games for Fitzroy between 1935 and 1939. He was recruited from Albury, which was where the club had recruited Haydn Bunton from four years earlier. He kicked 46 goals in his debut season to lead the Fitzroy goalkicking. In the following season (1936) a move to centre half back led to him winning the Brownlow Medal as a 19-year-old. He played twice for Victoria. A knee injury cut his career short.

Laurie Serafini was recruited to Fitzroy from Assumption College in 1977 and played until 1985. As the younger brother of Renato Serafini, who had led the club goalkicking in 1975, he also started at full forward. The following season he found his niche in defence as either full back or an attacking half back flanker. He rose to the rank of club vice-captain before injuries began to take their toll. He played three times for Victoria.

Chris Smith played 163 games for Fitzroy between 1973 and 1982. He played predominately at centre half back, although he did finish second in the club goalkicking in 1975 with 31 goals. He was a strong mark but disciplined enough to know when to spoil. He wore a bicycle helmet at a similar time to his teammate Garry Wilson. In 1980, he was a surprise leader at the half way point of the Brownlow Medal count and finished with 16 votes.

Bill Stephen played 162 games for Fitzroy between 1947 and 1957. He was a back pocket who teammates rate as better than 1951 Brownlow Medallist Bernie Smith. In 1950, he beat Brownlow Medallist Allan Ruthven to win the Fitzroy best and fairest award. He again won the award in 1954. He was Fitzroy captain-coach in his last three years as a player and coached Fitzroy in two other stints. He was named in the back pocket in Fitzroy’s greatest team from 1944 to 1993. He won the AFL’s Jack Titus Recognition of Service Award in 1996.

Ross Thornton had come from Camperdown and tried out at Fitzroy in the mid-1970s but was turned away so he played for VFA club Prahran. He had another try with Fitzroy and played 146 games for them between 1980 and 1989. He found his niche in the back pocket and played in six finals games for the Lions. He played so well in 1984 that he won the Fitzroy best and fairest award. His last game for Fitzroy was the 1989 reserves Grand Final so he went out as a winner. He later coached Prahran and was an assistant coach at Fitzroy.

Centreline

Tammy Beauchamp played 135 games for Fitzroy between 1899 and 1908. He was on the half forward flank in the 1899 Premiership team and in the centre in the 1905 Premiership team. He missed the entire 1904 season and thus that year’s Premiership. He played in 10 finals games and twice for Victoria.

Bruce Calverley played 88 games for Fitzroy between 1936 and 1945. He won the 1938 Gardiner Medal as the best and fairest in the reserves competition. Wally Clark in 1963 and David Bain in 1994 are the only other Fitzroy winners of the Gardiner Medal. He played for Victoria in 1941. He was on the wing in the 1944 Fitzroy Premiership team.

Scott Clayton was recruited from Hobart and played 160 games for Fitzroy between 1981 and 1990. He made his name as a tagger with big name ‘scalps’ including Peter Daicos, Tim Watson and Terry Wallace. He finished third in the Fitzroy best and fairest award in 1983. He was trailing Mark Bunn in the 1990 best and fairest award with one round to go but 37 disposals in his last game won him the award. He has worked in football administration and recruiting with Brisbane and the Western Bulldogs.

Don Furness played 136 games for Fitzroy between 1949 and 1959. He has been described as a beautiful left foot kick and played in the centre. He won the 1953 and 1955 Fitzroy best and fairest awards with his polished play. He played in two finals in 1952 and missed the 1958 First Semi Final with injury. His last game for Fitzroy was in winning team in the 1959 Night Grand Final. He served Fitzroy as an administrator and was named in Fitzroy’s greatest team between 1944 and 1993.

Warwick Irwin played 213 games for Fitzroy from 1970 to 1980 and 1983. He was valuable around goals, kicking 228 goals for the club. He won the Fitzroy best and fairest award in 1975 and represented Victoria eight times. He suffered a bad knee injury in 1976 but came back to finish runner-up to Garry Wilson in the 1979 and 1980 best and fairest award. He played in Fitzroy’s 1978 Night Premiership, in the team that kicked the VFL record score and in the 1979 finals series. He transferred to Collingwood in 1981 but was coaxed back to Fitzroy by his old teammate Robert Walls in 1983. The following season he coached VFA team Port Melbourne. He was named on the wing in Fitzroy’s greatest team from 1944 to 1993.

Noel Jarvis played 159 games for Fitzroy between 1944 and 1952. He played on the wing in the 1944 Fitzroy Premiership team as a 19-year-old and the following week played in the reserves Premiership team. He played in six finals games and three times for Victoria.

John Murphy played 216 games for Fitzroy between 1967 and 1977. He kicked 327 goals and won Fitzroy’s goalkicking award in 1971 (with 47 goals) and 1976 (with 35 goals). He was joint winner of the 1968 Fitzroy best and fairest award in his second season and went on to win a total of five Fitzroy best and fairest awards. He captained Fitzroy for 92 games between 1973 and 1977. He was a big kick winner as an on-baller and played for Victoria nine times. He left to play with South Melbourne then North Melbourne. He later coached VFA teams Werribee and Box Hill. He was named ruck-rover in Fitzroy’s greatest team between 1944 and 1993.

Ray Slocum played 121 games for Fitzroy between 1957 and 1965. He had been a member of Fitzroy’s 1956 under-19 Premiership team coached by Len Smith. He played in two finals games in 1960 and in the 1959 Fitzroy Night Premiership team. He played on the wing and later coached Fitzroy reserves.

Wilfred (Chicken) Smallhorn played 150 games for Fitzroy between 1930 and 1940. He won the 1933 Brownlow Medal and played with two other medallists in Haydn Bunton and Dennis Ryan. He was awarded a total of 100 Brownlow Medal votes in his career. He kicked 31 goals and played seven times for Victoria. He played on the wing. He was given his unusual nickname by relatives when he was a child saying, ‘Isn’t he such a little chicken?’

Alan Thompson played 138 games for Fitzroy between 1970 and 1979. He was recruited from Warrnambool and made his debut in the famous Royals’ match at the MCG against Richmond. He was a tall winger and kicked 58 goals in his career. He played in Fitzroy’s 1978 Night Premiership team. He was third in the Fitzroy best and fairest award in 1975. He has worked as a junior football development officer in Warrnambool for a number of years. He was named on the wing in Fitzroy’s greatest team from 1944 to 1993.

Forwards

Owen Abrahams played 137 games for Fitzroy between 1954 and 1962. He was a vital player for Fitzroy across the half forward line and kicked 230 goals in his career. He led the Fitzroy goalkicking in 1957 and 1961. He was named, with Kevin Murray, as Fitzroy’s first All-Australian players in 1958. He captained Fitzroy in his final year of 1962. He played in three finals games and played nine times for Victoria kicking 29 goals. He was named on the half forward flank in Fitzroy’s greatest team between 1944 and 1993.

Lou Barker played 150 games for Fitzroy between 1900 and 1908. He finished in the top four of Fitzroy’s goalkickers in his first two seasons and was on the half forward flank in the 1904 Premiership team. The following year his brother Gilbert joined him in the Premiership team where he played in the back pocket. He played in 13 finals games and four times for Victoria. He was also a champion cyclist.

Gerald Brosnan tried to break into the strong Geelong and Essendon teams in the VFA era but could not, so he played for Ballarat in the VFA. He was recruited to Fitzroy and played 131 games between 1900 and 1909. He kicked 160 goals in his career. He was second in the VFL goalkicking in 1901 and fourth in the league in 1904. He captained Fitzroy to the Premiership in both 1904 and 1905. He played in 13 finals for 15 goals. He also played three times for Victoria for eight goals. He later coached VFL team University.

Michael Conlan played 210 games for Fitzroy between 1977 and 1989. He kicked 394 goals in his career. In three consecutive years between 1982 and 1984 he kicked over 50 goals as an effective foil to Bernie Quinlan. He had a magnificent physique and is considered one of the hardest trainers of his era. He played interstate football for both Victoria and the A.C.T. He kicked 41 goals in his 23 night games that included the 1978 Night Premiership. He kicked 12 goals in his nine finals games but none more famous than his match-winner in the 1986 Elimination Final against Essendon. His last game for Fitzroy was in the winning 1989 Grand Final team.

Jim Freake played 174 games for Fitzroy between 1912 and 1924. He kicked 442 goals in his career. He led the Fitzroy goalkicking seven times. This is a figure that has only been exceeded by Jack Moriarty. He led the VFL goalkicking in 1913 and was joint winner with Dick Lee in 1915. He played in 16 finals for a club record 42 goals. He played at full forward in the 1913 and 1922 Fitzroy Premiership teams but missed the 1916 Premiership through injury. He played twice for Victoria and coached Fitzroy in 1929.

Eddie Hart played 98 games for Fitzroy in 1941, 1944 and 1946 to 1951. In that time he kicked 323 goals from full forward. He was a slightly built, high marking forward. He led the Fitzroy goalkicking for five years from 1947 to 1951. Each of these years he kicked over 50 goals and was placed in the top five in the VFL goalkicking. His biggest tally was his last season where he kicked 65 goals. He played in two finals kicking eight goals. He played twice for Victoria and kicked 14 goals. He was later a driving force in the Fitzroy Players and Officials Association. He was named at full forward in Fitzroy’s greatest team from 1944 to 1993.

Gary Lazarus played 132 games for Fitzroy between 1963 and 1970. He kicked 206 goals in his career. In his debut season, as a 17-year-old, he led the Fitzroy goalkicking with 35 goals. He repeated the feat three other times between 1965 and 1967. He was also second in the Fitzroy goalkicking twice. As well as playing full forward, Lazarus played as a follower and in the back line. He later coached in Mount Gambier.

David McMahon played 218 games for Fitzroy between 1973 and 1984. During that time he kicked 236 goals. Earlier in his career he was a determined half back flanker but later on became an effective on-baller and half forward flanker. He was runner-up in the 1975 Fitzroy best and fairest award. His most goals in a season was 37 in 1982. He was a good finals player with 12 goals from six finals games. He played three times for Victoria. He was a Fitzroy board member. He was selected as a half forward flanker in Fitzroy’s greatest team from 1944 to 1993.

Jack Moriarty played 157 games for Fitzroy between 1924 and 1933. He was recruited from Essendon and ironically played against Fitzroy in the 1922 Grand Final. During his career he kicked 626 goals for Fitzroy, which is a club record. He also led the Fitzroy goalkicking a record nine times. The only season of his career that he didn’t lead the club goalkicking was 1930 when he only played seven games. His best season was 1927 when he kicked 83 goals. This remained the club record for 52 years. He played 11 times for Victoria kicking 42 goals. He also played in three finals games for seven goals.

Tony Ongarello played 131 games for Fitzroy between 1952 and 1960. He kicked 247 goals in his career. He was a brilliant high mark but a much-maligned kick at goal. This led him to spending some time at centre half back in his career. However, it is as a full forward that he is remembered. He led the Fitzroy goalkicking three times. In his debut season of 1952 he was fourth in the VFL table with 50 goals. He repeated that result in 1958 when he kicked 53 goals. He played in five finals where he kicked seven goals. He later served on Fitzroy’s committee.

Richard Osborne played 187 games for Fitzroy between 1982 and 1992. He kicked 411 goals at the club. He started his career as a dashing half back flanker then understudied Bernie Quinlan in the forward line. When Quinlan retired, Osborne became the focal point of the Fitzroy attack. He led the Fitzroy goalkicking five times with 68 goals in 1989 his best season. He only played 16 games that season as he suffered a bad knee injury. He played in six finals and eight times for Victoria while he was at Fitzroy. He captained the club in 1991. He later played for Sydney, Footscray and Collingwood. He is currently part of the Channel Seven commentary team.

Percy Parratt played 196 games in 1909-1917 and 1920-1923. He kicked 202 goals in his career. His games tally was the Fitzroy record until broken by Frank Curcio 22 years later. He formed a lethal forward combination with Jim Freake. Parratt played on the half forward flank in Premierships in 1913, 1916 and 1922. He coached the 1913 Premiership and was captain coach in 1914-1915 and 1920-1921. He never led the Fitzroy goalkicking but was in the top four nine times in his career. He played in a club record 19 finals games for Fitzroy kicking 22 goals. He also played twice for Victoria.

Bernie Quinlan played in 189 games for Fitzroy between 1978 and 1986. He was already an established star when he came to Fitzroy after 178 games for Footscray. However, he played his best football with the Lions kicking 576 goals. This is the second highest total by a Fitzroy player. He played in the 1978 Night Premiership team and nine finals games for 29 goals. This is second only to Jim Freake. He played three times for Victoria while at Fitzroy. He shared the 1981 Brownlow Medal with Barry Round. In 1983 he was moved permanently to full forward and he prospered kicking a club record 116 goals to win the Coleman Medal. He repeated the feat the next year kicking 105 goals. He led the club goalkicking five times from 1981 to 1985. He coached Fitzroy in 1995.

Alex Ruscuklic played 108 games for Fitzroy between 1966 and 1974. He was recruited from Morwell in Gippsland. He kicked 189 goals in his career at Fitzroy. He led the Fitzroy goalkicking in 1970 with 48 goals. He was also twice second in the club goalkicking. He often played at centre half forward. He was a strong mark and took an incredible 216 marks in 1971. His brother Peter also played for Fitzroy and kicked 213 goals for East Sydney in 1981. Alex Ruscuklic later played for Carlton.

Doug Searl played 131 games for Fitzroy between 1968 and 1976 after being recruited from Collingwood. In his career at Fitzroy he kicked 170 goals. He led the Fitzroy goalkicking in his first season there kicking 31 goals in only eight games. The next season he kicked 68 goals to finish fourth in the VFL goalkicking. This was the highest total by a Fitzroy player since Jack Moriarty’s last season 35 years before that. Later in his career he was moved to centre half back. He later coached the Fitzroy under-19 team to the 1982 Premiership and was also David Parkin’s assistant coach. He also coached Richmond under-19s and Port Melbourne in the V.F.A.

Len Wigraft played 135 games for Fitzroy between 1917 and 1927. He kicked 41 goals in his career. He was named in the forward pocket in the 1922 Premiership team and the 1917 Grand Final team. He was named in the back pocket in the 1923 Grand Final team. He was essentially a follower. He played in 13 finals games and eight times for Victoria. He captained Fitzroy in 1927 and was the club coach for part of 1934. He also coached Richmond reserves.

Kevin Wright played 140 games for Fitzroy between 1952 and 1961. He kicked 160 goals in his career. He led Fitzroy’s goalkicking in 1959 with 43 goals and 1960 with 36 goals. He had played in defence earlier in his career and was something of a spare parts man. He played in three finals games in 1958 and 1960. He was a member of the 1959 Night Premiership team. He later coached VFA team Dandenong.

Followers

Ron Alexander played 133 games for Fitzroy between 1976 and 1981. He kicked 30 goals in his career. He was recruited from East Perth and came across with fellow Western Australians Max George and Bob Beecroft. He played in Fitzroy’s 1978 Night Premiership team and the team that kicked the VFL record score in 1979. He played in four finals games. While at Fitzroy he played twice for Victoria and eight times for Western Australia. The ruckman captained Fitzroy in 1979-1980. He won the club best and fairest award in his last season beating Brownlow Medallist Bernie Quinlan. He later coached East Fremantle to a Premiership and was the inaugural coach of the West Coast Eagles.

Brad Boyd played 70 games for Fitzroy between 1992 and 1996. He kicked 49 goals in his career. He started his career as a half back flanker and also played and centre half forward. He played his best football as a ruck-rover. He captained Fitzroy in 1995 and 1996. He was only 24-years-old when he was appointed captain but took on the responsibility well. He won the Fitzroy best and fairest award in his first year as captain. He was also second in the club goalkicking in 1995. He played twice for Victoria. He was the Brisbane Lions’ first signing at the time of the merger. Unfortunately back and hamstring injuries have curtailed his career.

Norm Brown played 181 games for Fitzroy between 1962 and 1973. He kicked 77 goals in his career. He was a strong and tireless ruckman for the Lions. He won three consecutive Fitzroy best and fairest awards between 1965 and 1967. He played eight times for Victoria. He later coached VFA team Port Melbourne to Premierships. He was selected on the bench in Fitzroy’s greatest team between 1944 and 1993. He is currently in charge of the Fitzroy Past Player’s Committee.

Albert Clay played 157 games for Fitzroy between 1940 and 1951. He kicked 54 goals in his career. He was recruited from Henty in New South Wales. He was the first ruckman in the 1944 Premiership Team. In all, he played in five finals games kicking two goals. His twin brother Ivor and brother Alf also played with Fitzroy.

Russell Crow played 158 games for Fitzroy in 1960-1964 and 1968-1973. He was recruited from Warracknabeal and kicked 114 goals in his career. He was a giant ruckman who protected the smaller players around him. He played twice for Victoria. He went home for three years in the middle of his career to help out on the family farm and won the Toohey Medal in the Wimmera Football League. He played in the famous Royals’ Game against Richmond at the MCG. He was selected on the bench in Fitzroy’s greatest team from 1944 to 1993.

Alan Gale played 213 games for Fitzroy between 1948 and 1961. He kicked 19 goals in his career. He was universally known as ‘Butch’. He played in five finals games in 1952, 1958 and 1960. He played 13 times for Victoria. He captained Fitzroy between 1958 and 1961. He was the son of Len Gale who played in Fitzroy’s 1922 Premiership team. ‘Butch’ Gale played in Fitzroy’s 1959 Night Premiership team. He was selected as the ruckman in Fitzroy’s greatest team from 1944 to 1993.

Ron Harvey played 127 games for Fitzroy between 1954 and 1963. He was ruckman who also spent some time on the forward line kicking 49 goals. He played in two finals games in 1960. He played twice for Victoria in 1962. He played in Fitzroy’s 1959 Night Premiership team. He won the Fitzroy best and fairest award in 1959. He later played for Wodonga.

Norm Johnstone played 228 games for Fitzroy between 1944 and 1957. He kicked 195 goals in his career where he alternated between the following division and the forward line. He even led the Fitzroy goalkicking in 1955 with 32 goals. He played in three finals games in 1947 and 1952 and represented Victoria in 1948. He won Fitzroy’s best and fairest award in 1947. Johnstone was considered a very tough footballer by his peers. He was Fitzroy’s vice-captain for a number of years. His grandson Travis Johnstone currently plays for Melbourne. He was selected in a forward pocket in Fitzroy’s greatest team from 1944 to 1993.

Matthew Rendell played 164 games for Fitzroy between 1981 and 1991. He was a very tall ruckman who was also useful up forward as his 102 goals suggest. In fact, Rendell kicked 46 goals in his first season when Ron Alexander was the number one ruckman. He was recruited from South Australian team West Torrens. He won back-to-back Fitzroy best and fairest awards in 1982 and 1983. He was Fitzroy’s captain between 1985 and 1987. He played three times for South Australia in State of Origin games and achieved All-Australian selection in 1987. He played in seven finals games for Fitzroy kicking nine goals. He played one season with the Brisbane Bears at the end of his career. He has been an assistant coach at Richmond, Melbourne and Port Adelaide.

Bill Walker played 169 games for Fitzroy between 1903 and 1914. He kicked 25 goals in his career. He played as a ruckman in the 1904, 1905 and 1913 Premiership teams. He was listed in Fitzroy’s best players in both of the back-to-back Premierships. He was captain of the 1913 team, having been vice-captain for the previous six years. In all, he played in 12 finals games with Fitzroy.

Rovers

Haydn Bunton played 119 games for Fitzroy from 1931 to 1937 and 1942. He kicked 209 goals in his career and led the Fitzroy goalkicking in 1936 and 1937. He won the Brownlow Medal in his first season and repeated the triumph in 1932 and 1935. He coached Fitzroy in 1936 and captained the club in part of 1932 and 1936-1937. From the available records, he won the Fitzroy best and fairest award in 1934 and 1935. He is considered possibly the best footballer of all time and was accorded AFL Legend status in the Hall of Fame. He was also named in the AFL Team of the Century. He transferred to Subiaco in W.A. and won three Sandover Medals. He later played for Port Adelaide, coached North Adelaide and even umpired the game. His son Haydn Bunton junior was a leading player and coach in W.A. and S.A.

Graham Campbell played 151 games for Fitzroy between 1956 and 1964. He kicked 154 goals in his career as a rover who changed in the forward pocket. He played in three finals games in 1958 and 1960. He was a member of the 1959 Night Premiership team. He won the 1957 Fitzroy best and fairest award in only his second season. He played twice for Victoria. He coached Fitzroy in part of 1974 and 1978. He was the coach of the 1978 Night Premiership and the 1974 reserves Premiership. He also coached West Perth to the 1975 Premiership and Glenelg in S.A.

George Coates played 128 games for Fitzroy between 1947 and 1954. As a rover who changed in the forward pocket he kicked 128 goals. He was in the top five Fitzroy goalkickers each year between 1947 and 1951. He played in four finals games for eight goals in 1947 and 1952. He had a long-term involvement with Fitzroy’s administration and served on its match committee. His son Michael Coates also played with Fitzroy. He won the AFL’s Jack Titus Recognition of Service Award in 1987.

Leon Harris played 186 games for Fitzroy between 1979 and 1989. His 100 goals are the most by an AFL player wearing guernsey number 38. He was recruited from Mortlake and started his career on the wing. He also played in the back pocket but his best football was played as a rover. He played in eight finals games in his career. He played twice for Victoria in the 1988 Bicentennial Carnival. He was runner-up in the 1987 Fitzroy best and fairest award. His last game for Fitzroy was in the 1989 reserves Premiership team. He was an assistant coach at Fitzroy and also coached VFA team Werribee.

John Newnham played 116 games for Fitzroy between 1964 and 1971. He kicked 89 goals in his career. He was runner-up to Norm Brown in the 1965 Fitzroy best and fairest award in only his second season. He represented Victoria seven times between 1966 and 1969. He played his 100th game in the famous Royals’ Game in 1970 against Richmond at the MCG.

Allan Ruthven played 222 games for Fitzroy in 1940 to 1941 and 1943 to 1953. He was a goalkicking rover who kicked 442 goals in his career with Fitzroy. He was the rover in the 1944 Fitzroy Premiership team. He led the Fitzroy goalkicking in 1944, 1945 and 1954. He won five Fitzroy best and fairest awards in 1944, 1945, 1946, 1948 and 1949. However, he did not win the club best and fairest award the year he won the Brownlow Medal in 1950. He was Fitzroy captain in 1948, part of 1950 and 1951. He was the club captain-coach between 1952 and 1954. He coached Fitzroy into the finals in 1952. He played 17 games for Victoria for 47 goals. He played in six finals games for ten goals.

He was named as a rover in Fitzroy’s greatest team from 1944 to 1993. He is a member of the AFL Hall of Fame.

Percy Trotter played 109 games for Fitzroy between 1901 and 1906. He kicked 145 goals in his career. He led Fitzroy’s goalkicking in 1902, 1903, 1904 and 1906. Between 1903 and 1905 he was in the top five of the VFL goalkicking. He won the Fitzroy best and fairest award in 1903. He was named in the forward pocket in Fitzroy’s Premiership teams of 1904 and 1905. He played in 12 finals games for 21 goals. He played twice for Victoria for six goals. He was named the VFL Champion of the Colony in 1905. He later played with VFA team Essendon.

Garry Wilson played 268 games for Fitzroy between 1971 and 1984. This is the third most by a Fitzroy player. He was a goalkicking rover who kicked 452 goals in his career. This is the third highest by a Fitzroy player. He led the Fitzroy goalkicking in 1972 and 1973. He won five Fitzroy best and fairest awards in 1972, 1976, 1978, 1979 and 1980. He was third in the Brownlow Medal in 1978 and runner-up in 1979. He captained Fitzroy between 1981 and 1984. He was assistant coach at Fitzroy in 1987. He was named in the forward pocket in Fitzroy’s greatest team from 1944 to 1993. He is a member of the AFL Hall of Fame.