The gift that kept on giving

Of the Victorian based clubs the Western Bulldogs, nee Footscray, are clearly the poorest performed when it comes to appearances at the ‘pointy end’ of the season. Two Grand Final appearances, for a sole flag, all of which took place prior to me being born, is a sad indictment on a club that has played at the highest level for circa 90 years.

However they have produced some great players. I mean how can you go past a chap with the sobriquet, “Mr Football?” For a myriad of reasons the club has lost many players who have enhanced their careers elsewhere, to the detriment of the tri-colours. Some left for fame and fortune elsewhere, one under the short lived 10 year rule, more during the Royce Hart purges, with others leaving due to poor administration. All in all they have lost players, who if retained might have helped the club achieved more on field glory.

This side has players  who by leaving the tricolours gained benefits at their new club(s), benefits they did not obtain at the Western Oval. Some played in flags, others won Brownlows, one even became a goal kicking centurion.

There are names missing like I Dunstan , C Ellis, B Hudson, and A Stoneham, all of whom played their best football in the Red, White and Blue . Their careers after leaving were generally short lived. Kelvin Templeton may be a surprise selection. True he played his best football at Footscray prior to injuring his knee in a pre season match at VFL Park in early 1981. He didn’t do much at Melbourne, bar kicking a bag at Kardinia Park in 1983, the Demons first win there since 1972. Putting the importance of that effort in context it’s worth noting they’ve only won there thrice since .

Here we go, feedback please, especially from  supporters of the Red , White and Blues . I especially ask  a long time stalwart and fellow almanacker, my old mate Mic, who is missing, who is out of position, etc. Maybe Farren Ray or Stephen Powell ?

B: M Hogg, (Carl)  B Lake, nee Harris (Haw) S Ellen, (Adel)

HB: B Montgomery, (Port Adel) N Cordy, (Syd) MRance, (WC)

C: R Griffin, (GWS) P Featherby, (Geel) D Collins, (Carl, Rich)

HF: D Thorpe, (Rich) K Templeton, (Melb) W Foreman, (Ess)

F: B Round, (South Melb, Syd) B Quinlan, (Fitz) P Morrison, (South Melb, Syd)

Foll: G Dempsey, (N Melb), B Wilson, ( M Melb, Melb, St K)

Inter: L Higgins, (N Melb), L Penny, (St K) I Low, (Coll) C Ward, (GWS)

Emer: D Cross, (Melb) C Burton, (Rich), S Welsh, (Adel)

Coach: M Malthouse, (WC & Coll)


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