Ultimate Wool Team – Victoria: Brian ‘Moo’ Muir

Brian Muir

 

The phone rang the other day and on the line was a bloke called Brian Muir. His voice suggested he was a good age, as did a second voice, in the background, prompting and correcting him from the kitchen. He said he’d heard about these wool teams and he had a nomination: himself.

I like this in a wool man.

As has been happening over the past few months, people have been hearing of these teams of footballers to have had an association with the wool industry. Brian’s daughter had seen something on the Almanac site and had encouraged her dad to ring up.

So Brian Muir told me his wool and his footy stories.

He grew up in St Kilda – as a South Melbourne supporter. Having played footy at Malvern Grammar, he trained with the St Kilda Under 19s and eventually played for them, before getting a start in senior football.

While working in his job at New Zealand Loan – a wool company – he studied at the Melbourne School of Textiles. New Zealand Loan was taken over by Dalgety’s and Brian worked as a wool classer, a wool appraiser, and eventually became manager of the Melbourne enterprise. He got to know a lot of wool people, especially in north-east Victoria and Gippsland.

‘Moo’ as he was called played 42 games for St Kilda (wearing the No. 23 jumper) in the time of Neil Roberts, Verdun Howell and Brian Gleason. A ruckman, he polled two Brownlow votes in his first-ever game (against Essendon) – and never polled again!

After five seasons at the Saints he was appointed captain-coach of East Brighton where his side, which included “a volatile young ruckman”, won the flag. That was Carl Ditterich. (“Not much changed”) East Brighton was, as Russell Holmesby suggests, a real nursery for St Kilda and Brian Muir helped develop two premiership players, Jeff Moran and Jim Read.

Brian was on the selection committee at St Kilda during the successful mid-60s and was sitting next to his great mate Allan Jeans during the 1966 Grand Final. He then became St Kilda Under 19s coach, a position he held for seven years. Some of his players went on to fine careers – Russell Greene, Grant Thomas, Billy Mildenhall to name just a few. He was president of the Saints past players for some years.

He continued as wool manager at Dalgety’s until the company was taken over by Westfarmers, at which point he retired.

He’s a worthy nomination for the Victorian wool side.

 

 

 

 

About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and footyalmanac.com.au He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted j.t.h@footyalmanac.com.au He is married to The Handicapper and has three kids - Theo11, Anna9, Evie8. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst three. His ambition is to lunch for Australia.

Comments

  1. Yvette Wroby says

    He has my vote! Great story Brian and John

    Yvette

  2. chris murray says

    Excellent . More please

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