Almanac Teams: Where have all the Garys gone?


             Where have all the Garys gone?


Gary Ablett Jnr and Gary Rohan may be the last Garys to play Australian Rules footy at the highest level. The name is on the verge of extinction and that is a shame.


Listening to Tim Paine bellowing “Bowled Garry” while keeping to Nathan ‘Garry’ Lyon over the last couple of cricket tests piqued my intrigue.


As a kid in the 1970s and 1980s there seemed to be a star Gary in every team and code: Gary Player, Gary Sobers, Gary Lineker, Gary Troupe !


The name is direct inspiration for the Footy Almanac. Gary Ablett Snr and Gary Malarkey have certainly stirred the imagination of JT Harms over the years.


I was unable to find a single Gary that has represented Adelaide, Port, Brisbane, West Coast or GWS.


So what happened? Why was the name so popular for two decades ? Will it make a comeback one day? If not, then this team will be unique in the annals of Australian footy history.


As always, nominations from leagues around Australia, most welcome.


The footy team of Garys could compete with just about anybody when players were at their best. Just have a look at the Ruck division.


B:  Gary Colling (StK)                    Gary Malarkey (Geel)                    Garry Young (Haw)


HB: Gary O’Donnell (Ess)              Gary Pert (Fitz/Coll)           Gary Hardeman (Melb)


C: Gary Crane (Carl)                       Gary Brice (Sth Melb)        Gary Foulds (Ess)


HF: Gary Buckenara (Haw)  Gary Sidebottom (Stk)     Garry Farrant (Nth)


F: Garry Lyon         (Melb)                        Gary Ablett Snr (Geel)                   Gary Lazarus (Fitz)


Ruck: Gary Dempsey (Foot) Gary Ablett Jnr (Geel)  Garry Wilson (Fitz)


IC: Gary Rowan (Syd)       Gary Dhurrkay (Freo)        Gary Cowton (Nth) Gary Shaw (Coll)


Coach: Gary Ayres (Geel/Adel)


Umpires: Garry Forster, Gary Fila, Gary Gale


Entertainment: Gary Moore (Brilliant Guitarist)



Happy New Year Almanackers. May 2019 bring peace, goodwill and a Collingwood premiership !


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About Phillip Dimitriadis

Carer/Teacher/Writer. Author of Fandemic: Travels in Footy Mythology. World view influenced by Johnny Cash, Krishnamurti, Larry David, Toni Morrison and Billy Picken.


  1. Sean Byrne says

    I have long felt the same sadness for the demise of Rons from the VFL/AFL. The 147 Rons include some of the greatest (Barassi, Clegg) and most colourful (Andrews, Wearmouth). The last was Ronnie Burns who played his last game in May 2004. 15 years without a Ron!

  2. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Centrals 1965 Magarey winner Gary Window

    Norwood’s multiple Magarey winner Garry McIntosh

    Centrals and Morningside goliath full forward Gary Jones

  3. Luke Reynolds says

    Nice Gary!

  4. Well folks, you have a Gary nowadays prominent in the Almanac Comments section, namely yours truly, Gary Bennett aka Fisho. Besides my interests in footy and cricket, I have followed baseball since ’55 and have written numerous works on the subject- 2 of which have seen publication. “Batter up- the Genesis of Night Baseball in SA was the first with 3 editions out.

  5. After 274 games and four B & F’s with Geelong, surely Garry ‘Whiskas’ Hocking deserves a spot in front of some of the other Gary/Garrys who got a gig IMHO

  6. DBalassone says

    Great work Phil. It’s funny how some names go out of fashion. It seems the name ‘Gary’ has been pigeon-holed as an item of 1980s paraphernalia. I always think of Lou Richards’ quaint pronunciation when I hear it. He loved saying it.

  7. Funny, and I should know.

    I think they were of the late Baby Boomer generation; the era of Gary Cooper, the American actor.

  8. Gerard Coutts says

    I agree with the concept of ‘Gary’ but NOT a Collingwood Premiership!

  9. Kate, My Mum named me after Gary Cooper. Incidentally, if anyone is a fan of Andre Rieu and his orchestra, one of the Platin Singers (the tall Tasmanian) is also named Gary Bennett.

  10. Gary Frangalas, think Hardeman for Melbourne was Greg.

  11. Sorry Hardeman definitely Gary, not sure who I was thinking maybe Greg Healey

  12. Greg Parkes??

  13. Colin Ritchie says

    Garry Parkes played for Essendon in the 70s but spelt with “rr” different from most of the Garys named in team. No. 5 I think, ranging left-footer played on the wing.

  14. sorry, Greg Parke, Melbourne 1968-73, Footscray 1974-75, Norwood 76 & Fitzroy 77

  15. Garry “Buddha” Hocking.

  16. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Sean, now there’s a great team ! Rons coming soon. So many greats to choose from.
    Nice Swish – you’re always dependable as a flag bearer of SA talent.
    Onya Fisho – May the name continue on through your contributions !
    Damo – Yes, Lou certainly gave great intonation to the name as he commentated in an era where there were so many. Not many great Garys at Collingwood. Gary Shaw the best I could find.
    Kate – I reckon Gary Cooper would have been a huge influence post-war. Can’t think of any other famous/influential Garys of the era.
    Colin – Garry Parkes a great get.Gary Moorecroft probably could get a spot.
    Dips – Buddha/Whiskas in for Gary Shaw. Geelong has the cream of the Gary crop. No love for Gary Cameron?
    Thanks for your suggestions folks. Have a great 2019.

  17. How about Gary Sobers aka Sir Garfield Sobers. He could play any sport with distinction.

  18. DBalassone says

    Gary Moorcroft. Mark of the century. Has a Gary ever been higher?

    Also missed out on the Ranga team of the century a few weeks back.

    What more does he have to do?

  19. Gary/Garry/Garrie etc is going the way of Arthur, or Cecil, or Alfred, or…even Robert.

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