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Footscray-Western Bulldogs Hall of Fame - Inductees

Established in 2010, the Footscray-Western Bulldogs Hall of Fame honours those whose involvement and contribution to our club has been significant, memorable and worthy of celebration.


The Western Bulldogs’ club of today has been shaped over many years by the influence and actions of many people, over many years from the highly successful VFA era through the VFL years to the AFL, behind the scenes as well as on the playing field. The part they have each played in shaping our club has touched and affected the rest of us in ways they could never have foreseen.

Simon Beasley

Inducted: 2010
Games:
154 (1982–89)
Goals: 575
Leading goal kicker: 1982–87
Coleman Medal: 1985
Footscray-Western Bulldogs Team of the Century (full forward).

Deceptively strong, with a lightning lead and good hands, this full forward was deadly accurate from inside fifty metres. Over his 154 games the ‘Pieman’ kicked a club record of 575 goals and claimed a Coleman Medal.


 


 

George Bisset

Inducted: 2012
Games: 166 (1963–72)
Goals: 288
Best and fairest:
1969
Leading goalkicker:
1963 (equal), 1964 (equal), 1967, 1969, 1970
State selection:
1 game for Victoria
Night premierships: 1963, 1964, 1967, 1970
Runner-up Brownlow Medal: 1969
Footscray-Western Bulldogs Team of the Century (forward pocket)

This pint-sized rover was a favourite of the Bulldog faithful, with his determined, tenacious play and his cheeky nature (which earned him a reputation as the club’s court jester). 

Bisset was a smart, skilful player who read the game well, was deadly accurate with his stab pass and was dangerous around goal, as evidenced by his winning the club goalkicking on five occasions. 

He had an outstanding 1969 season, gaining State selection, finishing runner-up in the Brownlow Medal and winning the club best and fairest. Bisset played in four night premierships, won three consecutive ‘Most Determined’ awards in the late 1960s and a ‘Most Consistent’ award in 1972. 

In 2002, he was named as forward pocket in the Footscray-Western Bulldogs Team of the Century.

Jack Collins

Inducted: 2010
Games: 154 (1950–58)
Goals:
385
Best and fairest:
1951, 1952
Leading goal kicker: 1953, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1958
VFL Leading goal kicker:
1954, 1957 (Coleman Medal)
Club Secretary:
1959–66
Club President: 1967–73
Footscray-Western Bulldogs Team of the Century (forward pocket).

Champion premiership full forward who also starred in defence. Devoted a lifetime of service to the club.



Gary Dempsey

Inducted: 2010
Games: 207 (1967–78)
Goals: 105
Best and fairest: 1970, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977
Captain: 1971–72, 1977–78
Brownlow Medal: 1975
All-Australian selection: 1972
AFL Hall of Fame inductee (1996)
Footscray-Western Bulldogs Team of the Century (ruck)

High-leaping knock ruckman who is remembered for his match saving efforts, his marking in defence and his courage.



Wally Donald

Inducted: 2012
Games: 205 (1946–58)
Goals: 1
Captain: 1956 (part)
Premiership: 1954
Best and fairest: 1949
Runner-up best and fairest: 1952, 1953, 1954
State selection: 3 games for Victoria
Footscray-Western Bulldogs Team of the Century (half-back flank)

The ever-reliable Wally Donald, vice-captain of the 1954 premiership team, was a versatile player who started his career as a midfielder, moving to half-back and fullback, before finally settling as a back-pocket where he worked in tandem with fullback Herb Henderson to form a formidable combination. 

Donald, who had a good leap and superb judgement, won the 1949 best and fairest award while playing at fullback, despite conceding both reach and height to his opponents. Later he was to be runner-up for the club best and fairest award in three consecutive years (1952, 1953 and the premiership year 1954). 

Premiership coach, Charlie Sutton, called him the ‘captain of the backline’. He represented Victoria on three occasions and, in 2002, was chosen as a member of the Bulldogs Team of the Century.

Chris Grant

Inducted: 2010
Games: 341 (1990–2007)
Goals: 554
Captain: 2001–04
Best and fairest: 1994, 1996 (joint)
Leading goal kicker: 1990, 1994
All-Australian selection: 1997, 1998, 1999
Footscray-Western Bulldogs Team of the Century (half-forward flank)

Sheer class and loyalty personified! Able to play in any key position – and dominate! A superb mark, a canny thinker, and an excellent pass with both feet.


 


 

Herb Henderson

Inducted: 2012
Games: 130 (1950–58)
Premiership: 1954
Runner-up best and fairest: 1955
State selection: 5 games for Victoria
Footscray-Western Bulldogs Team of the Century (fullback) 

During the 1950s, Herb Henderson was an indispensable member of Footscray’s almost impenetrable defensive combination (alongside such players as Donald, Bryden, Martin, Whitten and Gallagher). Together, termed the ‘defence of the century’, they consistently kept opposition sides to record low scores. 

Loved by supporters, the tall but lean Henderson played opponents shoulder to shoulder or from the front, was fair and disciplined and displayed uncanny judgement and balance, which served him well in both ground play and marking contests. 

Conceding an enviable career average of only 2.06 goals against him per game, Henderson earned a reputation for restricting the best full forwards of his era (including Essendon’s John Coleman) to few goals. 

His career winning-game ratio of just over 60% remains one of the highest of all Bulldog players and emphasises his importance as a player. 

Henderson represented Victoria in 1954 and 1955 and was chosen as Footscray’s greatest ever fullback in the Team of the Century.

Harry Hickey

Inducted: 2010
Games:
174 (1937–42, 1944–48)
Goals: 169
Best and fairest: 1939, 1945, 1948
Captain: 1947
Footscray-Western Bulldogs Team of the Century (wing)

Played in Footscray’s first five VFL finals appearances.  A fine rover and midfielder he developed into one of the dominating centremen of the 1940s, finishing runner-up in the 1939 Brownlow Medal, winning three best and fairest awards and captaining the club in 1947.


 


 

Alan Hopkins

Inducted: 2010
Games:
151 (1925–34)
Goals: 205
Captain: 1929 (part), 1930
Coach: 1930
Best and fairest: 1931
Leading goal kicker: 1925, 1926 (equal)
Brownlow Medal: 1930
AFL Hall of Fame inductee (1996)
Footscray-Western Bulldogs Team of the Century (centre)

This brilliant centreman was with the club prior to its admission to the VFL. He tied for the 1930 Brownlow Medal, twice finished runner-up and was fourth on another occasion.

John Jillard

Inducted: 2014
Games: 189 (1958–70)    
Goals: 1
Grand Finals: 1961    
Best and fairest: 1967
Runner-up best and fairest: 1962, 1963, 1965
State selection: 2 games for Victoria
Footscray-Western Bulldogs Team of the Century (half-back flank)

Debuting at 17 years of age in 1958, John Jillard was to carve out an outstanding career, providing dedicated and loyal service to the club during 13 seasons and 189 games. Fearless to the extreme, Jillard was a tough and courageous half-back whose sheer determination won him many a contest. 

A good overhead mark, he had fine judgement and the ability to keep his man well held while providing dash from the backline with long left-foot kicks. Jillard played in Footscray’s losing 1961 Grand Final side, was a three-time night premiership player (1963, 1964 and 1967) and represented Victoria in 1965 and 1967. 

Testimony to his consistency is the fact he was runner-up in the best and fairest three times and third once before winning it in 1967. 

He was named on a half-back flank in the Bulldogs’ Team of the Century and his elevation into the Footscray-Western Bulldogs Hall of Fame is a fitting tribute for a great footballer and an even greater clubman.

Brad Johnson

Inducted: 2014
Games: 364 (1994–2010)    
Goals: 558
Captain: 2006–10
Best and fairest: 1999, 2002, 2006
Runner-up best and fairest: 2003, 2007
Leading goalkicker: 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
All-Australian selection: 1999, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007
State selection: 3 games for Victoria
Footscray-Western Bulldogs Team of the Century (interchange)

With his infectious smile and enthusiasm, Brad Johnson was a popular player and captain at Whitten Oval, becoming the club games record holder in a brilliant career. He progressed from a wingman/midfielder to forward-line match winner. His overhead marking and speed off the mark proved a handful for the very best defenders, while his goalkicking exploits saw him kick the second most career goals of any Bulldog. 

Drafted from the Western Jets, Johnson was a six-time All-Australian (once as captain); triple best and fairest winner; Victorian representative in 1997, 1998 and 1999; and played in more finals than any other Bulldog player. 

When only halfway through his career, he was chosen on the interchange bench in the Bulldogs’ Team of the Century. Stylish and clever, ‘Johnno’ had it all – class, consistency, fierce determination, resilience, versatility and courage in abundance.

Tony Liberatore

Inducted: 2010
Games:
283 (1986–2002)
Goals: 95 goals
Brownlow Medal: 1990
Best and fairest:
1991
All-Australian selection: 1990
Footscray-Western Bulldogs Team of the Century (interchange)

With a huge heart and incredible stamina ‘Libba’ became one of the game’s finest small men. The smallest player to win a Brownlow Medal and the only man to have won the hat-trick of Morrish, Gardiner and Brownlow Medals.



Alby Morrison

Inducted: 2010
Games:
224 (1928–38, 1941–42, 1946)
Goals: 369
Best and fairest: 1933, 1936
Leading goal kicker: 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1934
Captain: 1934 (part), 1935, 1937
Coach: 1934 (part), 1935 (part)
Footscray-Western Bulldogs Team of the Century (half-forward flank)

Won the first of his five club goal kicking titles in his debut season. In 224 games he kicked 369 goals – a club record at the time.



Arthur Olliver

Inducted: 2010
Games:
272 (1935–50)
Goals: 354 goals
Captain: 1943–50
Coach: 1943–46, 1948–50
Best and fairest: 1941 (joint), 1944
Leading goal kicker: 1936, 1937, 1949
AFL Hall of Fame inductee (2003)
Footscray-Western Bulldogs Team of the Century (interchange)

An outstanding all-round athlete, renowned as a tap ruckman but capable of playing in key positions, forward or back. An inspirational leader and captain-coach for seven seasons.

Brian Royal

Inducted: 2012
Games:
199 (1983–93) Goals: 299
Best and fairest: 1983 Runner-up best and fairest: 1988
State selection: 8 games for Victoria
All-Australian selection: 1983, 1986
Footscray-Western Bulldogs Team of the Century (rover)

A quick, classy and skilled rover, Brian Royal burst onto the League scene in his 1983 debut season, when he was awarded the VFL ‘Rookie of the Year’ award and Footscray’s best and fairest. ‘Choco’, as he was known, was a clean ball-winner, gutsy and dangerous around goal. 

He was a regular State representative and revelled in playing at that level, displaying all the exciting skills football fans had come to expect of him. Royal finished in the top five in the 1987 Brownlow Medal count and, while his on-field role changed in subsequent seasons, he still remained a vital member of the Footscray team as a ruck rover and a goalsneak when forward. 

His final few years were plagued by injuries but he continued to display his class and to kick goals. Royal fell agonisingly short of the 200 game/300 goal double, rupturing his Achilles tendon in his 199th game. 

He was named as rover in the Footscray-Western Bulldogs Team of the Century.

Joe Ryan

Inducted: 2012
Games:
167 (1937–48) Goals: 261
Best and fairest: 1946, 1947
Leading goalkicker: 1945
State selection: 1 game for Victoria
Footscray reserves coach: 1948–60

A very popular figure at the club, Joe Ryan gave a lifetime of service, first as a player, then as coach of the second-eighteen and, finally, as a recruiting officer. 

In his playing days, Ryan was a thickset, fearless rover who terrorised the opposition by boring into packs to win the ball. He had great goal sense, was an accurate kick and was regarded by his team-mates as the best small man of his era. 

Determination was a key characteristic of his play and this, combined with his endless reserves of stamina, meant Ryan was seldom beaten. His consistency over many years was reflected in his State selection in 1939, his president’s trophy as the ‘Most Outstanding’ player in 1943, and his back-to-back best and fairest awards in 1946 and 1947. 

After retiring as a senior player, Joe Ryan served as coach of the Footscray reserves team for an unprecedented thirteen-year period and continued to be a key figure of invaluable support behind the scenes.

Rohan Smith

Inducted: 2014
Games: 300 (1992–2006)
Goals: 254
Third best and fairest: 1996, 1999, 2002
Leading goalkicker: 2000
All-Australian selection: 1997, 2003
State selection: 3 games for Victoria
E.J. Whitten Medallist: 1998

Recruited from local side, Kingsville, Rohan Smith developed into one of the AFL’s most damaging players. He spent the early part of his career as a wingman/forward before switching to half-back, where his attacking style won him a reputation as one of the game’s premier running defenders and goalkicking backmen. 

With his game-breaking mix of creativity, dash and precision kicking, he was an exhilarating sight – running and bouncing his way to the 50-metre arc, where he would unleash a powerful right-foot shot at goal. 

A two-time All-Australian, Smith represented Victoria in 1997, ’98 and ’99, winning the E.J. Whitten Medal in 1998 and finishing in the top four in club best and fairest voting on five occasions. 

The durable Smith also had stints in the midfield and forward line, winning the club goalkicking in 2000. He famously reached the magical 300-game milestone in the 2006 finals series, bringing the curtain down on an outstanding career.

Kelvin Templeton

Inducted: 2010
Games:
143 (1974–82)
Goals: 494
Captain: 1982
Best and fairest: 1978, 1980
Leading goal kicker: 1976–80
Coleman Medal: 1978–79
Brownlow Medal: 1980
Footscray-Western Bulldogs Team of the Century (centre half-forward)

Templeton’s 15 goals in a game remains one of the most incredible performances in club history. He was the first key forward from any club to ever win a Brownlow Medal.


Norman Ware

Inducted: 2010
Games:
200 (1932–42, 1944–45)
Goals: 220
Best and fairest: 1934, 1937, 1938, 1940, 1941 (joint)
Leading goal kicker: 1942
Captain: 1940–42 Coach: 1941–42
Brownlow Medal: 1941 AFL Hall of Fame inductee (2001)
Footscray-Western Bulldogs Team of the Century (interchange)

The outstanding ruckman of his generation, displaying remarkable agility and pace for a man of his size.



Scott West

Inducted: 2012
Games:
324 (1993–2008)
Goals: 104
Best and fairest: 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005
Runner-up best and fairest: 2001, 2006
Runner-up Brownlow Medal: 2000, 2006
State selection: 1 game for Victoria
All-Australian selection: 1998, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2006
Footscray-Western Bulldogs Team of the Century (ruck rover)

A left-footed centreman with an extraordinary record, having won the Bulldogs’ best and fairest award a record seven times, West’s career spanned sixteen seasons of consistency.

An accumulator of possessions, winning the ball in courageous fashion, West was the engine of the Bulldog team, and the linchpin of many a Bulldog comeback. Through sheer perseverance, he willed himself to each contest, diving into packs and gaining possession through incredible ball control before employing creative handball. 

Selected in 1998 but unable to take the field, West made his State debut in 1999. Named ruck rover in the Team of the Century, five times All-Australian, runner-up in the Brownlow Medal twice (2000, 2006), third once (1998) and fourth twice (2004, 2005), no other Bulldog player has polled as many Brownlow votes.

Scott Wynd

Inducted: 2012
Games:
237 (1988–2000)
Goals: 31
Captain: 1994–2000
Best and fairest: 1992
Runner-up best and fairest: 1991
Brownlow Medal: 1992
State selection: 3 games for Victoria
All Australian selection: 1992
Footscray-Western Bulldogs Team of the Century (interchange)

Another great Bulldog ruckman considered to be the best big man in the game at his peak, Scott Wynd’s outstanding 1992 season won him the Brownlow Medal, All-Australian honours, State selection and the club best and fairest. 

A dominating tap ruckman, Wynd was also exceptional at ground level, throwing himself into scrimmages after a ball-up in a bid to clear the ball. Wynd was the Bulldog’s most influential player in the 1990s and was made captain in 1994, a position he held for seven seasons (only surpassed in club history by the captaincy of Ted Whitten). 

With the captain’s role, Wynd added aggression and leadership to his all-round game. Despite battling persistent knee problems throughout his years as a player, Wynd carved out an impressive career and was chosen on the interchange in the Team of the Century in 2002.