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Pioneers - Footscray-Western Bulldogs Hall of Fame

From the club’s beginnings and its first game in the VFA (1886), through nine VFA premierships and the establishment of the club’s red, white and blue colours and the hooped jumper, this era ended with the victory over Essendon in the 1924 Championship of Victoria game, paving the way for entry into the VFL.

Thirteen ‘Pioneers’ were inducted at the inaugural Hall of Fame in 2010, for contributions made from the club’s inception to the end of its time in the VFA.

Victor Alfred ‘Vic’ Samson

Follower with strength and stamina who played in a record nine VFA Grand Finals for Footscray for five premierships.

Inducted: 2010
Games: 220+ (1912–15, 1918–26) Goals: 103+
Premierships:
1913, 1919, 1920, 1923, 1924
Championship of Victoria:
1924
Footscray Football Club Secretary: 1927–29

Archie ‘Diver’ Clarke

Seldom beaten, he was regarded as one of the great centremen of his era.

Inducted: 2010
Games: 156+ (1905–15, 1918–19)
Goals: 52+ Premierships: 1908, 1913

Norman Ford

Three-time premiership centre half-back, and one time state champion.

Inducted: 2010
Games: 105 (1914–15, 1919, 1922–24) Goals: 2
Premierships:
1919, 1923, 1924
Championship of Victoria:
1924

Joseph ‘Joe’ Marmo

Large, powerful centre half-back who relished his role as general of the backline.

Inducted: 2010
Games: 177+ (1899–1910) Goals: 9+
Captain:
1905 Premierships: 1899, 1900, 1908

Arthur ‘Art’ Gregory

A ruckman regarded as the backbone of the team, helped deliver two premierships to the Club.

Inducted: 2010
Games: 106+ (1908–10, 1912–15, 1918–19)
Goals:
101+ Leading goakicker: 1913
Premierships:
1908, 1913

Jim Cassidy

Footscray’s first premiership coach. Had a 50-year association with the club as a player, coach and head trainer.

Inducted: 2010
Games: 10+ (1897, 1909)
Coach: (VFA) 1908–09, 1912–15, 1918, (VFL) 1926 (part)
Premierships:
1908, 1913
Trainer:
1919–24, 1925, 1927–30, 1935–45

Roy Cotton

A goalkicking rover rated by old timers as the best rover ever to strip for Footscray.

Inducted: 2010
Games: 163 (1906–10, 1912–15, 1918)
Goals:
169 Leading goalkicker: 1909, 1914
Premierships: 1908, 1913

David ‘Dave’ de Coite

Centre half-forward, renowned for his physique, who captained Footscray to a hat-trick of premierships at the turn of the century.

Inducted: 2010
Games: 108+ (1898–1904) Goals: 155
Captain:
1898–1904
Leading goalkicker: 1901, 1902, 1904
Premierships: 1898, 1899, 1900

William ‘Ching’ Harris

Fullback who played nearly 300 games over a record 20 seasons, including five premierships.

Inducted: 2010
Games: 296+ (1896–1904, 1906–15) Goals: 32+
Premierships:
1898, 1899, 1900, 1908, 1913

John Frederick ‘Johnny’ Craddock

Dynamic captain and protector of the team whose deeds inspired the term ‘Bulldog tenacity’.

Inducted: 2010
Games: 134+ (1905, 1911–15, 1918–20)
Goals:
63+ Captain: 1913–15, 1919–20
Premierships: 1913, 1919, 1920

James Cuming

His term as president remains the longest in club history and included four premierships

Inducted: 2010
Footscray Football Club President: 1895–1911
Premierships:
1898, 1899, 1900, 1908

Vernon Banbury

An acclaimed centre half-forward and, perhaps,  the most brilliant player for Footscray in the VFA years.

Inducted: 2010
Games: 123 (1910–14, 1919–22) Goals: 132
Leading goalkicker:
1912, 1913
Premierships:
1913, 1919, 1920

John Cornelius ‘Con’ McCarthy

Led Footscray to victory as captain-coach in the Championship of Victoria (1924) and was Footscray’s first coach in the VFL (1925).

Inducted: 2010
Games: 98 games (1922–26) Goals: 67 goals
Captain:
(VFA) 1922–24, (VFL) 1925–26 (part)
Coach:
(VFA) 1922–24, (VFL) 1925
Recorder Cup:
1923 Premierships: 1923, 1924
Championship of Victoria:
1924