Bob Davis (Australian rules footballer)

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Bob Davis
Personal information
Full name Robert Davis
Date of birth(1928-06-12)12 June 1928
Place of birth Golden Point, Victoria
Date of death 16 May 2011(2011-05-16) (aged 82)
Place of death Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Original team(s) Clunes (CHFL)/ Golden Point (BFL)
Height 183 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 91 kg (201 lb)
Playing career1
YearsClubGames (Goals)
1948–1958 Geelong 189 (141)
Coaching career3
YearsClubGames (W–L–D)
1956–1965 Geelong 116 (72–39–5)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1958.
3 Coaching statistics correct as of 1965.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Robert "Bob" Davis (12 June 1928 – 16 May 2011) was an Australian rules footballer who played in the Victorian Football League (VFL).

Contents

Early life

Bob Davis was born in Clunes and as a teenager he boarded and attended at Ballarat College. A keen South Melbourne supporter he attended a preseason training with the club but was told his services would not be necessary. He returned to Ballarat and played locally with Golden Point. He was spotted by Geelong recruiters and he was invited to try out with Geelong.[ citation needed ]

VFL career

Nicknamed "Woofa", [1] Davis was recruited from Golden Point in the Ballarat Football League and played with the Geelong Football Club in the VFL from 1948 to 1958, [1] generally as a half-forward flanker.

He made his debut in the opening round of 1948, on a two match permit issued by his club Golden Point. He missed the next two games because Golden Point refused to clear him. The Geelong president met with the Golden Point committee, and after a long discussion Davis's clearance was granted. [2] He made the state side for the first time in 1949 [3]

At 183 cm (6 feet) in height, Davis was noted for his pace and tenacity. He was one of the fastest players in the League at the time, [4] and was known in the press as "The Geelong Flyer", [5] named after the express train that ran from Melbourne to Geelong in only 55 minutes. [6]

Davis represented Victoria on 13 occasions, [5] as well as the captaining Geelong from 1955 to 1958. [1] He played in two premierships for Geelong, in 1951 and 1952. [1] He also coached the club, first in 1956, and then from 1960 to 1965, [7] which included coaching Geelong to the VFL premiership in 1963, defeating Hawthorn. [1]

In 1952, after playing only 51 games for Geelong, Davis was offered a coaching job with the South Adelaide Football Club in the South Australian National Football League. [4] He moved to Adelaide for the start of the 1952 season, but after Geelong refused to clear him, [8] he returned to Geelong in time for the sixth game of the season, [9] and remained there for the remainder of his career. [10]

Post-playing career

During his career, Davis was a popular character off the field, with his much-imitated flamboyant voice – in particular the phrase "fair dinkum unbelievable", which has been imitated many times in the football world, usually with humorous but respectful intent. He appeared on many television shows in the 1970s and '80s, including World of Sport and League Teams with Lou Richards and Jack Dyer. [7]

He died in hospital on 16 May 2011 after a long battle with illness in his last months. [1] Before the Carlton-Geelong game later that week they held a minute's silence.

Clunes Football Club Davis's original club scrapped their traditional Black and White for a one off tribute game post his death. They donned Geelong style jerseys for 1 game, and displayed both clubs logos and the name Bob Davis on the back. Davis' son Guy was a movie reviewer for many years and begun cohosting The Simpsons podcast Four Finger Discount in March 2020.

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Anderson, Jon; Langmaid, Aaron (17 May 2011). "Cats legend Bob Davis dies". Herald Sun. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
  2. "Ballarat Man for Geelong". Herald. 13 May 1948.
  3. "Ballarat Schoolboy in State Team". Weekly Times. 13 July 1949.
  4. 1 2 "Cats to hold flanker". The Argus . Melbourne. 19 January 1952. p. 12. Retrieved 20 May 2011 via National Library of Australia.
  5. 1 2 Australian Associated Press (17 May 2011). "Cats legend Davis dies". ABC News. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
  6. "The 'Geelong Flyer'". Rail Geelong. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  7. 1 2 Brodie, Will (17 May 2011). "Cats legend Bob Davis passes away". The Age. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
  8. "DAVIS JOB WAITS". The Argus . Melbourne. 4 March 1952. p. 9. Retrieved 20 May 2011 via National Library of Australia.
  9. "Davis Accepts Geelong's". The Advertiser . Adelaide. 31 May 1952. p. 1. Retrieved 20 May 2011 via National Library of Australia.
  10. "Davis Not For South". The Advertiser . Adelaide. 10 February 1953. p. 6. Retrieved 20 May 2011 via National Library of Australia.