WA greats join Hall of Fame
Five Western Australian football identities have been recognised for their contribution to the game, inducted in to the Australian Football Hall of Fame on Tuesday night.
West Perth legends Bill Dempsey and star full forward Ted Tyson were recognised for their feats at WAFL level, while former Fremantle Dockers captain and all time leading goalkicker Matthew Pavlich was inducted at the earliest opportunity, having starred in a 353 game 700 goal career in purple.
Former AFL Chairman Mike Fitzpatrick was also recognised, having played 97 games for Subiaco including the 1973 premiership before moving to then VFL powerhouse Carlton, playing in three premierships and captaining the club for four seasons, later moving in football administration.
Lastly St Kilda, Western Bulldogs and South Fremantle indigenous champion Nicky Winmar was the final inductee, as much admired for his 341 senior game career as for is stance on racism in an iconic image from a match at Victoria Park in 1993, pointing to the his skin to stand up for racial abuse in a moment that has now been immortalised outside of Optus Stadium.
Dempsey is a revered figure in WA football, having played 343 games for West Perth from 1960 to 1976 having moved from his native Northern Territory while still a teenager to pursue his football dream.
A ruckman, Dempsey played in three premierships for the Cardies in 1969, 1971 and 1975, winning the Simpson Medal in the 1969 Grand Final win over East Perth, named in the club's team of the century in 2000 and made a member of the Western Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2004.
The 80 year old also has a stand named after him at West Perth's now headquarters Arena Joondalup, fittingly sharing the stand name with long time team mate and fellow Hall of Famer Mel Whinnen.
Ted Tyson was a champion goalkicker for West Perth in the 1930's, kicking a staggering 1197 goals in 228 senior games, playing in premiership sides in 1932, 1934, 1935 and 1941.
He remains the club's all time leading goal kicker, having passed away at age 86 in 1996.
Pavlich was inducted after the mandatory five year wait after his career at Fremantle ended in 2016, the South Australian becoming the Dockers greatest ever player in a stellar 17 year career that saw him win six club best and fairests, eight leading goalkickers cand captain Fremantle for nine seasons, kicking 700 career goals in 353 games.
Other inductees included AFL games record holder Brent Harvey, who played 432 games for North Melbourne from 1996 to 2016, former Norwood great Michael Taylor and Tasmanian rover Michael Cashion.
Port Adelaide champion Russell Ebert was made a legend of Australian Football, having played 392 games for the Magpies in the SANFL, winning four Magarey Medals and playing 29 times for South Australia in state football as well as one VFL season with North Melbourne in 1979.
Ebert sadly lost his battle with Leukemia last November at age 72.
IMAGE: The West Australian.