Vale Graham "Polly" Farmer (10.3.1935 - 14.8.2019)

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Kwality

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I've got this vague memory of some indigenous ppl not being happy with him for some reason way back in the late 80s. Can't for the life of me rem what it was about. Just rem it was discussed on 6pr. F'ing memory of a goldfish. Nvm.

Too bad theres limited footage from his playing days. Esp from the 50s and early 60s. Would make a great highlight reel.
Polly would not be involved with the stolen generation movement, he wanted nothing to do with politics.
 

Rusty Brookes

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Very few people change the sport they compete in - Farmer did. He was so far ahead of his time in being a ruckman that was highly skilled.

RIP - one of the true greats.
 

LeakyValve

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Saves me looking, cheers.
No one I know ever suggested Polly was outside the law that day.
Keith Doncon, all Australian, oft overlooked in the era of Barry Cable & Billy Walker, up there with them ..went back to the farm.
Polly spoke about taking out Keith in the GF and always gave the impression that he regretted it a tad but made the point that it was a Grand Final and unfortunately for Keith, he was between Polly and the ball.
I knew a bloke who played a few reserves game for West Perth and one day at pre-season training he made the mistake of coming under friendly fire from the champ.
Likened it to running into a dozen bags of dry cement.
Immoveable and zero give.
As an aside and not wishing to derail the Polly thread, you are right about Doncon.
Apparently he was, after the '66 Carnival, more keenly sought after than Cable or Walker.
Richmond and Collingwood were the ones I think, who were very, very keen on recruiting him.
 

TheShardMan

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Polly would not be involved with the stolen generation movement, he wanted nothing to do with politics.
Oh that's right. Cheers. Been bugging me.

Cant rem him being outspoken about anything tbh. Must've been a private man. Hope enough time has passed and all that has been put aside. Even if he wasnt political, he did do his part in his own way.
 
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masai

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East Perth were way ahead of kevin sheedy in playing indigineous footballers.Most probably my biggest regret was that when he came back from Victoria he played for west perth and not at east perth.would have loved to watch him every week play for us.
Polly + Chadwick + Tierney etc would have been mouthwatering. I think Mal Brown was at the Royals, and I can’t see him and Polly in the same team. Eddie Pitter would have been left out.

As for the comment about Kevin Sheedy, charlatant is appropriate. Farmer & Brown at Souths, mentored the indigenous players long before the “backpocket plumber” cottoned onto the practice.

Mr McGowan, statue of Polly to the top of your agenda. Overlooking the river, looking towards East Perth Oval. Maybe in handpassing pose, with the ball heading towards East Perth ?.
 

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masai

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Polly would not be involved with the stolen generation movement, he wanted nothing to do with politics.
I think some people tried to dis-credit the work done by institutions like Sister Kate’s. Polly was very vocal in giving credit to the staff at Sister Kate’s for giving him an education and helping him along the way.

Polly didn’t like looking backward, go forward and work on improvements.
 

Kwality

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no one had dominated the ruck so absolute as Farmer did as a young player.
Thats folklore with a twist of Vic:
Polly debuted in 1953, Merv Mcintosh was the dominant ruckman (nationally) of that year adding a second Sandover to his AA & Tassie Medal at the Carnival (made it 3 x Sandovers in 1955).

In 1956 Polly equalled big Macs effort of 1953, AA, Tassie Medal & a Sandover, but added a flag.
In 1957 4 x AA East Freo ruckman Jack Clarke & Polly shared the Sandover*, ruckman Brian Foley in 1959 & Polly again 1960.

In Pollys last game with East Perth the 1961 GF v Swan Districts Cyril Litterick & Keith Slater won the day. The Swans pairing went on to anchor a 3peat, they were no mugs.

The 50s was a golden era for ruck work in WA - Polly went East having spent 9 seasons facing strong competition week in, week out.

* originally awarded to Clarke on a countback.
 

Kwality

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Polly + Chadwick + Tierney etc would have been mouthwatering. I think Mal Brown was at the Royals, and I can’t see him and Polly in the same team. Eddie Pitter would have been left out.

As for the comment about Kevin Sheedy, charlatant is appropriate. Farmer & Brown at Souths, mentored the indigenous players long before the “backpocket plumber” cottoned onto the practice.

Mr McGowan, statue of Polly to the top of your agenda. Overlooking the river, looking towards East Perth Oval. Maybe in handpassing pose, with the ball heading towards East Perth ?.
Tierney, Phil Tierney, you jest !! Polly left in 1961, Phil debuted in 1962, a lite (sic) version of Austin Robertson & Brown was still at school. Eddie in the same sentence as Polly, nope.
:)
Chaddy could have played in Victoria but his main aim was the Aus Test side, went to NZ in a 2nd XI with Peter Bedford (what year did he win the Brownlow).

Farmer & Brown ?
 

masai

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Tierney, Phil Tierney, you jest !! Polly left in 1961, Phil debuted in 1962, a lite (sic) version of Austin Robertson & Brown was still at school. Eddie in the same sentence as Polly, nope.
:)
Chaddy could have played in Victoria but his main aim was the Aus Test side, went to NZ in a 2nd XI with Peter Bedford (what year did he win the Brownlow).

Farmer & Brown ?
I meant if Polly came back to East Perth, after his Geelong sojourn. That is why I listed those players.

Remember Chaddy & Noddy opening for WA. Both running around with shirts unbuttoned to the navel.
 

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Simply, the best (ruckman ever). In sad cases like this, I don't do RIPs. For me, they always come a little too late. I just say thanks for Being, with no expectation of a response.

I'll write about the big man at some later stage. Too many tears to see the keyboard at the moment.

Frank (Bluey) Adams gone too. I had a gut-wrenching encounter with two of his former teammates while having lunch today. Allround, a schitty day, except for the lunch itself.
 
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Silent Alarm

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Jeez. Four pages.

If he was born in Victoria this'd be 44 pages.

A pioneer of footy. Not many people bring in trends that last ten years, let alone change it fundamentally.

What was it about West Aussies, Noongar men, who rucked and roved their own ball and just saw football as football – no ego.

Vale. Sounded like a decent enough human being too.
 

Silent Alarm

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Did anyone see the SBS piece on him? ******* insulting.

Pronounced Noongar incorrectly and said he played for 'WAFL clubs East Perth, West Perth, and Geelong.' What lazy syntax. Also said he won 10 Sandovers. Jesus christ. The state of media.

And this is a channel that has ads on it about how we all need to be a bit more sensitive when we ask the girl with the Asian name at work, where her family hail from.

campaigners.
 

Kwality

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Did anyone see the SBS piece on him? ******* insulting.

Pronounced Noongar incorrectly and said he played for 'WAFL clubs East Perth, West Perth, and Geelong.' What lazy syntax. Also said he won 10 Sandovers. Jesus christ. The state of media.

And this is a channel that has ads on it about how we all need to be a bit more sensitive when we ask the girl with the Asian name at work, where her family hail from.

campaigners.
IF you dont let them know you are kidding, BUT check out the attached IF thats what went to air, its achnowledged as being edited.
 

Total_Juddshanks

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One of the greatest footballers ever, and I think one of the greatest western Australians ever also.

You can read the litany of his awards and honours chapter and verse, but a couple of his achievements really stand out and give you a sense of how exceptional he was.

One is winning the Tassie medal (ie best overall player) in the national football carnival in 1956. Simply put in an era full of absolute legends of the game, he was crowned the best player in the country- as a 21 yo ruckman.

The other is captaining Geelong, West Perth and coaching at West Perth, East Perth l, Geelong and WA (when SOO meant something). Thankfully things have moved on, but for an aboriginal man to be universally accepted as the leader, decision maker and role model at each club he played at, at a time when Australia was still trying to make up our mind about whether aboriginals could be trusted to vote really underscores what a giant figure he was and how highly respected his ability and character was on and off the field.

The State government needs to build a fitting statue to him at Optus, ideally at a location which links the Graham Farmer freeway to the ground, and ideally with enough prominence to make it clear what he was, simply the greatest footballer in WA history.
 
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