Brian Falconer

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Brian Falconer
Personal information
Full name Brian Falconer
Date of birth (1933-06-02) 2 June 1933 (age 81)
Place of birth Perth, Western Australia
Original team Perth Modern
Height/Weight 175 cm / 76 kg
Position(s) Wing
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1952–55
1956–60
1960s
West Perth
Hawthorn
Waverley
unknown
57 (7)
unknown
1 Playing statistics correct to end of 1960 season.

Brian Falconer (born 2 June 1933) is a former Australian rules footballer who played for the West Perth Football Club in the Western Australian National Football League (WANFL) and the Hawthorn Football Club in the Victorian Football League (VFL). A wingman, Falconer was one of the few players to transfer from Western Australia to Victoria before the relaxation of transfer conditions, but retired at the age of 27 to concentrate on his career in the public service. He remained involved with Hawthorn after his retirement from playing, and worked to oppose the proposed merger with the Melbourne Football Club in the early 1990s.

Career[edit]

Falconer was born in Perth, Western Australia, and attended Perth Modern School, playing football for the school team, as well as in representative sides. He played for the North Perth team in the Metropolitan Junior Football Association (MJFA) before being recruited by West Perth, making his senior debut in 1952.[1] In his first few seasons, Falconer was hampered by injury, missing a number of matches due to thigh and leg injuries during the 1953 and 1954 seasons.[2][3] Having been an outstanding schoolboy cricketer, Falconer also played first-grade cricket for North Perth in the WACA District Cricket competition during the summer, batting left-handed.[4] Outside of football, Falconer worked as a clerk at the Department of Supply, and was also a member of the Australian Army Reserve, with army training occasionally conflicting with games.[5]

At the end of the 1955 season, Falconer was one of two players (the other being teammate Eddie Wylde) who were offered contracts by Hawthorn.[6] West Perth coach Peter O'Donohue, who had previously captained Hawthorn, was involved in convincing Falconer to move to Melbourne, with an uncomplicated transfer between jobs in the Commonwealth Public Service also influential in his decision.[7] The VFL's residency requirements meant Falconer was not able to play for the club until midway through the 1956 season. After a number of games for the reserves, in which he was a "star on the wing", according to The Argus, Falconer made his debut for Hawthorn in round twelve, against Collingwood.[8] He played the remaining seven games of the season, and shared the club's "Best First Year Player" award with Brendan Edwards.[9] Falconer established himself in Hawthorn's side in 1957, playing every game for the club, and was named the club's "Most Consistent Player" at the end of the season.[10] In the first semi-final against Carlton, when much of the game was played during a hailstorm, he kicked a crucial goal right on the three-quarter time siren, having marked a soccer kick off the ground. A regular in the side throughout the following three seasons, Falconer's job restricted his ability to play in later seasons, and eventually forced his retirement from the club at the end of the 1960 season, although he did later play a handful of matches for Waverley in the Victorian Football Association (VFA).[7]

Falconer's work in the public service resulting in him moving to Canberra for a period of seventeen years, although he maintained a relationship with Hawthorn during that time, serving on the club's board in the 1960s and 1990s, and on the selection committee from 1965 to 1966. As a member of the committee of the Past Players and Officials Association, Falconer was active in opposing the proposed merger with Melbourne, and later headed the Membership Policy Committee that was involved in doubling the club's membership in the late 1990s.[7] Having worn the number 36 jumper during his time at the club, Falconer is one of the players involved in the so-called "Curse of 36". His 57 games for the club are the most of any player to wear the number, with other players who have worn the jumper having had an atypical lack of success at senior level.[11][12][13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Know Your SportsmenThe Sunday Times. Published 26 September 1954. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  2. ^ Sunday Times £5 Award Goes To FalconerThe Sunday Times. Published 4 October 1953. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  3. ^ Falconer Misses Club TrainingThe West Australian. Published 22 September 1954. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  4. ^ North Perth Excludes Bowling FindThe West Australian. Published 11 December 1953. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  5. ^ Falconer Will Play In Main Game TodayThe West Australian. Published 9 May 1953. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  6. ^ Where Are They Now?: Eddie Wylde – Footy Goss. Published 19 October 2010. Retrieved 18 August.
  7. ^ a b c Allsop, Richard (2007). Round 16 Footy Flashbacks: Player of the Week, Brian Falconer – Australian Football League. Published 17 July 2007. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  8. ^ Hawk takes off…The Argus. Published 30 May 1956. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  9. ^ 1956: Year in Review – Hawk Headquarters. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
  10. ^ Brian Falconer statistics – AFL Tables. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  11. ^ Curse of the Hawks' No.36 jumper continuesThe Age. Published 2 April 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  12. ^ McClure, Geoff (2005). Hawks' horrible curse of No. 36The Age online. Published 26 July 2005. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  13. ^ Browne, Ashley (2012). The curse of 36 – Australian Football League. Published 6 March 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2012.