Peter Bell (Australian footballer born 1976)

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For information about the former St Kilda player named Peter Bell, see Peter R. Bell.
Peter Bell
Peter Bell.jpg
Personal information
Full name Peter Francis Bell
Date of birth (1976-03-01) 1 March 1976 (age 38)
Place of birth South Korea
Original team South Fremantle Football Club
Height/Weight 175 cm / 81 kg
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1996 – 2000
2001 – 2008
North Melbourne
002 00(2)
123 (120)
161 (128)
286 (250)
1 Playing statistics correct to end of 2008 season.
Career highlights

Peter Francis Bell (born 1 March 1976) is a former Australian rules footballer for the Fremantle Football Club and the North Melbourne Football Club. He played as a rover (or follower). A former captain of the Fremantle Football Club, Bell was twice named as a member of the All-Australian Team. He was an acclaimed ball-winner and had more than 30 possessions in a game on 39 occasions in his career.

Early life[edit]

Bell was born in Cheju Island, South Korea, the son of a Korean mother and an American father. In 1979 he was adopted by an Australian couple. Bell spent his formative years in Kojonup, Western Australia. He was educated at Aquinas College, Perth[1] and the University of Western Australia, where he obtained a Bachelor of Laws.[2]

AFL career[edit]

Fremantle (1995)[edit]

In late 1994, Bell, who was at that time playing with the South Fremantle Football Club in the West Australian Football League, became one of the first two players signed by Fremantle, which made its debut in the Australian Football League the following year. He won the best and fairest award at South Fremantle in 1994.

Despite kicking two goals with his first two kicks in AFL football, Bell failed to make an impression on Dockers' coach Gerard Neesham, who regarded him as too slow a runner to be a successful AFL player. Bell was selected for only two games in 1995.

North Melbourne (1996–2000)[edit]

He was delisted at the end of that season, worked hard to improve his leg speed, and was picked up in the 1996 Pre-season draft, by North Melbourne, where he achieved regular selection and acclaim for his courageous, energetic and skilled performances under coach Denis Pagan. Bell was a premiership player with the Kangaroos in 1996 and 1999, and was named an All-Australian on the bench in 1999. He scored four goals and had 31 possessions in the 1999 Grand Final to be one of the Roos best on the day. In 2000 he won the North Melbourne best and fairest award, the Syd Barker Medal.

Fremantle (2001–2008)[edit]

Bell leading Fremantle from the ground in 2005

At the end of 2000, Fremantle sought his return and Bell was traded back to his original club. As it happened, 2001 was a disastrous season for the Dockers, culminating in the dismissal of coach Damian Drum. Bell won the Doig Medal for the Dockers' best and fairest player that year, and was one of the very few shining lights in a season where the Dockers recorded just two victories. These two wins were in part due to outstanding performances from Bell, who gathered thirty-eight possessions and two goals against Hawthorn in round 18, and forty-four disposals and three goals against Adelaide in round 22. The following year he was appointed captain and in 2003 the club made the finals for the first time. Bell was once again an All-Australian, this time as a follower.

He continued his good form into 2004, winning another Doig Medal. However, Fremantle's team performances were not as good, and in both 2004 and 2005 they narrowly missed making the finals. 2006 started poorly, but Bell was a leading player in Freo's record setting 9-game winning streak to finish in the top four for the first time, and also a member of the team that beat Melbourne in the second semi final to record Fremantle's first ever finals game win.

Despite offering to hand over the captaincy to Matthew Pavlich in 2003,[3] he remained captain for five seasons until the end of the 2006.

At Subiaco Oval, enthusiastic supporters ring a bell (a play on his name) whenever Peter Bell gets a possession. He was president of the AFL Players Association from 2003 until the beginning of 2007.

Bell (#32 at left)


Peter Bell announced his immediate retirement on 7 July 2008,[4] having played his last game in the club's Round 14 loss to Essendon. He played 286 games with North Melbourne and Fremantle.


  1. ^ Crikey - Famous alumni on Latham's hit list
  2. ^ Wilson, Caroline (30 March 2003). "Bell tolls in Fremantle and beyond". The Sunday Age. p. 14. 
  3. ^ Wilson, Caroline (30 March 2003). "Bell calls for new captain". The Age. Retrieved 14 August 2009. 
  4. ^ Pike, Chris (7 July 2008). "Bell calls an end to a glittering career". Retrieved 14 August 2009. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Adrian Fletcher and Shaun McManus
Fremantle Football Club captain
2002 – 2006
Succeeded by
Matthew Pavlich
Preceded by
Scott Cummings
Graham Moss Medal
Award retired
Preceded by
Troy Cook
Matthew Pavlich
Doig Medal
2003 – 2004
Succeeded by
Matthew Pavlich
Matthew Pavlich