Ray Gabelich

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Ray Gabelich
Ray Gabelich-VAFA vs. VFL&VFA 1956 Olympic Games.jpeg
Personal information
Date of birth 3 July 1933
Date of death 18 July 2000(2000-07-18) (aged 67)[1]
Original team West Perth (WANFL)
Height/Weight 193 cm / 111 kg
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1955-1966 Collingwood 160 (43)
1 Playing statistics correct to end of 1966 season.
Career highlights

Ray Gabelich (3 July 1933 – 18 July 2000) was an Australian rules footballer who played with Collingwood in the Victorian Football League (VFL).

He came to Collingwood from Western Australia as a centre half-forward in 1954 too late to be listed. He played with Parkside Amateurs for the remainder of the 1954 season.[2]

When working as a fitter and turner in Melbourne, he lost the top of his middle finger in an industrial accident in 1955, before he had played his first game for Collingwood.[3]

He played as a back-pocket resting ruckman for the combined VFL and VFA team against the VAFA in the demonstration match of Australian rules football, during the Melbourne Olympic Games, on Friday, 7 December 1956.

Gabelich was a premiership player with Collingwood in 1958. He won the Copeland Trophy for being Collingwood's best and fairest in 1960 having finished third in the Brownlow the previous season. In 1961 he returned to Western Australia where spent a season with West Perth as well as representing his state at the Brisbane Carnival where he earned All-Australian selection and won the Simpson Medal awarded to WA's best player. He returned to Collingwood and captained the club for the entire 1964 season and part of 1965.

Gabelich is perhaps best known for his goal in the dying minutes of the 1964 Grand Final. He had gathered the ball from his forward 50 and run in to kick what looked like being the match winning goal. It was not to be, however, and Melbourne defender Neil Crompton replied with a goal to give his side victory by four points.

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