Bill Swan (footballer)

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Bill Swan
Personal information
Full name Bill Swan
Date of birth 1956 (age 62–63)
Original team(s) Broadmeadows
Height 173 cm (5 ft 8 in)
Weight 74 kg (163 lb) (in 1989)
Position(s) Midfielder
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1976–1988 Port Melbourne 219
1989–1993 Williamstown 083
Total 302
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1993.

Bill Swan (born 1956) is a former Australian rules footballer who was a star of the Victorian Football Association (VFA) during the 1980s over an eighteen-year senior career with the Port Melbourne and Williamstown Football Clubs.

Career[edit]

Originally from Port Melbourne before moving to Broadmeadows at age 14, Swan was zoned from Broadmeadows to the Carlton Football Club in the Victorian Football League and played under-19s and reserves football there from 1973 until 1975, before walking out on the club.[1]

In 1976, he joined Port Melbourne in the VFA, and was part of the club's senior premiership team in his first season. Standing at only 173 cm tall,[2] Swan played a variety of roles, before he cemented a position as the centreman in the strong Port Melbourne team which won three consecutive premierships from 1980 until 1982.[3] He won the J. J. Liston Trophy as the best and fairest player in the VFA First Division in both 1982 and 1983; he originally finished second behind Preston's Geoff Austen for the 1982 award on countback,[4] but was later made a joint-winner of the award when the countback was retrospectively eliminated;[5] he won the 1983 award outright by a margin of three votes.[6] Altogether, in thirteen seasons with Port Melbourne, Swan played 219 games, won four premierships, two club best and fairest awards (1982 and 1986) and served as club captain from 1986 until 1988.[1] He was named as a wingman in the Port Melbourne Team of the Century (despite the fact that his entire Port Melbourne career was played during the VFA's 16-a-side era when there were no wingmen).[3]

In 1989, at age 32, Swan left Port Melbourne after he and the club were unable to come to terms for a new deal, in large part because the club believed that he was too old for the deal he was requesting.[7] As a result, he moved to the Williamstown Football Club, Port's bitter rivals.[1] He played at Williamstown for five years, winning club best and fairests in 1989 (jointly with Barry Round) and 1991,[8] and won one premiership – the fifth in his VFA career, in 1990. In the 1990 Grand Final against Springvale, Swan kicked the winning goal for Williamstown with fifty seconds remaining, to complete a famous come-from-behind victory by two points after Williamstown had trailed by 34 points early in the final quarter; Swan was not known for his long kicking, and most observers, including Swan, thought that the fifty metre set shot was well beyond his range.[9] In August 1993, Swan played his 301st VFA game, passing Fred Cook to become the all-time VFA games record holder, a title he still holds as of 2014; he played one more match before retiring at the end of the season.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Like his father before him, Swan's primary career outside football was on the wharves in Port Melbourne, where he was a union delegate. Swan's son Dane is also a highly decorated Australian rules footballer, who played for Collingwood in the Australian Football League (AFL); Dane's achievements include an AFL premiership, a Brownlow Medal, a Leigh Matthews Trophy,[1] and, like his father, a premiership with Williamstown.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Martin Flanagan (20 April 2013). "Who is Dane Swan". The Age. Melbourne, VIC. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  2. ^ Recorder, Victorian Football Association, 24 September 1989, p. 21
  3. ^ a b Terry Keenan. "Bill Swan". Sportingpulse. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  4. ^ Marc Fiddian (26 August 1982). "Austen wins Liston". The Age. Melbourne, VIC. pp. 30, 28.
  5. ^ Amanda Buivids (21 September 1989). "Champs rewarded at last". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne, VIC. p. 83.
  6. ^ Gerry Carmen (25 August 1983). "Swan wins Liston". The Age. Melbourne, VIC. p. 28.
  7. ^ Fiddian, Marc (2003), Seagulls over Williamstown, Williamstown, VIC: Williamstown Football Club, p. 148
  8. ^ Fiddian 2003, p. 179.
  9. ^ Amanda Buivids (1 October 1990). "A fairytale Swan-song". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne, VIC. p. 77.
  10. ^ "Saints upset the Blues". Footystats Diary. 1993. Archived from the original on 10 June 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  11. ^ Paul Amy (21 September 2011). "Billy Swan backs Port Melbourne to win VFL premiership". Leader. Retrieved 11 September 2014.