Fred Phillis

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Fred Phillis
Personal information
Full name Dennis Keith Phillis
Nickname(s) Fred
Date of birth (1948-09-09) 9 September 1948 (age 68)
Height 187 cm (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 90 kg (198 lb)
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1966–1981 Glenelg (SANFL) 274 (853)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1981.
Career highlights

Dennis Keith "Fred" Phillis (born 9 September 1948) is an Australian rules footballer who was a prolific goal scorer, playing his entire senior career with South Australian National Football League(SANFL) club Glenelg in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

Phillis was nicknamed "Fred"[1] when his schoolmates likened him to the most famous English Test cricket pace bowler of the day, "Fiery" Fred Truman. The nickname stuck and to many SANFL fans he is only known as "Fred" Phillis rather than by his birth name of Dennis.

Phillis is the brother of South Australian rules footballer Wayne "Butch" Phillis, who also played his career at Glenelg, and for many years has run a successful chain of new and used car yards in Adelaide's southern suburbs, primarily Wayne Phillis Ford and Wayne Phillis Kia.


Fred Phillis began his senior career with Glenelg in the SANFL in 1966 as a Centre half back under the coaching of Len Fitzgerald. He was soon moved to Centre half-forward and later Full-forward by incoming 1967 coach Neil Kerley. This lateral thinking paid off with Phillis kicking a then SANFL record of 137 goals in 1969.

He polled 18 votes in the 1969 Magarey Medal to be the first player to win the medal having played chiefly at full forward for the season.

Despite playing in Glenelg's 1973 Grand Final win over North Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval, Fred Phillis played in losing Grand Finals for Glenelg against Sturt in 1969 and 1974, Nowrood in 1975, and Port Adelaide in 1977 and 1981. Quirkily enough, in the 1973 grand final win by Glenelg over North Adelaide, he failed to kick a goal.

In perhaps Glenelg's most memorable non-finals game, Phillis scored 18 goals at Glenelg Oval in Round 18 of the 1975 SANFL season as part of the team's record-breaking 49.23 (317) to 11.13 (79) win over Central District. Fred kicked his 100th goal for the season during the match.

Phillis is the highest goal scorer in the history of the Glenelg club, having kicked 853 in his 16-year career, an average of 53.3 goals per season. This is all the more remarkable when considering that former league leading goal kickers Jack Owens (1927–1928, 1932) and Colin Churchett (1948–1951) are also Glenelg champions. Overall Phillis is third on the all time SANFL goal scoring list behind legendary North Adelaide Full-forward Ken Farmer (1,417 from 1929–41), and Port Adelaide champion Tim Evans (1,044 from 1975–86). Owens sits 4th on the list with 817 goals, while Churchett is 15th with 555.

After retiring as a player Phillis continued to pursue his chosen career as an architect.


  • Cornwall, Peter; Wood, John (2003). Pride of the Bay. Australia: Graphic Print Group. p. 379. ISBN 0-9750561-0-7. 

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