|Full name||Geoffrey David Grover|
|Date of birth||19 September 1943|
|Date of death||12 April 2017(aged 73)|
|Original team(s)||Caulfield Grammarians (VAFA)|
|Height||189 cm (6 ft 2 in)|
|Weight||86 kg (190 lb)|
|1963–1964||St Kilda||2 (0)|
|Representative team honours|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1973.
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
Geoffrey David "Geoff" Grover (19 September 1943 – 12 April 2017), was a former Australian rules footballer who played for two seasons with the Caulfield Grammarians Football Club in the Victorian Amateur Football Association, and was a business and marketing expert, who finished his career working in real estate on the Queensland Sunshine Coast.
He played two senior games for the St Kilda Football Club in the Victorian Football League (VFL), and two seasons with the St Kilda Reserves (including a Grand Final at the MCG in front of more than 100,000 people).
He represented the VFA at the 1966 Australian National Football Carnival in Hobart, the last time that a VFA team took part in any ANFC carnival.
On leaving Port Melbourne at the end of 1971, he was captain coach of the Ferntree Gully Football Club in the Eastern Districts Football League in 1972 and 1973.
Early life and education
The son of William David Grover and Roma Dolores Grover, née McIntosh, Geoffrey David Grover was born in Glen Huntly, Victoria, on 19 September 1943.
Educated at Albury Grammar School, Caulfield Grammar School, Monash University, and the University of Melbourne, Geoff has a Bachelor of Commerce (1968) from the University of Melbourne, and he also studied for a Master of Business Administration at Monash University.
In his final year at Caulfield Grammar (1960) he was a prefect; he also played cricket for the school's First XI, and football for the school's First XVIII.
A strong, fearless, and tenacious footballer, who was quick on his feet. Even as a schoolboy, he was a strong overhead mark, a reliable long distance kick, and not afraid to run upfield and progress the ball. He was also remarkable in that he was left handed and right footed: bouncing and hand-balling as a left hander, and kicking as a right footer.
Geoff Grover (Port Melbourne)
22 yrs, 188cm, 87.5kg.
In great form in defence.
A real dasher, splendid mark, and fast mover.
His first interstate squad.
A former star at 18 with Old Caulfield Grammarians in the Amateur Association.
VFA Player Details, ANFC Carnival Programme, 1966.
On leaving school he played nearly 40 senior matches for the Caulfield Grammarians Football Club in the VAFA in 1961 and 1962, including CGFC's Grand Final win in D Section in 1961.
He was recruited from CGFC in 1963. In his first season at St Kilda, he was one of the best on the ground for the St Kilda team which beat North Melbourne 12.13 (85) to 9.12 (16) in the Reserve Grade preliminary final. He also played in the St Kilda Reserves team (with two of his Caulfield Grammar classmates, Graeme Vorrath and John Dowling) that lost the Grand Final against Geelong, 13.12 (90) to 7.11 (53), on Saturday, 5 October 1963, in front of a crowd of 101,452 spectators at the MCG.
He made his senior league debut for St Kilda, playing at full back (in place of the injured Verdun Howell), on Saturday, 18 July 1964 (round 13), in a five-point loss to Footscray at the Western Oval, 10.10 (70) to 11.9 (75), in which his fellow Caulfield Grammarian, John Schultz, was best on ground.
He also played against Hawthorn, the following week (Saturday, 25 July 1964), when St Kilda won by 30 points, 11.15 (81) to 7.9 (51). He played no more senior football at St Kilda.
At the end of 1964, St Kilda played its last match at the Junction Oval, and moved its entire operation to the Moorabbin Oval. At the time, the demands of his employer (General Motors Holden at Fisherman's Bend) were such that Geoff was not able to travel all the way from Port Melbourne to Moorabbin to train as St Kilda demanded; and, so, at the beginning of the 1965 season, he was (amicably) cleared by St Kilda to Port Melbourne Football Club in the VFA.
He was one of the best on the ground for his team in its Grand Final loss to Waverley in 1965.
He played a strong game at full-back for the Port Melbourne 1966 Grand Final team that thrashed Waverley, 13.12 (90) to 6.11 (47).
1967 VFA Grand Final
On Sunday, 24 September 1967, the VFA Grand Final was contested between Port Melbourne and Dandenong at the Punt Road Oval, Richmond. Playing at full-back, Geoff was one of the best on the ground for Port Melbourne in what was "indisputably one of the most infamous matches in Australian football history", when an exhausted Port Melbourne eventually lost to a bigger and stronger Dandenong team 16.13 (109) to 12.12 (84).
He represented the VFA in the 1966 Hobart Carnival, playing strongly, at full-back, in three of the team's games (he one of the team's best players in each of the three matches): against Tasmania's champion full-forward, Peter Hudson, on Saturday 11 June 1966, against Victoria's captain and full-forward, Ted Whitten (who played at full-forward in place of the injured Ken Fraser), on Monday, 13 June 1966, and against South Australia's champion full-forward Geoff Kingston, on Thursday 16 June 1966.
He played so well at full-back in his three games that, even though one of his opponents, Peter Hudson, was selected at full-forward for the 1966 All-Australian team of 20 players, at the end of the carnival, Geoff would have been selected if the organizers, as they had done in the 1953 team, the 1956 team, and the 1958 team, selected a player from the VFA.
He left Ferntree Gully, and retired from football, when his employer, the Ford Motor Company, offered him a substantial promotion to its West Australian operation in Perth.
In 2003, in recognition of his consistent performance and overall excellence in an era of very tough football, in a very tough competition, he was nominated as a candidate for the position of full-back in Port Melbourne's "Team of the Century".
An able scholar, a dedicated team player, and developing into a strong leader on and off the sports field, Geoff held a number of senior sales and marketing positions with Ford Motor Company in Victoria and in Western Australia, culminating in that of National Sales and Marketing Manager (Commercial Vehicles) at the company's Head Office at Broadmeadows. He was also the Managing Director at Innova Design Furniture, in Brisbane; and, later, the Queensland State Manager of the software company, Concept Systems International, before devoting himself to real estate, specializing in resort development and residential property. He was a licensed real estate agent, working from Mount Coolum, in Queensland, and was the Managing Director of Ranelagh Pty Ltd., a business consultancy that provides management services and strategic marketing advice, as well as providing book-keeping and software services.
In the 1980s he was National President of the Furniture Manufacturers Association. He contributed widely to the community as Chairman of State and National Industry Association bodies, Past President of the Kenmore Junior Cricket & Australian Sporting Association, Past President of the P & C of Brisbane Boys' College, Past Body Corporate Chairman of the Coolum Fairways Resort and the Seaside Villas complex, and was a member of the Mt. Coolum Golf Club.
- List of Caulfield Grammar School people
- List of University of Melbourne people
- List of Monash University people
- 1967 VFA Grand Final
- Births: Grover, The Argus, (Wednesday, 22 September 1943), p.2; Herald Sun: Tributes: Grover Geoff, Herald Sun, 14 April 2017.
- The current player record (http://www.saints.com.au on 16 March 2012) at the St Kilda Football Club, which states that he only played one senior match is wrong. The VFL/AFL record (Geoff Grover's playing statistics from AFL Tables), which show him playing two senior matches is correct.
- Australian National Football Council, (1966).
- Hobbs, G., "St. Kilda Clinches Grand Final Place", The Age, (Monday, 30 September 1963), p.18.
- Carter, R., “Geelong Reserves Too Classy”, ‘’The Age’’, (Monday, 7 October 1963), p.18.
- St. Kilda Names Two Players for First Games, The Age, (Friday, 17 July 1964, p.24.
- Saints Flop With Wind Advantage, The Age, (Monday, 20 July 1964, p.22.
- Fiddian, M., "Rover Sets a Problem", The Age, (21 April 1965), p.20.
- Fiddian, M., "McGregor in Ports's Team: Only One Change, The Age, (Friday, 24 September 1965), p.20.
- VFA Teams for Grand Final, The Age, (Friday, 23 September 1966), p.18.
- de Kretser, M., "Ron Townsend Fit to Play", The Age, (Friday, 22 September 1967), p.20.
- Fiery Grand Final Victory to Waverley, The Age, (Monday, 27 September 1965), p.20.
- Fiddian, M., "Runaway Win for Port in VFA", The Age, (Monday, 26 September 1966), p.24.
- Devaney, (2008), p.409.
- Hobbs, G., "Another Bad VFA Loss", The Age, (Monday, 13 June 1966), p.13.
- Hobbs, G., "Fraser to Miss Today's game", The Age, (Monday, 13 June 1966), p.13.
- Hobbs, G., "VFL not at its best in win over VFA", The Age, (Tuesday, 14 June 1966), p.20.
- Rush Trip by VFA player, The Age, (Thursday, 16 June 1966), p.24.
- Hobbs, G., "VFA bows out — as it came in", The Age, (Friday, 17 June 1966), p.22.
- Ferntree Gully Eagles Football Club (at sportingpulse.com) Honour Board.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Geoff Grover.|
- Geoff Grover's playing statistics from AFL Tables
- Caulfield Grammarians Complete Player List: Season Debut & Player Number, Caulfield Grammarians Football Club, 2015.
- Devaney, J., Full Points Footy: Encyclopedia of Australian Football Clubs Volume One, Full Points Publications, (Lincoln), 2008.
- Holmesby, Russell and Main, Jim (2007). The Encyclopedia of AFL Footballers. 7th ed. Melbourne: Bas Publishing.
- Australian National Football Council (ANFC), “Player Details”, Australian National Football Championships: Programme, Saturday, 11th June 1966, (Hobart), 1966.
- Webber, H., Years May Pass On... Caulfield Grammar School, 1881–1981, Centenary Committee, Caulfield Grammar School, (East St Kilda), 1981. ISBN 0-9594242-0-2