Ian Dunstan

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Ian Dunstan
Personal information
Date of birth (1955-02-28) 28 February 1955 (age 62)
Original team(s) Fish Creek
Debut 26 May 1973, Footscray
vs. North Melbourne, at Arden Street
Height / weight 185 cm / 80 kg
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1973–1982 Footscray 172 (135)
1984 North Melbourne 006 00(4)
Total 178 (139)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1984.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Ian Dunstan (born 28 February 1955) is a former Australian rules footballer who played with Footscray in the Victorian Football League (VFL).

Originally recruited from Fish Creek in South Gippsland, he is the son Maurie Dunstan and brother of Graeme Dunstan, both former Collingwood players. He was a tallish ruck-rover with great ability to win the ball and great skill at kicking straight in the direction of goal.[1] His early years with Footscray were nonetheless patchy, and he lost his place in the senior side after a slump in 1974 and again in 1976 – though he returned to play well in the last round draw with Carlton and in his only final against Geelong a week later.

Paradoxically, it was whilst Footscray were declining from the middle bracket to perennial contenders for the wooden spoon with St Kilda and Melbourne that Dunstan rose to the heights not only of Footscray's top running players, but even to representing Victoria. On 1 July 1978 Dunstan and Kelvin Templeton kicked against St Kilda a record VFL/AFL total for two players in one team of 22 goals 12 behinds (144 points),[2] narrowly beating the total of Doug Strang and Jack Titus for Richmond against North Melbourne on 9 May 1931.[3] Of this Dunstan kicked seven goals, three behinds but had over thirty kicks overall, many of which led to Templeton's record total of twenty-four scoring shots, which contributed to Footscray breaking Carlton's 1969 record VFL score. During the last quarter it was said that Dunstan, who never otherwise kicked five in a match, aimed to reach double figures.

As a result of this and other performances, Dunstan represented Victoria several times in the last three years of the late 1970s. As Footscray struggled further owing to the club's limited financial resources – going from seven wins in 1978 and 1979 to only five in 1980, two in 1981 and three in 1982 – Dunstan won three best and fairest awards in 1979, 1981 and 1982 but Footscray's finances and a youth policy caused them to allow Dunstan to cross to North Melbourne for the 1983 season. He did not play a senior match in 1983 owing to injury and his debut for North Melbourne proved to be embarrassing, with the Kangaroos going down by 137 points to Carlton. He played the first three games in the seniors but it was clear his best days were beyond him and afterward he played only three more senior matches.

At the end of 1984 Ian Dunstan retired from the VFL and played briefly with Werribee in the Victorian Football Association. He later joined struggling Association club Sunshine where he had the unfortunate fate to be coach of the senior club when it was expelled from the competition mid-season in 1989.


  1. ^ Main, Jim and Holmesby, Russell (editors); The Encyclopedia of League Footballers (1st edition); p. 107. ISBN 1-86337-085-4
  2. ^ FOOTSCRAY-WESTERN BULLDOGS: Seven Goals or more
  3. ^ For some data on Strang's feat, see Lovett, Michael (editor); AFL Record: Guide to Season 2005; p. 572 ISBN 0-9580300-6-5.

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