Jim Cleary (Australian footballer)
|Date of birth||13 July 1914|
|Date of death||2 May 1993(aged 78)|
|Original team(s)||Thornbury CYMS|
|Height / weight||183cm / 89kg|
|1934–1948||South Melbourne||222 (6)|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1948.
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
Cleary played as a fullback and won two best and fairest awards for South Melbourne, in 1942 and 1944. His reputation was marred somewhat by his involvement in what is referred to as the 1945 VFL Grand Final 'bloodbath'. For his part in the incident he was suspended for 8 matches. He left the club in 1949 and went on to become captain and coach of Victorian Football Association club Port Melbourne; he coached there from 1949 until 1952, leading the club to consecutive minor premierships and Grand Final losses in 1951 and 1952; he then coached at fellow VFA clubs Brunswick (from 1953 until 1958) and Dandenong (from 1959 until 1961), coaching a total of 267 VFA games. He remained involved in the game even after retiring as a coach, becoming a panelist on a TV show called 'World of Sport'.
- 1945 VFL Grand Final
- Marc Fiddian (2003), The Best of Football Trivia, Hastings, VIC: Galaxy Print and Design, p. 23
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