John Gerovich

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John Gerovich
Gerovich statue.jpg
Statue of John Gerovich's famous mark
over Ray French in the 1956 WAFL preliminary final
Personal information
Full name John Michael Gerovich
Date of birth (1938-06-23) 23 June 1938 (age 78)
Place of birth Spearwood, Western Australia
Original team(s) Spearwood
Position(s) Centre half forward / Full forward
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1955–1969 South Fremantle 221 (771)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
1956–1961 Western Australia 20 (56)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1969.
Source: AustralianFootball.com

John Gerovich (born John Mateo Gerecivich, 23 June 1938[1]) is a former Australian rules footballer who played with South Fremantle in the Western Australian National Football League (WANFL - now WAFL) during the 1950s and 1960s.[2]

Playing career[edit]

Gerovich was a key position forward, best known for high flying marks and his prolific goalkicking. One famous mark,[3] which he took in the 1956 WANFL preliminary final over East Fremantle's Ray French is commemorated in a statue at Fremantle Oval by local sculptor Robert Hitchcock. The statue was based on an iconic photograph of the mark,[2] taken by The West Australian photographer Maurie Hammond and published on Wednesday, 10 October 1956.[4] The mark is also depicted in Jamie Cooper's painting the Game That Made Australia, commissioned by the AFL in 2008 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the sport.[5] On three occasions he was the WAFL's top goalkicker, in 1956 with 74 goals, in 1960 with 101 goals and 1961 with 74 goals again. He also topped South Fremantle's goal-kicking eight times.[6] When he retired after the 1969 season he had kicked a total of 744 goals for South Fremantle.[7]

State football[edit]

Over the course of his career, he regularly represented Western Australia at interstate football and kicked 56 goals from his 18 representative games. Gerovich, of Croatian heritage, was an All-Australian at the 1956 Perth Carnival and played in the side which won the 1961 Brisbane Carnival.

Honours[edit]

In 2004 he was one of the inaugural inductees into the West Australian Football Hall of Fame.[8] Gerovich is also a member of the Fremantle Football Hall of Legends and a centre half forward in the Fremantle Team of Legends which was established in 2007. The trophy for each season's leading goalkicker at South Fremantle is named after him.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Family Notices". The West Australian. 54, (16,219). Western Australia. 24 June 1938. p. 1. Retrieved 8 March 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  2. ^ a b "John Gerovich - Player Bio". Australian Football. Slattery Media. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  3. ^ Jordan, Ray, ed. (1985). The Footballers: A history of football in Western Australia (1st ed.). St George Books. p. 71. ISBN 0867780258. The most famous mark in WA football history. 
  4. ^ Everett, Les (2006). "Gero will fly forever". australianrules.com.au. Archived from the original on 13 October 2008. Retrieved November 19, 2012. 
  5. ^ "The Game That Made Australia painting". Australian Football 150 Years. Australian Football League. Archived from the original on 4 June 2009. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  6. ^ "WAFL player profile". 
  7. ^ "WAFL Footy Facts player profile". 
  8. ^ "West Australian Football Hall of Fame Inductees".