John Schultz (footballer born 1938)

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John Schultz
Personal information
Full name John Schultz
Date of birth (1938-09-28) 28 September 1938 (age 77)
Original team(s) Caulfield Grammarians
Height/Weight 191 cm / 89 kg
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1958–1968 Footscray 188 (37)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1968.
Career highlights

John Schultz (born 28 September 1938) is a former Australian rules football player, who played for the Footscray Football Club in the (then) Victorian Football League (VFL) and is one of the club's greatest players.

He had been a champion high-jumper at Caulfield Grammar School, winning the senior high jump at the 1955 Associated Grammar Schools Combined Athletics Meeting (as had South Melbourne's Jim Taylor in 1948). He also played for the school's First XVIII, a team which also contained other future VFL players, Ron Evans of Essendon,[1] and Ron Cabble of Hawthorn.[2]

John Schultz was considered a "gentle giant", known as much for his fairness as for his brilliance. An effective knock ruckman, he was acclaimed for good tackling, elegant marking and hard, fair bumping. Roy Wright, another "gentle giant" and Brownlow medallist, helped him early in his career: "after lining up on Roy Wright in one of my first matches, he came to the dressing rooms after the match and gave me a few hints on things I did and didn't do right".[3] Compared with others of his day, Schultz had exceptional stamina and he seemed to be able to run just as quickly at the end of a match as he had at its beginning.

Schultz was recruited by Footscray from country side Boort, having previously played briefly with Caulfield Grammarians Football Club in the Victorian Amateur Football Association (he broke his arm at the opening bounce of the first Caulfield Grammarians' practice match of the 1956 season).[4]

His VFL career spanned 10 years and 188 games (kicking 39 goals).

Schultz won the Brownlow Medal in 1960 (when only 21 years old) by one vote from Fitzroy's Kevin Murray. He was Footscray's Best and Fairest Player five times (1960, 1962, 1964–66). Schultz played for Victoria 21 times, and was an All-Australian in 1961.

Schultz played as an amateur (i.e., he received no payment). He played his entire VFL with the great Ted Whitten as his captain, and retired in 1968, aged only twenty-nine, to help manage the family grocery business. Fittingly for a man who was known for his fairness and never once reported, Schultz later served on the league tribunal. He once said, "I love nothing more than seeing someone shake another player's hand after a tough game - that's the ultimate in sportsmanship."[5]

His younger brother Robert, also from Caulfield Grammar School, played two senior games for Footscray in 1963.[6]

In 2002, he was named to a back pocket of the Footscray/Western Bulldogs Team of the Century.

In 1996 Schultz was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame with the following citation:

Rucking giant who never let the side down. Set the standard for the modern ruckman.



Preceded by
Bob Skilton
Brownlow Medallist
Succeeded by
John James