The West

Subiaco push Robertson for Hall of Fame
Subiaco push Robertson for Hall of Fame

Subiaco president Neil Randall will lobby AFL chairman Mike Fitzpatrick in a bid to have their 1973 WAFL premiership teammate Austin Robertson inducted into the national football Hall of Fame next month.

Robertson, who is the WAFL's leading goal kicker with 1211 majors, is probably the most glaring example of deserving West Australian footballers absent from the AFL Hall of Fame.

But Subiaco hope to remedy Robertson's omission by increasing their lobbying as the Hall of Fame selection committee works its way through a short list of candidates this month.

Up to six candidates will be inducted next month at the annual Hall of Fame ceremony.

Robertson, match-winning East Fremantle and Geelong utility player Brian Peake and Perth, Richmond and West Coast rover Rob Wiley are understood to lead the list of potential WA selections.

Fitzpatrick chairs the selection committee and has intimate knowledge of Robertson's qualities after playing with him for several seasons at Subiaco.

Randall, who was alongside the pair as members of Subiaco's drought-breaking premiership team in 1973, said Robertson's continued absence from the Hall of Fame was mystifying.

"Austin is WA's most prolific goal scorer and there is no issue he should be in the Hall of Fame," Randall said.

"He is Subiaco's favourite son and a genuine great of WA football.

"The club has nominated him in the past and we will do it again."

Robertson's career record of 1315 majors includes his WAFL haul, 60 goals with South Melbourne during his sole VFL season in 1967 and 44 goals in 10 State matches.

Only North Adelaide phenomenon Ken Farmer (1417 goals), and St Kilda and Sydney star Tony Lockett (1360) have kicked more goals at senior level.

Robertson's cause also has been endorsed by his former coach Haydn Bunton Jr, who was an original Hall of Fame inductee in 1996.

Bunton coached Robertson from 1968 until 1972 when the champion full-forward produced season tallies of 162, 114, 116, 111 and 98 goals.

"Austin is the best full-forward I ever played with or saw and I thought he should he have been inducted years ago," Bunton said.

"His record speaks for itself.

"He was different to full-forwards like Tony Lockett or John Coleman but he was brilliant at what he did.

"His kicking was very precise and accurate but one thing you have to remember was that he didn't play in a powerful side for most of his career so he did not get as many opportunities to get the ball as he might have in a very strong team."

Bunton said Robertson had similarities to Farmer, who also played in a moderate team for most of his career but was never held goalless and kicked centuries in 11 consecutive seasons.

Farmer was inducted in the third year of the Hall of Fame after an unrelenting campaign from South Australian football officials to have the AFL recognise a player considered one of the best produced in that State.

The only WA full-forward in the Hall of Fame is East Fremantle's George Doig, who was inducted in 2002 and kicked 1097 goals between 1933 and 1945.

Ray Scott, who kicked 910 goals for West Perth, was inducted in 1996 for his role as an umpire.

The West Australian

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