A lion-hearted follower whose tough, resolute approach was allied to more skill than was often realised, Allan 'Butch' Gale was Fitzroy through and through. His consistency over 213 senior VFL games in fourteen seasons was emphasised by his finishing second in the club's best and fairest voting on no fewer than seven occasions. Sadly, he never managed to finish first, but over the years there have been few Fitzroy players who would have made more worthy recipients of the club's top honour.
'Butch' Gale joined Fitzroy from the Police Boys' football team and made his league debut in 1948, and if his early games suggested he was little more than an honest trier, he wasted little time in elevating his performances to a new, higher level. For much of the 1950s he was a virtual ever-present in VFL interstate sides and his gritty, tireless, never-say-die approach boasted all the hallmarks traditionally associated with the 'Big V'. Some of his best football came while resting in defence, and he would undoubtedly have made a fine key position defender had Fitzroy been able to spare him from the ruck. Gale was appointed Fitzroy captain in 1958 and continued in the role for the final four seasons of his VFL career. Once that career was over he became a football commentator on HSV7.
Author - John Devaney