Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Oswald Milne Bertram

Known as
Ossie Bertram


17 April 1909

5 May 1983 (aged 74)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 24y 12d
Last game: 27y 120d

Height and weight
Height: 175 cm
Weight: 76 kg

Senior clubs
West Torrens; South Melbourne; St. Kilda

Jumper numbers
South Melbourne: 10, 23
St. Kilda: 28, 3

Recruited from
West Torrens (1933); South Melbourne (1935)

Ossie Bertram

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
West TorrensSANFL1928-193274831.12
South MelbourneV/AFL1933-193423431.8770%13.402.602
St. KildaV/AFL1935-193615171.1340%13.672.000

Pre 1965 stats are for selected matches only

AFL: 3,991st player to appear, 4,930th most games played, 1,767th most goals kickedSouth Melbourne: 473rd player to appear, 540th most games played, 178th most goals kickedSt. Kilda: 718th player to appear, 685th most games played, 338th most goals kicked

On one occasion in a match at Essendon, when the three back men converged on Bob Pratt, Jack Bisset used Pratt as a decoy, and directed play to Bertram wide out in a pocket. In the first term the nimble rover potted five goals. That ruse completely bewildered the opposition, and thereafter Pratt had to contend with the full-back only.¹

A live-wire rover with good skills and a penchant for goal kicking, ‘Ossie’ Bertram never really stayed long enough at one club to make the most of his obvious talent. He began with West Torrens in 1928, where he was nicknamed ‘Dribbler’. In five seasons with the club he played 74 games and kicked 83 goals, and his form was good enough for him twice to earn interstate selection for South Australia. In 1933 he became a member of South Melbourne’s much vaunted ‘foreign legion’ which helped propel the club to its first VFL premiership since 1918. In that year’s Grand Final against Richmond, he shared the roving with Terry Brain as the Blood Stained Angels won convincingly, 9.17 (71) to 4.5 (29). He also played in the following year’s premiership decider when the Tigers achieved revenge. In 1935, after 23 VFL games and 43 goals for South, he crossed to St Kilda where he added another 15 games and booted 17 goals in his final two league seasons.

Author - John Devaney


1. “Record”, 28/3/53, page 5.


Full Points Footy's SA Football Companion, Crème de la Crème


* Behinds calculated from the 1965 season on.
+ Score at the end of extra time.