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Albert 'Leeter' Collier
9 July 1909
Place of birth
Collingwood, VIC (3066)
22 February 1988 (aged 78)
Place of death
Frankston, VIC (3199)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 15y 297d
Last game: 32y 325d
Height and weight
Height: 180 cm
Weight: 85 kg
Collingwood; Cananore; Fitzroy; Camberwell
Collingwood: 8, 7, 4, 5, 6, 2
Ivanhoe (1925); Collingwood (1931); Cananore (1933); Collingwood (1941); Fitzroy (1945)
State of origin
Hall of fame
Australian Football Hall of Fame (1996)
Harry Collier (Brother)
|Club||League||Career span||Games||Goals||Avg||Win %||AKI||AHB||AMK||BV|
|V/AFL||1925-1930, 1933-1939, 1941-1942||217||66||0.30||75%||15.07||—||5.81||33|
|Total||1925-1939, 1941-1942, 1945-1946||286||71||0.25||—||—||—||—||—|
Pre 1965 stats are for selected matches only
AFL: 2,946th player to appear, 487th most games played, 1,605th most goals kickedCollingwood: 293rd player to appear, 33rd most games played, 150th most goals kickedFitzroy: 568th player to appear, 585th most games played, 322nd most goals kicked
Something of a sporting prodigy as a youth, Albert Collier captained Victorian schoolboy teams at both football and cricket, but the oval ball game was always his first love. Residing within walking distance of Victoria Park, and playing locally with Ivanhoe, he was perhaps always destined to join Collingwood, and made his debut with the Magpies, as a full forward, in 1925. However, his vigorous, often fiery style of play proved better suited to the backlines, and it was at centre half back that he eventually found his niche, occupying either that position, or a half back flank, in each of Collingwood's Grand Final teams between 1926 and 1930. The 1929 season was especially noteworthy with Collier not only making a telling contribution to the Magpies' Grand Final defeat of Richmond, but landing the first of three Collingwood best and fairest awards, plus the Brownlow Medal.
Nicknamed 'Leeter'(or 'Leeta'), for reasons which neither he nor his fellow Collingwood-playing brother Harry could later recall, Albert Collier moved to Tasmania in 1931 and fronted up, with considerable success, for TANFL side Cananore. In what proved to be a record-breaking year for the TANFL in terms of attendances, the Canaries, aided by a sterling contribution from their star import, overcame North Hobart by 3 points in a replayed Grand Final, and shortly afterwards defeated North Launceston for the state crown. Collier, who had displayed outstanding form for much of the season, was awarded the William Leitch Medal for the best and fairest player in the league.
After one more season with Cananore, Albert Collier returned home to Collingwood and, following his success in an on-ball role with the Canaries, was asked to play as a ruckman, a role he assumed with great aplomb and outstanding success. Renowned for his formidably aggressive protection of smaller team mates, notably older brother Harry, 'Leeter' won consecutive club best and fairest awards in 1934 and 1935 and became a near automatic selection for VFL interstate teams. When Collingwood beat South Melbourne in the 1935 Grand Final the two Collier brothers vied with one another for best afield honours.
Later in his career, Albert Collier suffered a series of knee injuries which undermined both his pace and his impact. Nevertheless, he continued to give solid service to the Magpies until 1939, when the effects of his injuries forced him to call it a day. In 1941-2 he made a brief, 12-game comeback with Fitzroy, and in 1945-6 he captain-coached VFA club Camberwell, steering the side to a losing Grand Final against Sandringham in his second season. However, it is for his 205 games in a Collingwood jumper that the redoubtable Albert 'Leeter' Collier, who was placed at centre half back in the club's official 'Team of the Century', will be best remembered.
Author - John Devaney