Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Barry Davis

Known as
Barry Davis

15 September 1943 (age 79)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 17y 219d
Last game: 32y 12d

Height and weight
Height: 185 cm
Weight: 87 kg

Senior clubs
Essendon; North Melbourne

Jumper numbers
Essendon: 32
North Melbourne: 32

Recruited from
Essendon (1973)

Barry Davis

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
North MelbourneV/AFL1973-197571540.7661%20.433.794.3425

Pre 1965 stats are for selected matches only

AFL: 7,228th player to appear, 115th most games played, 874th most goals kickedEssendon: 718th player to appear, 24th most games played, 136th most goals kickedNorth Melbourne: 654th player to appear, 195th most games played, 122nd most goals kicked

In addition to being without doubt one of the greatest figures in the post-war history of the Essendon Football Club, Barry Davis can lay claim to having been North Melbourne's first ever VFL premiership captain.

Recruited by the Bombers from Essendon High School, Davis made his league debut in 1961 and immediately stamped himself as a star in the making. Initially used mainly as a half forward, by the time of Essendon's victorious 1962 Grand Final against Carlton he formed one third, along with Ian 'Bluey' Shelton and Alec 'Kookaburra' Epis, of one of the greatest half back lines in VFL history. Three years later Davis was once again on the half back line on Grand Final day, and was one of the best players on view as the Bombers comfortably overcame St Kilda.

Allying tremendous toughness to iridescent all round football ability, Barry Davis seemed to get better with each passing year. A regular 'Big V' representative, he won Essendon's premier individual award on three occasions, and was runner-up once, but in 1973 after being at the centre of a controversial row over player payments, he controversially jumped ship to North Melbourne, where he was promptly appointed club captain.

Davis could not have arrived at North at a better time as, under dynamic coach Ronald Dale Barassi, the Roos were at long last beginning to emerge as a power. In 1974 they reached only their second VFL Grand Final in half a century, and although they were forced to accept second billing on that occasion to an extremely powerful Richmond combination it was obvious that they were very much a side on the make. The following year, with Davis in the twilight of his glittering career, the Roos went all the way courtesy of an exhilarating Grand Final win over warm pre-match favourite Hawthorn. Barry Davis, who by this time had developed into one of the best running players in the game, was a key contributor to North's triumph, and after winning his second club best and fairest award in three seasons he opted to quit while he was ahead, and duly retired.

In 289 VFL games spread over fifteen seasons he was one of the few players of his time genuinely to warrant the title 'superstar'. In 1978 he returned to his original stamping ground at Windy Hill as non-playing senior coach of the Bombers, but after three seasons of underachievement opted to do the honorable thing by resigning.

Barry Davis was selected on a half back flank in Essendon's official 'Team of the Twentieth Century', and on the interchange bench in North Melbourne's.

Author - John Devaney


Full Points Footy Publications


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