Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
William Duckworth

Known as
Bill Duckworth

21 February 1959 (age 64)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 23y 34d
Last game: 31y 185d

Height and weight
Height: 187 cm
Weight: 85 kg

Senior clubs
West Perth; Essendon

Jumper numbers
Essendon: 22

Recruited from
West Perth (1982); Essendon (1991)

Family links
John Duckworth (Brother)

Bill Duckworth

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
West PerthWASFL1980-1981, 1991-199251250.49

AFL: 9,308th player to appear, 1,771st most games played, 1,669th most goals kickedEssendon: 888th player to appear, 118th most games played, 139th most goals kicked

A tough, hard hitting defender who was an inspiration to his team mates, Bill Duckworth is probably best remembered by many for his superb, Norm Smith Medal-winning performance in Essendon's 1984 Grand Final victory over Hawthorn (reviewed here). He made his league debut with West Perth in 1980, and went on to be rated one of the season's most promising debutants. He spent two seasons with the Falcons, as West Perth had become known in 1980, playing a total of 35 games. In 1982 he crossed to Essendon, where he made a sound start, only to suffer a bad ankle injury in his second season which forced him to miss 14 games, including the losing Grand Final clash with Hawthorn.

He recovered well in 1984, however, enjoying a fine season which culminated in his best afield performance in the Grand Final defeat of the Hawks. A straight ahead, relentlessly aggressive type of player, he thrived in the intense pressure cooker atmosphere of the VFL, and went on to enjoy premiership success for a second time in 1985, when the Bombers again accounted for the Hawks on Grand Final day. Duckworth also played in Essendon's victorious night Grand Final side of 1984. When he returned to Western Australia at the end of the 1990 season he had played a total of 126 VFL games and kicked 64 goals. He carried on for two further years at West Perth, taking his final tally of games with the club to 51. He made one state of origin appearance for Western Australia, against the Big V in 1987. 

Bill Duckworth is the younger brother of John Duckworth.

Author - John Devaney


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