Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
William Findlay

Known as
Bill Findlay

29 October 1913

28 May 1986 (aged 72)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 19y 196d
Last game: 31y 314d

Height and weight
Height: 168 cm
Weight: 71 kg

Senior clubs
Footscray; North Melbourne; Port Melbourne

Jumper numbers
Footscray: 24, 32
North Melbourne: 11, 9

Recruited from
Footscray (1935); North Melbourne (1946)

Bill Findlay

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
North MelbourneV/AFL1935-19451683522.1036%25.004.0030
Port MelbourneVFA1946-194862

Pre 1965 stats are for selected matches only

AFL: 4,034th player to appear, 937th most games played, 128th most goals kickedFootscray: 160th player to appear, 788th most games played, 410th most goals kickedNorth Melbourne: 196th player to appear, 46th most games played, 10th most goals kicked

Footscray recruited Bill Findlay from Footscray Technical School Old Boys, and he made his VFL debut in 1933. However, he had trouble adapting to the demands of league football, and in two seasons managed just five senior games and eight goals, whereupon he was released to North Melbourne. As often seems to happen, a change of scenery somehow managed to elicit the player's full potential, and over the ensuing eleven seasons Findlay developed into one of the most damaging rovers in the game, playing 168 games and kicking 352 goals, as well as representing the VFL. He also captained North for two and a half years and was captain-coach for part of the 1942 season and the whole of 1943. Towards the end of his career with the Shinboners he began to spend more time resting in a forward pocket, and in his final three VFL seasons he topped the club's goal kicking list with tallies of 43, 55 and 49. 

After moving to Port Melbourne in 1946 he became an even more potent goal kicking threat, topping the Borough's goal-kicking list in his debut season with 88 goals, and the VFA's the following year with 107. For good measure, he won both his club's 1946 best and fairest award and the same year's Liston Trophy. Appointed captain-coach in 1947 he steered the club to its first flag since 1941. On Grand Final day, Findlay was the best player on view as the Borough comfortably overcame the challenge of Williamstown, leading at every change en route to a 15.15 (105) to 11.8 (74) triumph. An unexpected slump to 11th place the following year precipitated Bill Findlay's retirement after 62 VFA games. 

He did, however, end up playing briefly again. Appointed non-playing coach of Coburg in 1954 he was compelled on several occasions to take to the field when the club's playing resources were stretched. During Findlay's three seasons at Coburg the Lions were competitive, but did not manage to qualify for the finals.

In 2003, Bill Findlay was chosen as first rover in Port's official 'Team of the Twentieth Century'.

Author - John Devaney


Full Points Footy Publications


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