Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Robert Skilton Jnr

Known as
Bob Skilton

8 November 1938 (age 84)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 17y 186d
Last game: 32y 293d

Height and weight
Height: 171 cm
Weight: 76 kg

Senior clubs
South Melbourne

Jumper numbers
South Melbourne: 14

Family links
Bob Skilton Snr (Father)

Bob Skilton

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
South MelbourneV/AFL1956-1968, 1970-19712374121.7437%21.445.184.05180
Total1956-1968, 1970-19712374121.7437%21.445.184.05180

Pre 1965 stats are for selected matches only

AFL: 6,692nd player to appear, 347th most games played, 99th most goals kickedSouth Melbourne: 781st player to appear, 16th most games played, 7th most goals kicked

Few players have personified old fashioned 'G and D' to the extent of tenacious former South Melbourne rover Bob Skilton. In 237 games with the Swans between 1956 and 1971 he never gave less than the optimum in terms of effort. It was the same story when he donned the VFL state jumper, and towards the end of his career when he fulfilled a boyhood dream in representing his beloved Port Melbourne, the team for which his identically-named father had played in excess of 150 VFA games in the 1920s.

One legacy of this attitude was the exceptional number of injuries - often several in the same game - sustained by Skilton during the course of his career. A more measurable legacy came in the shape of three Brownlow Medals and an incredible nine South Melbourne best and fairest awards. Not that Skilton's approach lacked finesse. He was, in fact, a highly skilled, pre-eminently two-sided footballer in an era when this was still very much the exception to the rule. Roving to losing South Melbourne rucks for much of his career he turned this to his advantage by developing an unparalleled ability to anticipate the direction of the opposing ruckman's taps. By contrast, roving to the likes of John Schultz, 'Polly' Farmer and John Nicholls in interstate matches must have seemed the height of luxury.

Skilton often remarked that he would have traded every one of his Brownlows to have played in one premiership but the closest he got was South's losing First Semi Final against St Kilda in 1970.

Author - John Devaney


Full Points Footy Publications


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