Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
David Thorpe

Known as
David Thorpe

30 May 1948 (age 75)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 17y 62d
Last game: 28y 20d

Height and weight
Height: 185 cm
Weight: 83 kg

Senior clubs
Footscray; Richmond; Yarraville; Port Melbourne

Jumper numbers
Footscray: 39, 16
Richmond: 14

Recruited from
Footscray (1974); Richmond (1977); Yarraville (1979)

David Thorpe

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
Port MelbourneVFA1979681.33

AFL: 7,753rd player to appear, 881st most games played, 1,041st most goals kickedFootscray: 539th player to appear, 66th most games played, 77th most goals kickedRichmond: 767th player to appear, 447th most games played, 265th most goals kicked

A prodigious and skilled ball gatherer with a dodgy kicking style, David Thorpe was among the finest centremen in the VFL during an era replete with top quality denizens of that position. He joined Footscray from North Footscray, and made his league debut in 1965, winning a best and fairest award three years later en route to a career total of 151 games with the Bulldogs over nine seasons. He also booted 79 goals. A VFL representative every year from 1969 to 1972, Thorpe was included in the All Australian team selected after the 1972 Perth carnival.

In 1974 Thorpe transferred to Richmond and was in the centre as the Tigers downed North Melbourne in that season's Grand Final. In three seasons at Punt Road Thorpe added 27 games and 24 goals, although by his own admission he never really fitted into the club's intensely team-orientated culture. 

The 1977 season saw him at Yarraville as captain-coach and he promptly took the 1976 Second Division wooden-spooner to a Grand Final meeting with Mordialloc, which was ultimately lost by 38 points after a closely fought first three quarters. Thorpe spent one further season with the Eagles, steering them to fourth spot on the Division Two ladder, before finishing his playing career with half a dozen games for Port Melbourne in 1979.

Author - John Devaney with additional material from Adam Cardosi


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