Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Desmond Healey

Known as
Des Healey

5 September 1927

18 March 2009 (aged 81)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 20y 225d
Last game: 28y 12d

Height and weight
Height: 168 cm
Weight: 69 kg

Senior clubs

Jumper numbers
Collingwood: 12, 10

Des Healey

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV

Pre 1965 stats are for selected matches only

AFL: 5,762nd player to appear, 1,333rd most games played, 2,559th most goals kickedCollingwood: 506th player to appear, 102nd most games played, 204th most goals kicked

Regarded by some as the finest wingman in the history of the Collingwood Football Club, Des Healey is probably best remembered today for his seemingly accidental collision with Melbourne's Frank 'Bluey' Adams in the closing minutes of the 1955 VFL Grand Final. Healey had been one of the Magpies best in a losing side that day, but despite being only 27 he elected never to play again saying "I couldn't stand another blow like that one". Diminutive, pacy and determined, Healey could outmark taller opponents, and his use of the ball, often with his favoured stab pass, was impeccable.

Healey played a total of 149 senior games for Collingwood between 1948 and 1955, and was best afield in the 12-point Grand Final defeat of Geelong in 1953. That same season saw Healey achieve All Australian selection after the Adelaide carnival. Despite leaving the Woods, and the VFL, in somewhat unfortunate circumstances, he bowed out on a high note by winning the Copeland Trophy as Collingwood's best and fairest player. His omission from Collingwood's official 'Team of the Twentieth Century', selected in July 2002, remains perhaps a tad surprising.

Author - John Devaney


Full Points Footy Publications


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