Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Desmond Rowe

Known as
Des Rowe

19 November 1925

12 May 2007 (aged 81)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 20y 173d
Last game: 31y 278d

Height and weight
Height: 182 cm
Weight: 83 kg

Senior clubs

Jumper numbers
Richmond: 28, 35, 18, 15

Recruited from
Coburg (1946)

Family links
Percy Rowe (Father)

Des Rowe

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV

AFL: 5,568th player to appear, 898th most games played, 3,306th most goals kickedRichmond: 456th player to appear, 49th most games played, 261st most goals kicked

Des Rowe began his senior career at Coburg, where he played as a centre half forward under his father Percy, a former league player with Collingwood. Having booted 60 goals in 1945, Rowe sought to cross to the VFL with Melbourne, who needed a key forward, the following year, but his desires were thwarted when it was shown that he was residentially tied to Richmond. Having burnt his bridges in the VFA, Rowe agreed, with a certain reluctance, to throw in his lot with the Tigers, who saw his urgent, speedy and tenacious approach as better suited to the backlines, which was where he ultimately ended up spending the majority of his league career.

Over the next dozen seasons, Des Rowe became acknowledged as one of the finest half backs in the VFL. A regular Big V representative, he earned All Australian selection at the 1956 Perth carnival. Utterly dependable and self-assured, he rarely lowered his colours, and was one of the most respected players at his club, a fact emphasised when he was made captain in 1952.

Rowe skippered Richmond for his last six seasons in league football but never had the satisfaction of leading his side onto the MCG during finals time. Indeed, the highest position the Tigers managed during Rowe's entire career with them was fifth in 1954.

Des Rowe played a total of 175 VFL games, and was a dual winner of Richmond's best and fairest award. He served as non-playing coach of the club between 1961 and 1963, but once again was unable to procure the satisfaction of finals participation. 40 years later he was a worthy inclusion in Richmond's official 'Team of the Century'.

Author - John Devaney


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