Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Frederick Goldsmith

Known as
Fred Goldsmith

20 August 1932

13 April 2017 (aged 84)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 18y 244d
Last game: 26y 360d

Height and weight
Height: 183 cm
Weight: 83 kg

Senior clubs
South Melbourne; Port Melbourne

Jumper numbers
South Melbourne: 2

Recruited from
South Melbourne (1960); South Melbourne (1965); Albury (1966)

Fred Goldsmith

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
South MelbourneV/AFL1951-19591191070.9039%52
Port MelbourneVFA19669

AFL: 6,068th player to appear, 1,918th most games played, 1,010th most goals kickedSouth Melbourne: 711th player to appear, 107th most games played, 61st most goals kicked

After struggling to make the grade as a half forward flanker, South Melbourne's Spotswood recruit Fred Goldsmith found an unexpected niche at full back midway through his second VFL season. From that point on, he never looked back, and his status among the greats of the game was emphasised in 1955 when he became the first full back to win the Brownlow Medal. Spectacular overhead and difficult to beat on the ground, Goldsmith also boasted the trademark full back's penchant for prodigious, accurate kicking. Later in his VFL career, he returned to the forward lines to good effect. 

After 119 VFL games and 107 goals for South from 1951 to 1959 Goldsmith joined Ovens and Murray Football League side Albury as captain-coach, remaining there for seven seasons. He returned to the city with Port Melbourne in 1966 - the very season, ironically, that Albury managed to secure its first flag in a decade - but added just nine VFA games to his tally.

Fred Goldsmith was selected on the interchange bench in the official Sydney/South Melbourne 'Team of the Century'.

Author - John Devaney


Full Points Footy Publications


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