Australian Football

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Key Facts

Full name
Garry Wilson

Known as
Garry Wilson

Nickname
Flea

Born
17 July 1953 (age 69)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 17y 274d
Last game: 31y 54d

Height and weight
Height: 178 cm
Weight: 70 kg

Senior clubs
Fitzroy

Jumper numbers
Fitzroy: 29

Garry Wilson

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
FitzroyV/AFL1971-19842684521.6942%17.038.005.03161
Total1971-19842684521.6942%17.038.005.03161

AFL: 8,359th player to appear, 173rd most games played, 77th most goals kickedFitzroy: 891st player to appear, 3rd most games played, 3rd most goals kicked

Despite being thought too frail for league football by some people, Fitzroy's Garry 'Flea' Wilson proved himself one of the most brilliant rovers of his era¹. Between 1971 and 1984 he played a total of 268 VFL games, frequently displaying courage and persistence above and beyond the call of duty. In 1977, for example, he sustained a badly fractured jaw, and doctors wrote him off for the season, but within weeks he was back playing as though nothing had happened.

Regularly among the favourites to land the Brownlow Medal, Wilson's best season was 1979 when he finished just one vote shy of the winner, Collingwood's Peter Moore. He also came a close third in 1978 behind Malcolm Blight and Peter Knights. His importance to Fitzroy was amply illustrated by his feat in winning no fewer than five club best-and-fairest awards. He also topped the club's goal kicking list on two occasions. From 1982-84 he fulfilled a long term ambition by emulating his hero, Kevin Murray, with whom he had played at the outset of his career, and captaining the Lions:

"I remember running onto the ground near Kevin and it really made an impression on me. He looked and acted the way a captain should and it felt good to be around him. It gave me confidence. That's how I want the young Fitzroy players to feel around me."²

Some of Garry Wilson's finest performances came in the interstate arena. He represented either the VFL or Victoria 12 times, and he won consecutive All Australian blazers in 1979 and 1980.

Author - John Devaney

Footnotes

1. Wilson stood 179cm tall and had a usual playing weight of 70kg.
2. Hutton's 1981 Footy Book by Jim Main, page 10.

Sources

Full Points Footy Publications

Footnotes

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