Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Gary Robert Malarkey

Known as
Gary Malarkey

23 May 1953 (age 69)

Place of birth
Armadale, WA (6992)

Indigenous Australian

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 23y 314d
Last game: 33y 64d

Height and weight
Height: 185 cm
Weight: 89 kg

Senior clubs
East Perth; Geelong; Geelong West

Jumper numbers
Geelong: 5, 6

Recruited from
East Perth (1977); Geelong (1987)

State of origin

Hall of fame
Western Australian Football Hall Of Fame, Inducted 2010

Gary Malarkey

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
East PerthWANFL1971-1976101290.29
Geelong WestVFA1987-1988

AFL: 8,870th player to appear, 932nd most games played, 12,463rd most goals kickedGeelong: 773rd player to appear, 67th most games played, 1,048th most goals kicked

Despite his comparatively small (185cm, 89kg) stature Gary Malarkey was arguably the finest full back in Australia during the late 1970s and early 80s. Aggressive and determined, he used his muscular frame to good effect when engaged in the man-on-man duels which are such an integral feature of full back play.

A member of East Perth's 1972 premiership team Malarkey also won the Royals' fairest and best award the following year before heading to Geelong in 1977. He played a total of 172 games for the Cats during a predominantly mediocre 10-season period for the club. Never the most eye-catchingly brilliant of players, he nevertheless excelled in those attributes which coaches value and seek to nurture: toughness, a refusal to accept defeat, and unglamorous 'one percent' tasks like shepherding, smothering, spoiling and chasing.

An integral member of many of Western Australia's early state of origin teams, Gary Malarkey was named an All Australian after the 1979 Perth carnival. He finished his playing career with Geelong West, and in 1988 was that club's last ever VFA coach.

Author - John Devaney


Full Points Footy's WA Football Companion


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