Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
John Peter Roberts

Known as
John Roberts

23 September 1956 (age 67)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 23y 188d
Last game: 25y 284d

Height and weight
Height: 186 cm
Weight: 87 kg

Senior clubs
Woodville; South Melbourne; West Torrens; North Adelaide

Jumper numbers
South Melbourne: 10

State of origin

John Roberts

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
WoodvilleSANFL1974-1979, 19831201911.59
South MelbourneV/AFL1980-1982501352.7050%7.362.304.506
West TorrensSANFL1984-1986582173.74
North AdelaideSANFL1987-1988532103.96
SANFL1974-1979, 1983-19882316182.68

AFL: 9,130th player to appear, 4,315th most games played, 749th most goals kickedSouth Melbourne: 1,082nd player to appear, 339th most games played, 51st most goals kicked

John Roberts was an elusive, high leaping key forward who began his league career with Woodville in 1974. Over the next six seasons, he played a total of 120 SANFL games for the Peckers, topping their goal-kicking list in 1977 with 51 goals and in 1978 with 30. 

In 1980 he joined South Melbourne and earned an instant place for himself in the hearts of Swans fans by kicking the winning goal right on the siren in his debut match against Geelong. Roberts was a success in the VFL, kicking 135 goals in 50 games spread over three seasons. He was the Swans top goal kicker in 1980 with 67 goals, and in 1981 with 51, although his form dropped off after South become Sydney in 1982 and injuries took a toll.

Returning to South Australia in 1983, he spent the next four seasons with West Torrens, adding 58 SANFL games to his tally, as well as a further three club goal kicking awards. The final phase of Roberts' career took place at North Adelaide, where he finally got to play in a premiership team, contributing five goals to the Roosters 23.7 (145) to 9.9 (63) Grand Final annihilation of Glenelg. That same season he booted 111 goals to top the SANFL's goal-kicking ladder for the first and only time in his career. He ended his career after a 1988 season which saw him boot 80 goals to top North's list once more; his 53 senior games with the Roosters gave him a career total of 283, including two appearances for South Australia at the 1980 Adelaide carnival, after which he achieved All-Australian selection.

Author - John Devaney


Full Points Footy's SA Football Companion


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