Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Laurence Fowler

Known as
Laurie Fowler

29 December 1951 (age 72)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 19y 144d
Last game: 29y 243d

Height and weight
Height: 179 cm
Weight: 75 kg

Senior clubs
Richmond; Melbourne; Waverley; Springvale

Jumper numbers
Richmond: 45, 11
Melbourne: 9

Recruited from
Richmond (1975); Melbourne (1982); Waverley (1983)

Laurie Fowler

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV

AFL: 8,378th player to appear, 764th most games played, 3,301st most goals kickedRichmond: 734th player to appear, 318th most games played, 471st most goals kickedMelbourne: 942nd player to appear, 83rd most games played, 325th most goals kicked

Universally respected during his career as one of the toughest players in the game, Laurie Fowler also boasted more than his share of genuine football talent, as was evidenced by his winning back to back best and fairest awards with Melbourne. Originally from Oakleigh Districts, he commenced his VFL career with Richmond in 1971, and it was with the Tigers that he etched his name into the history books forever by poleaxing Carlton captain-coach John Nicholls moments after the start of the 1973 Grand Final. In doing so, he set the tone for an entire afternoon of almost uninhibited physicality on the part of the Tigers which laid the platform for an eventual five-goal victory. Fowler, who lined up in a back pocket, was one of the key contributors to the win, but after missing the following year's Grand Final against North Melbourne he was somewhat surprisingly considered excess to requirements, and allowed to transfer to Melbourne, the club he had supported as a boy.

In six and a half seasons with the Demons he played a total of 140 VFL games to add to the 49 he had strung together with Richmond. Besides the aforementioned best and fairest awards, which came in 1979 and 1980, he represented Victoria in both 1980 and 1981. Midway through the 1981 season, however, Fowler dramatically walked out on Melbourne after a dispute over his contract, and crossed to Waverley in the VFA. He was later appointed captain-coach of Springvale, which was admitted to the Association's second division in 1982. The following year, with Fowler producing a typically stirring display as a ruck-rover, the newcomers earned promotion with a 17.9 (111) to 13.16 (94) Grand Final defeat of Brunswick.

Author - John Devaney


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