Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
William Leonard Metherell

Known as
Len Metherell

17 November 1908

30 October 1992 (aged 83)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 21y 167d
Last game: 27y 272d

Height and weight
Height: 183 cm
Weight: 92 kg

Senior clubs
Subiaco; Geelong

Jumper numbers
Geelong: 3

Recruited from
Subiaco (1930)

Family links
Jack Metherell (Brother)

Len Metherell

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV

Pre 1965 stats are for selected matches only

AFL: 3,653rd player to appear, 2,134th most games played, 909th most goals kickedGeelong: 359th player to appear, 148th most games played, 65th most goals kicked

The older brother, by four years, of Jack Metherell, who played with distinction for Geelong, North Hobart and Cooee, Len Metherell commenced his senior football career in 1927 with Subiaco. Len was also five cm taller than his brother, at 183 cm, and on average about 12 kg heavier, making him well suited physically to playing a supporting role in the ruck, which he did to good effect to Tom Outridge at Subiaco, and later to Arthur Coghlan at Geelong. He was also a prolific goalkicker when resting up forward, and in his debut season he topped the Maroons' goal kicking list with 49 goals. He also captured the headlines, playing as a full forward for a West Australian second team against Collingwood, when he booted nine of his side's 12 goals for the match

Almost awesomely physically aggressive, Len Metherell had an oft-noted partiality for crashing his way through packs of players, with scant heed for his own or anyone else's safety. Such a predilection made Metherell highly appealing in the eyes of a number of VFL clubs, and few people were surprised when, in 1930, after just 45 WAFL games, he joined the burgeoning ranks of West Australian émigrés to the perceived 'big time' of the VFL.

In terms of player payments, compared to the WAFL the VFL truly was the 'big time', a factor that suddenly acquired enhanced importance as Australia, along with the rest of the Western world, was plunged into a dire economic depression. Len Metherell's new football home was Geelong, and he would give the Cats fine service for the next seven years, during which time he would play 110 senior games, kick 117 goals, help the side to a 20-point win over Richmond in the 1931 Grand Final, and represent the VFL in the interstate arena once. In addition to his renowned toughness, he was strong overhead, and was one of the first regular exponents of the drop punt (the kick which Jack Dyer is often amusingy purported to have 'invented') to play VFL football.

Author - John Devaney


Full Points Footy's WA Football Companion


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