Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Leonard Thomas

Known as
Len Thomas

20 July 1908

Place of birth
South Melbourne, VIC (3205)

17 August 1943 (aged 35)

Place of death
New Guinea (Salamaua)

Customs agent

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 18y 321d
Last game: 31y 331d

Height and weight
Height: 179 cm
Weight: 80 kg

Senior clubs
South Melbourne; Hawthorn; North Melbourne; Sturt

Jumper numbers
South Melbourne: 12, 9
Hawthorn: 1
North Melbourne: 1

Recruited from
South Melbourne (1939); Hawthorn (1940); North Melbourne (1942)

State of origin

Family links
Bill 'Sonna' Thomas (Father)

Len Thomas

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
South MelbourneV/AFL1927-1934, 1936-1938187540.2952%19.795.1019
North MelbourneV/AFL1940691.5017%2
V/AFL1927-1934, 1936-1940209780.3750%19.795.1025
Total1927-1934, 1936-1940, 1942212830.39

Pre 1965 stats are for selected matches only

AFL: 3,316th player to appear, 562nd most games played, 1,393rd most goals kickedSouth Melbourne: 402nd player to appear, 40th most games played, 138th most goals kickedHawthorn: 252nd player to appear, 488th most games played, 284th most goals kickedNorth Melbourne: 264th player to appear, 733rd most games played, 369th most goals kicked

Powerful, fleet of foot, and possessing all the essential skills of the game, Len Thomas was without doubt one of the best all round VFL footballers of the 1930s. He actually began with South Melbourne in 1927, but it was during the 1930s that he arrived at a peak of excellence which was maintained throughout most of the decade. Winner of South's best and fairest award in 1931 and 1938, he was a significant contributor from the centre when the red and whites thrashed Richmond in the 1933 Grand Final. 

Thomas crossed to Hawthorn as captain- coach in 1939, but the Mayblooms had a poor season, and finished 10th. The 1940 season saw him at North Melbourne, once again as captain-coach, but after a disastrous year which produced just four wins and the wooden spoon, Thomas retired from VFL football and embarked on military service, during the course of which, whilst stationed in Adelaide he played three SANFL games for Sturt,. Tragically, he was to meet his end just a year later while serving his country abroad.

Len Thomas played a total of 209 VFL games, and represented the VFL in the interstate arena on half a dozen occasions. He came from a footballing background, with his father,Bill 'Sonna' Thomas having enjoyed a noteworthy VFL career with South Melbourne and Richmond.

Author - John Devaney


Full Points Footy Publications


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