AustralianFootball.com Celebrating the history of the great Australian game
27 December 1917
17 July 1984 (aged 66)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 21y 123d
Last game: 29y 267d
Height and weight
Height: 179 cm
Weight: 78 kg
Warragul (1939); Fitzroy (1948); Korumburra (1950); Yarragon (1951); Dandenong (1952)
Joe Price (Father)
|Club||League||Career span||Games||Goals||Avg||Win %||AKI||AHB||AMK||BV|
|CGFL||1934-1938, 1948-1950, 1952-1953||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
AFL: 4,692nd player to appear, 2,270th most games played, 1,072nd most goals kickedFitzroy: 543rd player to appear, 107th most games played, 44th most goals kicked
Immortalised as part of Fitzroy's eighth and final premiership team in 1944, Noel Price came from Warragul to play 104 games for the Gorillas between 1939 and 1947. The son of Joe Price, who played with Richmond in 1911, Noel made his VFL debut in 1939, the year Fitzroy adopted the 'Gorilla' moniker, his first match in round two seeing him named amongst his team's best in a loss to St Kilda. Selected on the half-forward flank, Price didn't kick a goal in that game, but he proved himself to be generally good for one or two per game thereafter.
Price was surprisingly dropped after his team's round 11 loss to Carlton, only a week after he had kicked a personal best four majors in the Gorillas' big win over top-four side Richmond, but strong reserves form saw him back in the side for the final three rounds. Indifferent form saw him make only eight senior appearances in 1940, but after breaking back into the top flight in round three the following year, he played all remaining games in 1941, establishing himself as a rather tall (179cm, 5' 10") rover for the time.
From 1942 to 1944, Price's availability was limited due to duties fulfilled as 'Aircraftman Class 1' and later 'Leading aircraftman' in the RAAF during World War II. Having served 21 months in New Guinea (where he captained his squadron football team), Price was granted leave in mid-1944 and slotted comfortably back into his old on-field role. He was then granted further leave in September and October, and was an integral part of the Gorillas' drive to their eighth premiership.
In the 1944 Grand Final, Fitzroy outlasted Richmond to win by 15 points, and Price was named in the Gorillas' best, his game described in the Age on the following Monday as follows: "Noel Price was a thorn In the side of his opponent. His driving kicks and his accurate passes were classy."
Price gave Fitzroy three further seasons of solid service, before he made his last appearance for the club in the Gorillas' narrow Preliminary Final loss to Essendon in 1947, kicking two goals.
At age 29, Noel Price then took up an offer to captain-coach Korumburra in the Central Gippsland Football League for the princely sum of £8 per week. He spent two years leading the Bullants before having a year at Yarragon, after which he was appointed captain-coach at Dandenong Combined in the Federal League.
1952 saw Price back at Korumburra as a player, and he was again the club's playing coach in 1953, a season which saw him suspended for eight matches for striking A Nott, who played at Price's original club Warragul. Price was reappointed as Korumburra's for the 1954 season, but quit his post in April of that year, citing a wish to return to his home in Dandenong.
His country football deeds notwithstanding, it is as one of Fitzroy's best in the Gorillas' last VFL premiership for which Noel Price will be remembered.
Author - Andrew Gigacz