Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Oliver Grieve

Known as
Ollie Grieve

30 October 1920

2 February 1978 (aged 57)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 21y 226d
Last game: 31y 312d

Height and weight
Height: 183 cm
Weight: 83 kg

Senior clubs

Jumper numbers
Carlton: 26, 13, 27

Ollie Grieve

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
CarltonV/AFL1942, 1944, 1946-195213740.0358%8.003.0060
Total1942, 1944, 1946-195213740.0358%8.003.0060

Pre 1965 stats are for selected matches only

AFL: 5,066th player to appear, 1,494th most games played, 6,584th most goals kickedCarlton: 573rd player to appear, 97th most games played, 596th most goals kicked

Just one among a long line of exceptional full backs to have donned the old dark navy blue down the years, Ollie Grieve overcame a stuttering start to his league career with Carlton to develop into a bona fide champion. The Blues recruited him from Bacchus Marsh in 1942 but just half a dozen games into his debut season he received his call up papers and spent the next three and a half years - apart from a leave break in 1944 - serving in the army. Thankfully he emerged unscathed from this period, and it was not long after resuming in the VFL that he began earning rave reviews. Initially he was utilised as a follower, but Carlton coach Perce Bentley, acting on a hunch, sent him to full back, where his grit, tenacity and, perhaps most significantly of all, his immense powers of concentration came to the fore. He was soon widely regarded as the finest last line defender in the game. In 1947 he was a key reason the Blues managed to hold off Essendon and triumph, by a solitary point, in the 1947 grand final.

Carlton's form in 1948 was typical of a team suffering a premiership hangover, but Ollie Grieve was an exception. Week in week out he took on and beat the finest full forwards in the league, and his prowess was fully appreciated by the men in white because he finished runner-up in the Brownlow, a rare achievement for a full back.

The last of Ollie Grieve's 137 VFL games came in a losing first semi final against Fitzroy in 1952, the same season which saw him claim a Blues best and fairest award.

Pacy, smart, doggedly determined and a superb kick, Ollie Grieve can be regarded as having drawn the template on which future Blues full backs such as Geoff Southby and Steve Silvagni were modelled.

Author - John Devaney



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