27 February 1887
1 May 1971 (aged 84)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 22y 63d
Last game: 36y 235d
Height and weight
Height: 178 cm
Weight: 74 kg
Fitzroy: 21, 20, 30
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One of Fitzroy's all time greats, Percy Parratt was once memorably described as "the evocation of football brains".¹ He utilised those brains to commendable effect as a player at the Maroons in 195 games over 13 seasons, and somewhat less effectively as a coach at three different VFL clubs at various times between 1913 and 1935. Ironically, his only actual success as a coach, at least in terms of premiership procurement, came in the very first of those seasons as, in a desperately fought Challenge Final, the Maroons just managed to hold off a fast finishing St Kilda to edge home by 11 points. Playing on a half forward flank, Parratt was a conspicuous motivational force, particularly during the frenetic dying minutes of the game, and was listed high among Fitzroy's best players.
One of the most audaciously talented half forward specialists of his era, Parratt was notorious for playing wide of his opponent, and for using the ball impeccably. He played in another two premiership teams for Fitzroy during his career, kicking three goals against both Carlton and Collingwood in the Grand Finals of 1916 and 1922 respectively. He also played against Essendon in the losing Grand Final of 1923, his last game in a Maroon jumper. The following year saw him installed as coach of Carlton, but he lasted just one season after failing to inspire any improvement over the previous year's seventh-place finish.
Percy Parratt's last VFL appointment came 11 seasons later, and was similarly ineffective as he signally failed to get the best out of a talented Geelong combination which, with few changes in personnel, was to win a premiership just two seasons later.
He may not have been a great coach, but he was certainly a committed and enthusiastic one, while as a player he was among the very finest of his era. He was also one of only a few Fitzroy players to play in three premiership teams. In 2002 he was selected on the interchange bench in the Lions' official 'Team of the Twentieth Century'.
Author - John Devaney
1. Un-sourced quote given in The Encyclopedia of League Footballers by Jim Main and Russell Holmesby, page 344.