Australian Football

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Key Facts

Full name
Peter Lawrence Anthony Bedford

Known as
Peter Bedford

Nickname
Wheels

Born
11 April 1947 (age 75)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 21y 9d
Last game: 31y 18d

Height and weight
Height: 180 cm
Weight: 75 kg

Senior clubs
Port Melbourne; South Melbourne; Carlton

Jumper numbers
South Melbourne: 11
Carlton: 6, 27

Recruited from
Port Melbourne (1968); South Melbourne (1977); Carlton (1978)

Hall of fame
Australian Football Hall of Fame (Inducted 1999)

Family links
Bill Bedford (Father)

Peter Bedford

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
Port MelbourneVFA1965-1967, 1978-197969
South MelbourneV/AFL1968-19761783251.8329%15.606.204.4987
CarltonV/AFL1977-1978840.5063%9.635.253.632
VFA1965-1967, 1978-197969
V/AFL1968-19781863291.7731%15.346.164.4589
Total1965-19792553291.29

AFL: 8,013th player to appear, 767th most games played, 155th most goals kickedSouth Melbourne: 944th player to appear, 45th most games played, 10th most goals kickedCarlton: 865th player to appear, 821st most games played, 608th most goals kicked

Modest, even shy, Peter took three years to decide he was ready for league football. Once he did, the former Port Melbourne star didn’t fool around. He has proven himself in the centre, on the half forward flank, on the wing and as a rover. He has the happy knack of doing best where he’s needed most, and can kick goals from behind his left ear.¹

The son of a former Port Melbourne player in Bill Bedford, Peter Bedford was a highly accomplished centreman or on-baller who followed in his father's footsteps with 69 games for the club, initially between 1965 and 1967, and then in 1978-9. Arguably the most significant of these games was the 1966 VFA Grand Final in which Bedford's best a field performance in the centre was a crucial factor in the side's eventual 13.12 (90) to 6.11 (47) defeat of Waverley. In 1968, lured by the prospect of significantly higher player payments, Bedford crossed to VFL club South Melbourne without a clearance, and, over the ensuing nine seasons, went on to become one of that club's most auspicious and memorable performers,winning a Brownlow Medal in 1970, and representing the VFL on numerous occasions.

Ironically, Bedford actually preferred cricket, in which he was also highly proficient, as a sport, and were it not for the fact that football at the time offered significantly more lucrative rewards he might easily have been lost to the indigenous game. As it was, he played a total of 178 VFL games and booted 325 goals for the perennially under-achieving Swans, winning the club's best and fairest award in 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973 and 1975, and the goal-kicking title on three occasions. As a player, Bedford combined impeccable all round skills with a fierce, implacable determination, qualities which had sadly dimmed somewhat by the time he played just eight games in just under two seasons with Carlton towards the end of his VFL career.

Back at Port Melbourne, Peter Bedford experienced the singular misfortune of fronting up for the club in the only two seasons between 1976 and 1982 that it failed to land the premiership. Nevertheless, his form during his two stints with the Borough was deemed to be of sufficiently high quality to warrant inclusion as centreman in its official 'Team of the Century', announced in August 2003. The same month saw Bedford also selected, this time as a ruck-rover, in Sydney/South Melbourne's equivalent combination. He continued his active involvement in the game into the twenty-first century as non-playing coach of VAFA side Albert Park.

Author - John Devaney

Footnotes

1. VFL 1971 Mobil Footy Photos number 15.

Sources

Full Points Footy Publications, Crème de la Crème

Footnotes

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