Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Peter Charles Burns

Known as
Peter Burns

5 January 1866

Place of birth
Steiglitz, VIC (3331)

11 October 1952 (aged 86)

Place of death
Williamstown, VIC (3016)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 31y 123d
Last game: 36y 160d

Senior clubs
South Melbourne; Geelong

Recruited from
Ballarat Imperial (1885); South Melbourne (1892)

State of origin

Family links
Allen Burns (Brother)

Peter Burns

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
South MelbourneVFA1885-18911251000.80

AFL: 19th player to appear, 2,718th most games played, 5,521st most goals kickedGeelong: 1st player to appear, 189th most games played, 457th most goals kicked

Recruited by South Melbourne from Ballarat Imperials in 1885, Peter Burns went on to enjoy virtually unrivalled popularity in the Victorian game until his retirement as a player 18 years later. His combination of a neo-Herculean physique, immense courage, fervent athleticism, and irreproachable on field behaviour perfectly encapsulated the 'ideal of manhood' which was in vogue at the time. On the field of play, Burns was an instant success, helping South to a premiership in his first season with the club, and to further flags in 1888-89-90. Burns was equally effective whether positioned at full back, or in the ruck, in which latter case he was perfectly capable of remaining on the ball all day.

The 1892 season saw Burns crossing to Geelong and he went on to give the Pivotonians excellent service for another ten years. He captained Geelong in 1896 and 1900, and also captained Victoria's intercolonial team. In 1902, at the age of thirty-six, he was compelled to retire after sustaining a serious leg injury, but he maintained his involvement in football until 1941 by acting as Geelong's official timekeeper.

Author - John Devaney


Full Points Footy Publications


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