Australian Football

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Key Facts

Full name
Stephen William Marsh

Known as
Steve Marsh

Born
12 September 1924

Place of birth
Kalgoorlie, WA (6430)

Occupation
Foreman stevedore

Height and weight
Height: 167 cm
Weight: 70 kg

Senior clubs
South Fremantle; East Fremantle

Recruited from
South Fremantle (1957)

State of origin
WA

Hall of fame
Australian Football Hall of Fame (2006); Western Australian Football Hall Of Fame (2004) Legend

Steve Marsh


ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
South FremantleWANFL1945-19562264181.85
East FremantleWANFL1957-1958, 196039511.31
WANFL1945-1958, 19602654691.77
Total1945-1958, 19602654691.77

During the first decade after the Second World War South Fremantle boasted many exceptional players, but none better than Railways in Kalgoorlie recruit Steve Marsh, who many reputable judges at the time regarded as the finest rover the game had seen up to that point. Marsh possessed all of the qualities traditionally associated with good rovers in that he was quick, most notably over that vital first two or three metres, elusive, extremely determined, courageous and highly skilled, with his impeccable drop kicking to position being especially noteworthy. He was also an excellent motivator, pre-eminently capable of inspiring his team mates to give of their best. Between 1947 and 1954 South Fremantle won no fewer than six Grand Finals, and Steve Marsh was one of only three men to play in all of them. He won the Walker Medal for South Fremantle’s fairest and best player a then record four times (since equalled by Stephen Michael), was an All Australian in 1953, and won a Sandover Medal in 1952 and a Simpson Medal after the following year’s Grand Final.

To call Marsh’s decision to accept an offer to coach arch rivals East Fremantle in 1957 controversial would represent the grossest of understatements, but from Marsh’s point of view it made considerable sense. He was nearing the end of his playing career, South Fremantle’s fortunes were clearly on the wane, and the proffered salary of £300 - triple what was on offer anywhere else in the WANFL - must have seemed more than a tad enticing.

Not surprisingly, Marsh proved to be a successful coach. In his first season the blue and whites, with Marsh making telling contributions both on and off the field, broke through for their first flag for 11 years. As far as the East Fremantle committee was concerned, that £300 must have seemed like money well spent.

Steve Marsh’s playing career effectively ended in 1958 (he returned for one game in 1960) after a total of 265 games over 16 seasons. He represented his state 19 times.

Author - John Devaney

Sources

Full Points Footy's WA Football Companion

Footnotes

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