Australian Football

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Key Facts

Full name
Stuart Spencer

Known as
Stuart Spencer

Born
3 February 1932

Died
27 September 2011 (aged 79)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 18y 78d
Last game: 24y 225d

Height and weight
Height: 178 cm
Weight: 76 kg

Senior clubs
Melbourne; Clarence

Jumper numbers
Melbourne: 12

Recruited from
Melbourne (1957)

Stuart Spencer

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
MelbourneV/AFL1950-19561221461.2057%21.204.4039
ClarenceTANFL1957-1967236
Total1950-19673581460.41

Pre 1965 stats are for selected matches only

AFL: 5,976th player to appear, 1,861st most games played, 669th most goals kickedMelbourne: 697th player to appear, 120th most games played, 47th most goals kicked

Originally from Portland, with whom he won the Western District Football League's best and fairest award in 1949, Stuart Spencer was 25 years old when he arrived at Clarence, a veteran of 122 VFL games with Melbourne which included participation in the 1955 and 1956 premiership sides. He had also played half a dozen interstate games for the VFL, gained selection in the 1956 All Australian team, and was a dual winner of the Demons' best and fairest award (no mean feat when you consider that his team mates included players of the calibre of Ron Barassi, John Beckwith, Brian Dixon, Laurie Mithen and Ian Ridley).

There is no doubt that, had he wished, Spencer could have gone on playing in the VFL for many more years, but for family and business reasons he elected to relocate to Tasmania. With him he brought a professionalism and an indefatigable resolve to succeed, which gradually had a discernible impact on those under his tutelage.

He also continued to perform with distinction as a player, winning 'The Mercury' award for the best and fairest player in the TANFL in 1958 and 1960, representing Tasmania on 11 occasions, and procuring a second All Australian blazer after the 1958 centenary championships in Melbourne. When Tasmania broke through for a first ever victory over the Big V at York Park, Launceston in 1960, Stuart Spencer took great delight in captaining the victors. Not only that, he was most observers' choice as best afield, while the behind he kicked shortly before the end effectively sealed the result in that it put the Tasmanians seven points in front. (Click here for a more detailed review of this match.)

The only major disappointment of Spencer's senior football career, which ended after 236 TFL games for Clarence, was that he failed to steer the 'Roos to a flag, although having got them to their first ever Grand Final in 1962, his penultimate season, he definitely left them in a stronger position than they were in when he joined them.

Author - John Devaney

Sources

Full Points Footy Publications

Footnotes

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