4 January 1941 (age 81)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 17y 119d
Last game: 30y 236d
Height and weight
Height: 175 cm
Weight: 70 kg
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Pre 1965 stats are for selected matches only
Blessed with blistering pace, extraordinary courage, and deft ball-handling skills Geelong's Bill Goggin was without doubt one of the finest rovers in the history of the game. Best remembered for his partnership with West Australian ruckman Graham 'Polly' Farmer - an alliance which greatly bolstered both players' reputations - Goggin had an equally profound impact on numerous other colleagues, not least full forward Doug Wade, whose prolific goal kicking achievements owed much to the the bountiful supply of bullet-like stab passes emanating from the boot of the diminutive (175cm, 70kg) number 35.
Goggin arrived at Kardinia Park from North Geelong in 1957, and after a season in the under nineteens, he made his senior debut the following year. Always at his best on the bigger grounds, where his uncanny ability to run at full pelt without seemingly breaking stride came to the fore, he was in superb form on the MCG during the 1963 finals series, culminating in a 23 possession, 'do as you please' performance in Geelong's grand final rout of Hawthorn.
Twice voted the Cats best and fairest player, the distinctively blond-haired Goggin had played 248 VFL games, plus 14 matches for the state, by the time he crossed to VFA club Geelong West as captain-coach in 1972. In his debut season with the Roosters he steered them to an unbeaten second-division premiership, and over the next three years he oversaw continued development that would eventually yield a first division flag in 1975. By that stage, however, Goggin had retired as a player, and was coaching from the sidelines.
From 1976-8 he undertook a similar role at Footscray, but after a promising first season the form of the side fell away disappointingly. Goggin spent the 1979 season back at Geelong West, and got the side as far as a losing first division Grand Final. In 1980 he returned to Geelong as coach but, in three seasons at the helm, was unable to steer a talented side beyond the preliminary final. Bill Goggin later coached the Victorian interstate team.
Goggin, who in 2001 was the perhaps inevitable choice as first rover in Geelong's official 'Team of the Century', later coached Victoria's state of origin team.
Author - John Devaney