Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
David Christy

Known as
Dave 'Dolly' Christy


3 July 1869

Place of birth
Ballarat, VIC (3350)

2 July 1919 (aged 49)

Place of death
Adelaide, SA (5800)

Senior clubs
Melbourne; Fremantle (Unions); East Fremantle

Recruited from
Melbourne (1896); Fremantle (Unions) (1897); Imperials (1898)

State of origin

Hall of fame
Australian Football Hall Of Fame (1996); Western Australian Football Hall Of Fame (2004)

Dave 'Dolly' Christy

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
Fremantle (Unions)WAFA1896-189711
East FremantleWAFL1898-19121961910.97

Originally from Ballarat, Dave ‘Dolly’ Christy began his senior football career with the club of that name before joining Melbourne FC, where he was a key player for over a decade. In 1896, he headed west, playing briefly with Fremantle and Imperials, before joining the newly formed East Fremantle Football Club in 1898, and it was there in 196 games over the ensuing fifteen seasons that he carved out a reputation for himself as one of the bona fide early champions of the game. 

All told, the remarkably athletic and fit Christy, “that marvellous specimen of perennial youth”¹ according to a contemporary observer, played senior football for twenty-seven years. Equally at home on a half forward flank or as a follower, he was prominent among East Fremantle’s best players time and time again throughout the early 1900s.

In the view of Dolph Heinrichs, who played alongside Christy on many occasions:

"He (Christy) was a very great player, comparable with any of the football giants who have worn the Blue and White. In physique he was slightly below the average height, but weighed about 13 stone. He was tremendously strong in the back muscles and in the arm and shoulders, and it was almost impossible to unbalance him ..... his great value was his ability to force his way out of a pack with the ball by sheer strength and tenacity, and particularly if the position was in front of goal, where he was a fine snapshot. He lived for football. On the field he was dour and seldom spoke and there was no joy in the game if the match wasn’t won."²

Dave Christy died in Adelaide on 2nd July 1919, the day before his 50th birthday.³

Author - John Devaney


1. The Footballers by Geoff Christian, page 16.
2. Celebrating 100 Years of Tradition by Jack Lee, page 45.
3. I am indebted to WA football historian and statistician Steve Davies for supplying some of the above information, as well as for correcting some factual errors in Christy's profile as originally published.


Full Points Footy's WA Football Companion


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