Geoffrey Russell Blethyn
28 October 1950 (age 71)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 17y 180d
Last game: 25y 284d
Height and weight
Height: 183 cm
Weight: 80 kg
Essendon: 11, 7
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The spectacular and bespectacled full-forward Geoffrey Blethyn, marking superbly and kicking 13 goals, was the crowd’s hero after Essendon had defeated the ACT by 121 points in the Australian rules match at Manuka Oval yesterday.¹
Slimly built, agile and - most memorably of all - bespectacled, full forward Geoff Blethyn had a career of fluctuating fortune with three league clubs in three states. That career began in highly noteworthy fashion with Essendon in 1968. Blethyn played just two senior games that season, the second of which was the Grand Final against Carlton. The Bombers lost the match by three points, but the young St Andrew's recruit, still a few weeks short of his eighteenth birthday, contributed four of his team's eight goals for the match. Geoff Blethyn's best season in football was 1972 when he became the first Essendon player in twenty years to 'top the ton'. In the process, he headed the Dons' goal kicking list for the second time, but Peter McKenna of Collingwood was the league's top goal kicker.
Between 1973 and 1975 Blethyn played 33 games for Claremont but, despite topping the club's goal kicking list with 71 goals in 1973 and 33 the following year, he largely failed to justify his high reputation. In 1976 he returned for one last season with Essendon where his total of 39 goals for the year was good enough to head the Bombers' list and gave him a final career tally of 216 goals in 84 VFL games.
Blethyn's next and final port of call was Port Adelaide in 1977, where he once again failed to enhance his reputation. Nevertheless, he at least managed to round off his career in style by playing in the Magpies' eight-point Grand Final defeat of Glenelg - the first and only premiership of his ten season stint in league football. The Grand Final was Blethyn's 11th appearance in a Port jumper, and the one goal he managed during the match was his 13th for the year. In 1980 he made a brief two-game comeback with Glenelg reserves, and later served on the Bays' coaching staff.
Author - John Devaney
1. “The Canberra Times”, 19/6/72, page 12. Essendon won 31.20 to 12.13.