Australian Football

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Key Facts

Full name
William Horace Bray Bant

Known as
Horrie Bant

Born
22 September 1882

Died
6 May 1957 (aged 74)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 23y 267d
Last game: 27y 353d

Senior clubs
West Perth; St. Kilda; Essendon; Subiaco; Prahran

Recruited from
West Perth (1906); St. Kilda (1910); Essendon (1911); Subiaco (1913); Prahran (1914)

Family links
Chris Bant (Brother)William Bant (Son)

Horrie Bant

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
West PerthWAFA19051510.07
St. KildaV/AFL1906-19095210.0246%0
EssendonV/AFL19101200.0058%0
SubiacoWAFL1911-1912, 1914, 1916-191859
PrahranVFA1913
WAFL1905, 1911-1912, 1914, 1916-19187410.01
V/AFL1906-19106410.0248%0
VFA1913
Total1905-1914, 1916-191813820.01

AFL: 1,162nd player to appear, 3,548th most games played, 8,436th most goals kickedSt. Kilda: 244th player to appear, 297th most games played, 914th most goals kickedEssendon: 197th player to appear, 655th most games played, 934th most goals kicked

Of individual feats none is so deserving of special mention as that of Horrie Bant’s, who easily stood out far above his fellows - a big towering back. Joe Bushell, at the instance of an injury, decided to take a less prominent part after a few minutes’ play and it was owing to the uselessness of Joe that Bant had the opportunity of filling both positions. He was everywhere and never has he given such a clean exhibition in this State.¹

William Horace Bant - invariably referred to as 'Horrie' - made his senior debut with West Perth in 1905 and enjoyed an unforgettable year, culminating in a best afield performance as the Cardinals overcame East Fremantle 4.7 (31) to 3.9 (27) in the challenge final replay at North Fremantle Oval. The next five seasons saw him plying his trade in the VFL, where he played 52 games for St Kilda between 1906 and 1909, and 12 games for Essendon in 1910. He was vice-captain of the Saints in 1907, and earned a reputation as an immensely reliable defender who was equally at home at full back or centre half back.

In 1911 Bant returned to Western Australia and joined a Subiaco side that was soon to emerge as a league force for the first time. When the Maroons broke through for their first premiership in 1912 thanks to a stirring come from behind victory over East Fremantle in the challenge final, Horrie Bant was at centre half back. After spending the 1913 season at VFA side Prahran, he resumed with Subiaco in 1914 and again from 1916 to 1918, which sadly for him meant missing the Maroons' 1913 and 1915 premiership triumphs. He played a total of 59 WAFL games for Subiaco, and was a popular and highly respected figure.

Perhaps surprisingly, 'Horrie' Bant never played interstate football. He did, however, captain the coastal combination which ventured to Kalgoorlie in 1912 to play against the Goldfields, and ended up winning a high standard encounter by seven points.

There is a somewhat tragic footnote to the tale of Bant's involvement in football. In 1928 he was driving a truck in which his close friend, Phil Matson, one of the all time greats of the game, was a passenger. The truck was involved in an accident, and although Bant escaped comparatively unscathed, forty-two year old Matson was fatally injured, and died two days later in hospital.

Author - John Devaney

Footnotes

1. “Westralian Worker”, 19/6/1914, page 11. In the match under review Bant had helped Subiaco defeat East Perth by 40 points, 10.19 to 6.3.

Sources

Crème de la Crème

Footnotes

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