Joseph Patrick Marmo
Place of birth
Portarlington, VIC (3223)
16 December 1953 (aged 83‡)
State of origin
‡ Approximate age
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Described by his illustrious contemporary Ted Rowell as "a great specimen of an athlete"¹, Joe Marmo enjoyed a distinguished two decade football career with four clubs in two states (formerly known as colonies). Born at Port Arlington, he joined Geelong as a 17-year-old in 1888. During the 1890s, in common with a large number of other Victorian and South Australian footballers of the era, he ventured west, playing initially with West Perth, whom he helped to the 1897 premiership, and later with Ted Rowell's goldfields club Hannans.
In 1899, Marmo returned home to Victoria, where he embarked on by far the lengthiest and most significant stint of his playing career at VFA power side Footscray. In 12 seasons with the Tricolours, he established himself as a powerful and fearless centre half back, playing "a big man's game with the fleetness of a rover"². He was a member of three Footscray premiership teams, captained the side in 1905, and was vice-captain for most of the remainder of his time at the club. Almost 40 years of age when he retired from playing in 1910, he remained in the game as an umpire for another three seasons.
Author - John Devaney
1. Quoted in Gravel Rash by Les Everett, page 188
2. From Marmo's obituary in 'The Footscray Mail', 19/12/53