Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Joseph Henry Slater

Known as
Joe Slater

29 November 1888

Place of birth
Ballarat, VIC (3350)

3 May 1917 (aged 28)

Place of death
France (Bullecourt)


Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 17y 276d
Last game: 25y 280d

Height and weight
Height: 179 cm
Weight: 86 kg

Senior clubs

Jumper numbers
Geelong: 17, 30, 10

State of origin

Joe Slater

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV

AFL: 1,219th player to appear, 2,208th most games played, 3,974th most goals kickedGeelong: 152nd player to appear, 155th most games played, 322nd most goals kicked

Originally from United Methodists in the Church Union Association, Geelong utility Joe Slater was considered to be one of the foremost players of his day, and was named on a half back flank in the club's official 'Team of the Century'. Strong overhead, and boasting phenomenal pace, he was capable of performing effectively as a forward or across centre, but it was as a defender that, by common consent, he played most of his best football. Between 1906 and 1914 Slater played a total of 108 VFL games, and kicked 17 goals. He represented the VFL twice. 

Having quit football in order to enlist, he lost his life while serving his country in World War I, at Bullecourt in France.

Former champion footballer of the 1890s, Peter Burns, wrote of Slater in 1940; 

  "I turn to the possibilities of a man who, had he been spared, would have revolutionised Australian Football and gone down as the greatest player our game has produced - Joe Slater. Slater was nearing his prime when he was cut down in World War 1. He was just on the verge of super championship class when duty called him. He never came back. He was a big strong fellow. Higher than 6ft about 13 stone of hard sinew and muscle - but, as a mover an antelope. His pace was phenomenal. He was a champion runner. Yet, despite his size and his great pace, he could swing and balance like a rover."

Author - John Devaney with additional material from Adam Cardosi


Full Points Footy Publications


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