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Key Facts

Full name
Leonard Pye

Known as
Len Pye

Nickname
Apples

Born
21 February 1911

Died
20 September 1989 (aged 78)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 23y 73d
Last game: 24y 65d

Height and weight
Height: 183 cm
Weight: 80 kg

Senior clubs
Northcote; North Hobart; Fitzroy; New Norfolk

Jumper numbers
Fitzroy: 19

Recruited from
Northcote (1929); North Hobart (1934); Fitzroy (1936); North Hobart (1947)

Len Pye

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
NorthcoteVFA1928
North HobartTANFL1929-1933, 1936-1938, 1946
FitzroyV/AFL1934-193516392.4444%2
New NorfolkTANFL1947-1948
VFA1928
TANFL1929-1933, 1936-1938, 1946-1948
V/AFL1934-193516392.4444%2
Total1928-1938, 1946-194816392.44

AFL: 4,134th player to appear, 7,023rd most games played, 2,419th most goals kickedFitzroy: 463rd player to appear, 512th most games played, 134th most goals kicked

Memorably nicknamed 'Apples', Tasmanian-born Len Pye actually commenced his senior football career in the VFA with Northcote. He returned to Tasmania in 1929, thereby missing the onset of the Brickfielders' greatest ever era, which would yield a total of five premierships over the next eight seasons. Not that flag success was foreign to Pye: joining North Hobart, he participated in that club's Grand Final wins over Lefroy in 1929 and Cananore in 1932. In 1929, the Robins also won the state premiership with a nine-point defeat of Launceston.

Adept on the ground, formidable in the air, and a thumping kick, Pye won the 1932 Leitch Medal, and was a key performer for Tasmania at the 1933 Sydney carnival, where he came to the attention of a number of mainland clubs. The 1934 season found him at Fitzroy where he played a total of 16 VFL games and kicked 39 goals in two years.

Back at North Hobart in 1936, Len Pye continued where he had left off, putting in a best afield performance for the Robins as they overcame Lefroy by four points in a nail-biting Grand Final. A 17-point defeat of Launceston in the state premiership play-off followed.

Best afield again in the 1937 Grand Final, and this time with an official award, the Coronation Medal, to confirm it, Pye nevertheless suffered disappointment as North Hobart went down to Lefroy by 45 points.

In winning the George Watt Memorial Medal in both 1937 and 1938, Len Pye became the first player to secure TFL best and fairest awards on three occasions. (Rex Garwood later emulated this feat.) Had the war not intervened, he might conceivably have won even more. A member of five North Hobart premiership teams and a winner of the club best and fairest award in 1931 and 1936-7-8, Pye returned to the Robins when full scale football resumed in 1946. The following year, however, he joined TANFL debutants New Norfolk, where he played out the final two seasons of his league career.

Len Pye's immense contribution to Tasmanian football was rewarded in 2004 with inclusion in the state's official 'Team of the Century'.

Author - John Devaney

Sources

Full Points Footy's Tasmanian Football Companion

Footnotes

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