Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Mervyn Hobbs

Known as
Merv Hobbs

16 June 1942 (age 81)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 18y 361d
Last game: 23y 73d

Height and weight
Height: 175 cm
Weight: 67 kg

Senior clubs
Footscray; Yarraville; Brunswick

Jumper numbers
Footscray: 2

Merv Hobbs

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
VFA1966, 19734
Total1961-1966, 1973781151.47

Pre 1965 stats are for selected matches only

AFL: 7,283rd player to appear, 3,232nd most games played, 926th most goals kickedFootscray: 494th player to appear, 178th most games played, 50th most goals kicked





Perhaps best remembered for the spectacular mark he took in the 1961 Preliminary Final against Melbourne (right), Footscray's Merv Hobbs actually did the bulk of his most effective work at ground level. A tenacious and cheeky rover who compensated for a slight deficiency in pace by a combination of excellent judgement and rare football intelligence, he was especially dangerous when resting in a forward pocket, as his tally of 115 career goals from 74 VFL matches confirms.

Hobbs was his club's joint top goalkicker with 16 goals in 1963, and leading goalkicker in his own right with 24 goals two years later. Footscray recruited him from Daylesford, and he made his league debut in 1961. At the end of that season he was first rover in the Bulldogs' losing Grand Final team against Hawthorn. In both 1963 and 1964 he played in Footscray's night premiership-winning sides. Had he not been forced into premature retirement he might well have developed into one of the foremost VFL small men of his generation. That possibility was removed when he was injured at training in February 1966. Doctors diagnosed torn anterior and interior ligaments and torn cartilage in the right knee, which had to be removed. Hobbs undertook remedial exercises at physio rooms in Melbourne four days a week for three months in a bid to recover, but was told "You will not be able to play sport again".

Despite this, Hobbs played four games for Yarraville in the VFA in 1966 and made a competitive football comeback seven years later when he played briefly with Brunswick. In 1974 he was a member of Brunswick's losing second division Grand Final team. He later served as non-playing coach of Williamstown where he also spent three years as club president. Hobbs also spent time back at the Western Oval as Footscray's chairman of selectors for three seasons, and coach of the under 19s for two. He played his last competitive match at the age of 52 in 1995 for Hervey Bay in Queensland.

Author - John Devaney


Full Points Footy Publications


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