Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Michael Francis Nolan

Known as
Mick Nolan

The Galloping Gasometer

9 November 1949

Place of birth
Tarrawingee, VIC (3678)

27 May 2008 (aged 58)

Place of death
Brisbane, QLD (4001)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 23y 184d
Last game: 30y 274d

Height and weight
Height: 194 cm
Weight: 125 kg

Senior clubs
North Melbourne

Jumper numbers
North Melbourne: 22

Recruited from
Wangaratta Rovers (1973); North Melbourne (1981)

State of origin

Mick Nolan

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
North MelbourneV/AFL1973-1980107400.3772%6.633.413.136

AFL: 8,561st player to appear, 2,192nd most games played, 2,397th most goals kickedNorth Melbourne: 659th player to appear, 119th most games played, 155th most goals kicked

Popularly known as 'the Galloping Gasometer', Mick Nolan commenced his senior football career with Wangaratta Rovers in the Ovens and Murray Football League where he was both a dual club best and fairest winner and a dual premiership player. 

In 1973 he joined North Melbourne where, despite boasting a physique more appropriate to an overweight and out of condition publican than an elite footballer, he gave excellent service in 107 VFL games over eight seasons. He was a prominent contributor to the club's first ever VFL premiership in 1975, and also played in the losing Grand Finals of 1976 and 1978. Champion rover Barry Cable said that Nolan was the best tap ruckman he had played with because of his ability to palm the ball directly into Cable's hands.

In 1981 he moved to Brisbane and was appointed captain-coach of QAFL club Mayne. He spent five years at the Tigers, steering the side to its last QAFL premiership in 1982. Besides playing 103 league games Nolan also played 11 times for Queensland, captaining the Maroons to the first leg of an historic hat-trick of interstate titles against NSW, ACT, and Tasmania. 

Apart from his considerable efforts as a player, he was a wonderful contributor to the Queensland state program as a coach and selector, undertaking a pivotal role during the successful years of the early 1980s that were a fore-runner to the advent of the Brisbane Bears. 

He died prematurely, aged 58, in May 2008 following a short battle with cancer.

Author - John Devaney with additional material from Adam Cardosi


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