Peter Michael Featherby
12 December 1951 (age 71)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 23y 114d
Last game: 31y 258d
Height and weight
Height: 183 cm
Weight: 85 kg
Hall of fame
Western Australian Football Hall Of Fame (2007)
|Club||League||Career span||Games||Goals||Avg||Win %||AKI||AHB||AMK||BV|
|Subiaco||WAFL||1970-1974, 1977-1979, 1984-1988||197||177||0.90||—||—||—||—||—|
|WAFL||1970-1974, 1977-1979, 1984-1988||197||177||0.90||—||—||—||—||—|
AFL: 8,715th player to appear, 1,582nd most games played, 1,153rd most goals kickedFootscray: 641st player to appear, 297th most games played, 324th most goals kickedGeelong: 796th player to appear, 182nd most games played, 101st most goals kicked
Recruited by Subiaco from powerful amateur club Wembley, where his father Brian had been a prominent identity for many years, Peter Featherby made his league debut in 1970, but an ankle injury sustained against Swan Districts on 2nd May effectively ruined his season, as, although he recovered from the injury, he was unable to force his way back into the side. Prior to the start of the 1971 season he sought, and was refused, a clearance to Claremont, after which he elected to buckle down and prove his worth. Over the course of the next three seasons he developed into one of the finest players in Western Australia, showing almost preternatural anticipation skills which often made it seem as though the football was sheathed in metal, and was incapable of resisting the magnetic pull of Featherby's hands.
The 1973 season saw Featherby selected to represent Western Australia for the first time, and earning a Simpson Medal for his best afield performance in the win over South Australia at Subiaco Oval. Later in the season he experienced an even greater thrill as he helped his club overcome a premiership hoodoo stretching back almost half a century with a 10.12 (72) to 6.4 (40) Grand Final defeat of West Perth.
Featherby continued to perform brilliantly in 1974 and, given that he was rated as one of the most exciting talents in the land, it was perhaps no surprise that he was picked up by VFL side Footscray prior to the start of the 1975 season. In 42 games in two seasons with the Bulldogs, however, Featherby failed to justify his reputation, and in 1977 he was back home at Subiaco.
Despite his comparative failure in Melbourne, Featherby had clearly learned a great deal, and over the course of the next couple of seasons he played some of the finest football of his career, earning regular interstate selection, and winning back to back club fairest and best awards. After 10 games of the 1979 season he was enticed back to the VFL by Geelong, and this time he took his best form with him. After playing consistently well during the second half of 1979 and throughout 1980 - during which year he was selected to represent Victoria against his home state in a so-called 'state of origin' match - Featherby's performances reached a new level of excellence during a 1981 season that saw him claim the Cats' best and fairest award. In one noteworthy match against Melbourne on the MCG he garnered no fewer than 43 kicks, effected 8 handballs, and held a dozen marks.
At the end of the 1983 season, after 93 VFL games for Geelong, Peter Featherby returned to Subiaco where he would continue to perform with great consistency and distinction for another five seasons, highlighted by participation in another premiership team in 1986. In 1987, his penultimate season, he averaged 23.7 disposals a game, making him the most prolific ball-getter in the competition. Injury problems the following year restricted him to just a couple of league appearances, however, taking his final career tally to 332 (197 of which were with the Lions), and with perhaps a touch of reluctance he decided to retire.
Author - John Devaney