12 September 1942 (age 80)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 18y 222d
Last game: 32y 352d
Height and weight
Height: 173 cm
Weight: 71 kg
St. Kilda: 3
|Club||League||Career span||Games||Goals||Avg||Win %||AKI||AHB||AMK||BV|
|St. Kilda||V/AFL||1961-1972, 1975||234||230||0.98||64%||18.58||4.20||2.44||79|
Pre 1965 stats are for selected matches only
Despite having obvious courage and ability Ross Smith did not genuinely hit his straps as a footballer for about five years after commencing his senior VFL career with St Kilda in 1961. Originally from Hampton Rovers, Smith went on to play a total of 234 games for the Saints in two stints, ending in 1975, and in between he added 39 WANFL games while captain- coaching Subiaco in 1973-4. Best remembered for his 1967 Brownlow Medal win,¹ he also won St Kilda's premier award the same year, as well as in 1971.
Under Smith's guidance, Subiaco won its first West Australian premiership since 1924 with a hard fought 32-point Grand Final defeat of West Perth. Smith had earlier played a key role in St Kilda's inaugural VFL premiership win in 1966, and counted VFL and Western Australian interstate representation among his many football honours.
At the 1972 Perth carnival, Smith captained the 'Big V' to success. His final games with St Kilda were played in 1975 when he was serving as the club's assistant coach. He assumed full scale coaching duties in his own right in 1977 but the Saints endured a woeful season that saw them land the wooden spoon leading to Smith's departure.
Not surprisingly, Ross Smith was chosen as first rover in St Kilda's official 'Team of the Century'.
Author - John Devaney