Australian Football

AustralianFootball.com Celebrating the history of the great Australian game

 

Key Facts

Full name
Ross Smith

Known as
Ross Smith

Born
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

Senior clubs
St. Kilda

Jumper numbers
St. Kilda: 3

Ross Smith

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
St. KildaV/AFL1961-1972, 19752342300.9864%18.584.202.4479
Total1961-1972, 19752342300.9864%18.584.202.4479

Pre 1965 stats are for selected matches only

AFL: 7,235th player to appear, 355th most games played, 320th most goals kickedSt. Kilda: 1,083rd player to appear, 14th most games played, 18th most goals kicked

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

Footnotes

  1. Smith won the award with 24 votes - four times as many as he had procured in all the previous six seasons combined.

Sources

Full Points Footy Publications

Footnotes

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