Thomas Joseph Fitzmaurice
7 July 1898
25 December 1977 (aged 79)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 19y 315d
Last game: 36y 343d
Height and weight
Height: 192 cm
Weight: 96 kg
|Club||League||Career span||Games||Goals||Avg||Win %||AKI||AHB||AMK||BV|
|V/AFL||1918-1920, 1922-1928, 1932-1935||188||246||1.31||52%||9.75||—||3.00||5|
Pre 1965 stats are for selected matches only
AFL: 2,342nd player to appear, 746th most games played, 280th most goals kickedEssendon: 287th player to appear, 204th most games played, 254th most goals kickedGeelong: 317th player to appear, 340th most games played, 285th most goals kickedNorth Melbourne: 156th player to appear, 256th most games played, 29th most goals kicked
After beginning his league career with Essendon in 1918 as a high-flying ruckman, Tom Fitzmaurice was forced to reinvent himself after sustaining a leg injury while playing for North Shore in Sydney in 1921. The following year he returned to Essendon and quickly developed into the best centre-half back in the VFL, helping steer the side to back to back flags in 1923 and 1924.
His time with the Dons came to an end in acrimonious circumstances, however: at the end of the 1924 season, a charity challenge match was arranged between Essendon and VFA premier Footscray, ostensibly for the 'championship of Victoria'; after Footscray scored a surprise win, Fitzmaurice publicly denounced certain teammates for 'playing dead', and walked out on the club.
The 1925 season saw Fitzmaurice at Geelong, where he had the satisfaction of playing in a third successive premiership team. After four years with the Cats, he clambered aboard the football merry-go-round, with the remaining ten seasons of his illustrious career taking in spells at Mortlake, Yarraville, North Melbourne, Brunswick and Manuka. During his time with North, he showed that he was still as potent a force as ever by topping the club's goal kicking list for three consecutive seasons.
Author - John Devaney