Australian Football

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Key Facts

Full name
Wels Eicke

Known as
Wels Eicke

Born
27 September 1893

Died
10 February 1980 (aged 86)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 15y 314d
Last game: 32y 349d

Height and weight
Height: 177 cm
Weight: 74 kg

Senior clubs
St. Kilda; North Melbourne

Jumper numbers
St. Kilda: 4, 11, 7, 28, 1
North Melbourne: 1

Recruited from
St. Kilda (1925); North Melbourne (1926)

Wels Eicke

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
St. KildaV/AFL1909-1915, 1918-1924, 1926197610.3138%2
North MelbourneV/AFL1925-19262100.0024%2
V/AFL1909-1915, 1918-1926218610.2836%4
Total1909-1915, 1918-1926218610.2836%4

AFL: 1,573rd player to appear, 480th most games played, 1,715th most goals kickedSt. Kilda: 310th player to appear, 32nd most games played, 104th most goals kickedNorth Melbourne: 3rd player to appear, 442nd most games played, 755th most goals kicked

Without doubt one of the greatest players in the history of the St Kilda Football Club, Wells Eicke was only fifteen years and 315 days of age when he made his VFL debut in 1909. Initially used mainly as a rover, he soon developed into a highly courageous, strong marking, long kicking defender. His ability to launch his 177cm, 74kg frame high over packs to grab telling marks was little short of legendary. 

Eicke was on a half back flank, and one of the Saints' best, in the 1913 Challenge Final loss to Fitzroy. The following year saw him win the first of three club best and fairest awards. Eicke represented the VFL on eight occasions during his career, a figure that would doubtless have been much higher had not the intervention of war brought a four-year halt to interstate football. Captain-coach of the Saints in 1919, when they finished seventh, he was appointed captain again in 1924, his last season before crossing to North Melbourne. 

Eicke was North' Melbourne's inaugural VFL coach, steering the side to a 5-12 record and tenth place on the ladder, the best performance of the three newly admitted league clubs. He continued as coach in 1926 but part way through the year returned to St Kilda where he finished a career comprising 218 VFL games, all but 21 with the Saints, whom he later served as a committee member. His non-inclusion in St Kilda's official 'Team of the Century', announced in 2002, would have to rate as something of a surprise.

Author - John Devaney

Sources

Full Points Footy Publications

Footnotes

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