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Blast from the Past

9:49 AM Thu 28 Jul, 2011

Blast from the Past - Bob Beecroft

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Today's videos catches up with former Fitzroy full-forward Bob Beecroft who played 96 games and kicked 291 goals for the Club between 1976-80.

What are you up to these days?

I was working in Real Estate for about eight years over in Perth, but got sick of the city life and moved into the country to a place called Northam, which is about an hour drive from Perth.

We’re really settled up here now and I’m working at a chainsaw/pool shop. We sell chainsaws in winter and pools in summer. I’m also in the process of renovating a 100 year-old house.

Since being in Northam, I’ve also gotten back into coaching with the Railways Football Club. We’re starting off from rock bottom and are finding it pretty tough on the field at the moment. But there are some really good signs that will put us in good stead for next year. I love it, especially helping the young fellas.

What are your fondest memories from your playing days?

I reckon it was probably getting off the deck and eventually playing Finals.

I was at Fitzroy back when Bill Stephen was coach. I really enjoyed playing under Bill. He was fantastic - a great communicator and a gentleman. He never humiliated players in front of their team-mates which was refreshing back in those days. He was really ahead of his time and even won Coach of the Year in 1979. He did wonders for me as a player.

There were also some really memorable wins. One that sticks out was when we played South Melbourne and no one gave us any hope of winning. But we had a huge come-from-behind win. I remember Garry Wilson and I kicked 17 goals between us that day - I kicked 10 and he kicked seven.

You seemed to kick a few bags of goals during your time at Fitzroy…

I actually kicked 10 goals twice in my career - once against South Melbourne and another time against Melbourne when Fitzroy notched up the biggest ever win in VFL/AFL history.

I still that remember that record score. It was a bit surreal the way it happened. It was the only game I’ve ever been involved in where every player was at the very top of their game.

I really enjoyed my time at Fitzroy. Coming from WA, it was always a burning ambition of mine to play in the ‘big time’. I never wanted to just stay in WA and play out my entire football career there.

Do you still catch up with any of your former team-mates?

Every now and again I catch up with Ron Alexander who is over in WA.

I did catch up with John Duckworth a couple of years ago, and I see Ian Miller from time to time.

But other than that, it’s pretty hard to keep in touch, particularly when you’re living interstate and in the country.

What are the main changes you’ve noticed in the game since your playing days?

The main change I’ve noticed is the big focus on pressure to keep the ball in your area.

These days, forwards seem to have mastered defenders and no longer allow their opposition to get the un-checked possessions out of the backline. Forwards keep defenders under enormous pressure. That’s the biggest change I’ve noticed.

The kicking is pretty ordinary these days. I don’t think they work hard enough on it.

The whole game has changed. There is a lot more support at stoppages and contests.

And the torpedo punt, you don’t see that too much any more.

Brisbane Lions fans with an eye for history would have endured some anxious moments in the dying minutes of the Round 19 match between Geelong and Melbourne at Skilled Stadium.

Geelong came within just four points of Fitzroy's long-standing 'greatest margin' record by defeating the Demons by 186 points.

Bob Beecroft (featured above) kicked 10 goals in Fitzroy's 190-point win against Melbourne at Waverly Park on 28 July 1979.   

Beecroft's 10 goals were supplemented by Warwick Irwin's five goals and 36 disposlas.

On that same day, Mick Conlan and Bernie Quinlan booted four goals each with Graeme Allan, Robert Walls and Garry Wilson kicking three apiece.

Wilson also collected a remarkable 42 disposals.

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