DOB: 14 September, 1943
Debut: Round 2, 1963 against Hawthorn at MCG
Last Game: Round 22, 1973 against North Melbourne at Waverley
From: Drouin High School/Neerim South
Number: 14 (1963-1973)
Premiership Player - 1964
Best First Year Player - 1963
Leading Goalkicker - 1963
Victorian representative - 1966, 1969, 1970
Night Series winner - 1971
Life Member - 1972
150 Heroes selection
Under 19s Best and Fairest - 1962
Under 19s Leading Goalkicker - 1962
MFC Hall of Fame - 2008
Statistical categories led
Most games in jumper 14
Most goals in jumper 14
Having grown up on a farm in Jindivick, Bourke nearly didn't make it to the Demons. Recruiter Ken Carlon went to the wrong ground and missed the match, but after the umpire of the Under 19s game gave Bourke a sparkling report Carlon decided to recruit his man sight unseen. He had already won his sides Under 19s Best and Fairest and goalkicking as a 17-year-old, and finished runner-up in the seniors B&F the next year.
Promoted directed to the senior team after winning the 1962 Under 19s Best and Fairest and league goalkicking in 1962, Bourke impressed with a five goal haul in senior company in an end of season practice match against Essendon.
Bourke replaced the retiring Laurie Mithen, beginning his senior career just before the club suffered a great downturn. That year he led the club goalkicking with 48 and won the Best First Year Player award. He returned 28 goals in 1964, but most importantly played in the Grand Final victory.
Continuously shuffled around the ground, Bourke only missing out on playing full-back and in the ruck and after missing the entire 1967 season with a serious knee injury his goalkicking numbers fluctuated accordingly. He had already missed the end of 1965 with a broken wrist that required a bone graft.
He returned in a practice match against Port Adelaide during the 1968 season but hurt his knee again and missed the first two months of the season, kicking four goals in 12 games for the year. In 1969 he got 29 from 16, including a career best eight during the loss to North Melbourne in Round 13. That year he was selected to play for Victoria again and the next season Bourke was appointed vice-captain and finished runner-up in the Best and Fairest.
Now converted almost exclusively into a defender Bourke finished second in the 1970 Best and Fairest and started to enjoy relatively injury free seasons, though he missed four games with a back injury in 1971 and a recurring knee injury would trouble him for the rest of his career.
As a backman it was Bourke who inadvertently stopped the Peter Hudson goalkicking machine just when it was seemingly about to explode. The Hawk spearhead had eight goals before half-time in the two sides Round 1, 1972 clash at Glenferrie Oval. Bourke ran back with the flight of the ball and when Hudson marked they crashed into each other and the Hawk was carried off with a serious knee injury.
He lost his position as vice-captain at the start of 1973, and at the end of the year he announced that he would leave the club due to the sacking of Ian Ridley as coach. The other players who made the same announcement, Peter Keenan, Ray Biffin and Greg Wells all returned to the club but Bourke never played another senior game. He had been expected to retire anyway when a medical report advised him to have a knee reconstruction.
Bourke later served on the committee until resigning 1979. In his last year he was chairman of the selection committee. He also operated the Barry Bourke of Berwick car dealership.
After failing to break into the Melbourne senior squad his son Darren joined St Kilda via Dandenong in the VFA and played 32 games between 1993 and 1996.
|Round 16, 1969||Striking||2 matches|
Family at other clubs
Broken wrist may have been in 1966. From Jindivik but not clear that he played any football there.
Age - 14/05/1971
Inside Football - 22/04/1972
Age - 31/01/1973