DOB: 14 September, 1943
From: Jindivik/Neerim-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 19's Best and Fairest - 1962
Under 19's Leading Goalkicker - 1962
MFC Hall of Fame - 2008
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 19's game gave Bourke a sparkling report Carlon decided to recruit his man sight unseen. He had already won the Under 19's 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 Under 19's Best and Fairest and league goalkicking with 67 in his first year, Bourke managed to begin his career just before the club suffered a great downturn. 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 most of 1965 with a broken wrist.
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.
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.
|Round 16, 1969||Striking||2 matches|
Family at other clubs