DOB: 6 June 1950
From: Bentleigh High School/Bentleigh/McKinnon Youth Club
Captain - 1977 - 1978
Best and Fairest - 1971, 1976
Brownlow Medal runner up - 1972
Victorian state representative - 1973, 1977, 1979 (5 games)
150 Heroes selection
Life Member - 1978
Team of the Century - Emergency
Reserves premiership player - 1969
MFC Hall of Fame - 2001
Games: 224 (267 total)
Goals: 251 (275 total)
Statistical categories led:
Most disposals in a game : 48 - Round 13, 1980
Equal most kicks in a game: 35 - Round 13, 1980
Most goals in jumper 11
Most career kicks : 4280
Most career free kicks for : 694
A Demon fan as a kid, Wells had the good fortune to grow up in the heart of Melbourne's recruiting zone. When he made it to the VFL he had a sensational debut, kicking four goals against the top of the table Blues. The blonde midfielder soon became one of his side's most prominent players. Nuggety and durable, Wells was a good mark for his size, a prolific kick winner and accurate user of the ball.
By his third season he had won a Best and Fairest, and in 1972 the Demon with the tigerish approach ran second to Len Thompson in the Brownlow. Some claimed he bleached his hair to attract umpire's attention, but Wells strongly denied it and said the colour was due to the effects of a summer in the surf.
Wells threatened to quit the club after Ian Ridley was sacked as coach at the end of 1973. He trained with Subiaco and had talks with Sturt and Norwood but eventually agreed on increased terms and stayed with the club. In 1975 Carlton tried to trade "six or seven" players for Wells but were unsuccessful in their bid.
Having won his second Best and Fairest in 1976, Wells was handed the captaincy the next year. He skippered the Demons for two seasons before Carl Ditterich returned as captain-coach in 1979. He was selected to play for Victoria in 1978 but had to withdraw due to injury. Wells signed a three year contract extension before the 1979 season, but requested a clearance North Melbourne at the end of that season. The Kangaroos offered a straight swap of Bill Nettlefold and Brent Crosswell, as well as $75,000 for Wells' service but Melbourne won't let him go. He was stripped of the vice-captaincy, but remained at the club, saying "If I were going to continue playing football I had to stay with Melbourne".
In late May it was reported that his playing career was in doubt due to a knee injury and that he would have to take a rest from the game, but by July he was set to leave to the club again. Carlton made a deal to swap him for Alan Mangels, but the swap collapsed when Mangels declared he wanted to go to Geelong instead. The clubs then agreed on a $70,000 fee plus Rod Ashman, but issues with Ashman's contract and his disinterest in playing for Melbourne caused further issues. Eventually the Demons settled for $35,000, Vin Catoggio, and Michael Young. In February 1981 they took Supreme Court action against Carlton, alleging a breach of the initial agreement when Mangels was allowed to join Geelong.
Wells played in Carlton's premiership team that year, and remained with the Blues until retiring at the end of 1982 when he missed out on their premiership side.
In the lead-up to 1983, Wells was rumoured to be interested in a return to playing with the Demons, but ((Carlton) asked for a $20,000 fee. He eventually joined the reformed Moorabbin in the VFA before giving up playing for good.
After his playing career ended Wells returned to Melbourne as chairman of selectors. He served as an Assistant and coached the Reserves between 1986 and 1988. At the end of that year he was on the shortlist for the vacant Sydney job but was passed over. Wells was on the match committee in 1991, and Chairman of Selectors from 1992 to 1995, as well as serving on the club committee.
Also selected for the 1975 interstate team but didn't play.
Later Wells claimed the deal was done without his knowledge in June 1980, and suggested in 10/07/1980 Inside Football that the price had been $100k, and Inside Football 17/07/1980 says $140k. Age 02/07/1980 says the price was $100k.
Some sources show Wells wearing #50 in 1969. He wore this earlier in the season but was in #11 by the time he debuted.