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Laurie Fowler

Image DOB: 29 December 1951

MFC Debut: Round 1, 1975 against Footscray at MCG
Last Game: Round 22, 1981 against Hawthorn at Princes Park

From: Oakleigh Districts/Richmond

Number: 9 1975-1981

Honours:
Best and Fairest - 1975, 1979, 1980
150 Heroes selection
Victorian state representative - 1980, 1981

Games: 140 (189 total)
Goals: 18 (25 total)
Career Statistics

WinsDrawsLossesWinning %
4109929.28

Statistical categories led:
Most free kicks for in one season : 99 - 1979
Most free kicks for in a game : 11 - Round 19, 1980

A Melbourne fan as a kid, Fowler was runner-up in the Oakleigh Districts senior Best and Fairest at 16-years-old before joining the Richmond Under 19s as a zone player. He made the Tigers' senior list in his third season and won a premiership as a 22-year-old in 1973 - famously running through Carlton giant John Nicholls - but quit Punt Road when he was omitted from the 1974 Grand Final side.

Considering his senior options too limited to try and convince him to stay, Richmond sold Fowler to Melbourne for $15,000 before the 1975 season. The Tigers wanted to swap him to Footscray for the rights to Geoff Raines, but Fowler wanted to go to Melbourne instead. Footscray then released Raines to Richmond in a side deal and Fowler was sold to the Demons. He made an instant impact, winning Melbourne's Best and Fairest in his first season. He beat Stan Alves, who had finished second in that year's Brownlow Medal. In 1976 he finished second in the award.

His 1977 season was ended prematurely by a chipped bone in the knee. In 1978 he had to be talked out of retirement before the season after being relegated to a Reserves practice match. He was recovering from the knee injury but rejected the suggestion that he was playing in the twos against Collingwood to build fitness. He called the club the day before the game and told them he was retiring. He only relented and agreed to play on after meeting with the coach. Fowler gave the club the benefit of the doubt, saying it was a case of miscommunication rather than anything sinister.

In May he briefly quit the club again, incensed that he had been replaced early in a match against North Melbourne. "The coach has made it clear to me he doesn't think I'm good enough for his team" Fowler said at the time. Coach Dennis Jones had apparently told him that his career was coming to an end. Despite being chased by North Melbourne, Richmond, Geelong, Collingwood and Norwood, Fowler declared peace three days later, withdrew his request for a clearance and returned to the Demons.

Dominant in the back pocket in often poor teams, Fowler won his third Best and Fairest in 1980 despite having been involved in a contractual dispute before the year, and represented Victoria but at the end of 1981 the thirty-year-old finally walked out for good after new negotiations for a contract fell over. His two year contract expired and he was offered an extension that saw him earning on par with some Reserves players, prompting a walkout.

Fowler joined the Tony Sullivan coached Waverley in 1982 before captain/coaching Springvale to a 2nd Division premiership in 1983. He coached the Scorpions until the end of the 1985 season.

YearGamesGoalsBrownlow
1975 2203
1976 22412
1977 17126
1978 1510
1979 2106
1980 2116
1981 2200

Notes
Some sources say he originally asked to go to Footscray before changing his mind

May also have represented Victoria in 1978

Media
Age - 12/02/1975
Age - 10/08/1977
Age - 22/03/1978
Age - 23/05/1978
Age - 24/05/1978
Age - 26/05/1978
Age 12/03/1980
Inside Football - 04/03/1982

Links
Demonwiki image gallery
VFA Project profile
Wikipedia profile

Created by Supermercado. Last Modification: Sunday 09 June 2019 16:20:36 AEST by Supermercado. (Version 30)

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