DOB: 6 June 1919
Died: 1 November 1974
Debut: Round 5, 1940 against Collingwood at MCG
Last Game: Semi Final 1950 against Geelong at MCG
From: Boort/St Patrick's Ballarat
Number: 22 (1940-1950)
Premiership Player - 1941, 1948
Grand Final team - 1946
Captain - 1950
150 Heroes selection
Victorian state representative - 8 times
Life Member - 1949
Hall of Fame - 2017
Actually called John, but universally referred to as Shane, McGrath made the Melbourne list in 1939 but chose to stay in Boort instead. He debuted the next year with five games before a broken ankle suffered in a Seconds game ended his season. The next year he played as a premiership full back.
After the premiership victory McGrath enlisted with the army and served in New Guinea as part of the 15 Field Ambulance. He missed the next two full years before managing two games in 1944 while in Melbourne on leave. Service then kept him out of 1945 before he returned to the side for 20 games in the 1946 Grand Final season.
Full back in the Sporting Life "Team of the Year" of 1947, he received a tempting offer to captain/coach Corowa but stayed with Melbourne and was named full back of the year again in both 1948 and again in 1949, with his defensive partner Don Cordner alongside him in a back pocket. Made captain in 1950, he also captained Victoria that year before moving back to Boort and buying the Commercial Hotel. Despite speculation that he'd return in 1951, he only went as far as attending training and remained retired.
In 1952 was elected to the Melbourne Cricket Club committee as one of the two positions representing football club members. The next year he had to undergo an eye operation that threatened his sight, the injury had possibly been
Despite missing time while service in the army McGrath is still regarded as one of the Demons best ever full-backs.
His brother Frank McGrath played two games for the Demons.
Players who served during war
Also shown as from Charlton.
Argus - 14/03/1941
Australasian - 24/06/1944
Sporting Globe - 17/03/1948
Sporting Globe - 14/03/1951
Argus - 28/03/1951
Argus - 29/03/1951
Herald - 01/12/1952
Herald - 01/06/1953
Herald - 11/07/1953
Boyles Football Photos
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