DOB: 16 October 1933
Died: February 2011
From: Berrigan/Ararat/St. Patrick's Ballarat
Number: 28 1953-1962
One of Melbourne's few New South Wales born players, Gerald "Terry" Gleeson was a hard working ruckman whose brother Brian played 71 games and won a Brownlow for St Kilda. His brother could have come to Melbourne at the same time as Terry, but Checker Hughes only offered him a role in the thirds and St. Kilda snuck in to sign him up.
The Demons only got one brother, but he gave them fine service. Signed in 1951 after training with Brighton in the pre-season, Gleeson made his way through the thirds, and after playing just six games in his first two seasons, Gleeson played ten in 1955 - culminating in the Grand Final victory. Forced to compete with Denis Cordner and Bob Johnson for the ruck position he managed just ten games again the next year - nine as reserve - but once more finished the season with a premiership to his name.
Cordner's retirement after the 1956 season opened up a position for him, and Gleeson played 16 matches the next season before suffering a knee injury which put him out of the Preliminary Final. With the Demons registering a huge win over Hawthorn he was unable to win his place back for the Grand Final and missed his third straight premiership.
Suffering illness in 1958, Gleeson was the subject of a transfer wrangle when South Melbourne revealed that they believe he had signed for the Demons while living in their territory. He had already enquired about a clearance away from Melbourne during the pre-season when he realised his opportunities were drying up. The league found no case to answer and Gleeson played the first three rounds and once more in Round 13 before being recalled for another Grand Final. This time, though, he was on the losing side.
Midway through 1959 Gleeson was appointed captain of the seconds and played just eight games for the seniors. He was recalled to the side after Johnson fell ill but suffered an injury himself and missed the last few games of the year.
After becoming the first player on record to be suspended during a practice match after being booked for obscene language towards an umpire, Gleeson played 15 games in 1960. His return was delayed for a week when a week of postponed Reserves games were considered to have counted as part of his suspension, rather than the two games played by the seniors. Gleeson missed the finals due to an injury suffered in Round 17 which flared again before the Semi Final. It was initially thought to be a calf injury before later being revealed as a broken right leg.
He also played 13 in 1961, missing three games with a broken wrist, and 17 in 1962 but his days of winning premierships were over. He played his 100th game in the second last round of '62 and promptly retired.
Gleeson served on the committee from 1963 to October 1969, and was later the leader of a "Reform Group", along with Geoff Slade, which attempted to unseat Billy Snedden as President in 1985. He also served as the Mayor of Moorabbin.
|Practice Match 1960||Obscene language||2 matches|
Argus - 13/04/1951
Age - 13/04/1951
Age - 11/09/1957
Age - 26/03/1958
Age - 16/04/1958
Age - 24/06/1959
Age - 13/04/1960
Age - 28/04/1960
Age - 30/08/1960
Age - 08/09/1960
Age - 21/06/1961
Age - 28/08/1985
melbournefc.com.au - 21/02/2011
melbournefc.com.au - 22/02/2011