Bob Skilton

Image DOB: 8 November 1938

First match as coach: Round 1, 1974 against Carlton at Princes Park
Last match as coach: Round 22, 1977 against Collingwood at Waverley
Coaching statistics


A champion for South Melbourne, Skilton had tried to win a clearance to Melbourne before his senior career began. South refused, and Skilton won the Brownlow Medal three times while playing for them. He finished his career with the Swans under Norm Smith, and was appointed Melbourne coach on 26 November 1973 for two years with an option for a third, at a reported salary of $8000 a year.

A former playing coach of the Swans, Skilton beat out nine other candidates for the job after a year playing with Port Melbourne in the VFA in 1972, where he won a best-and-fairest, and finished third in the Liston Medal playing just 11 games, then assistant coaching at North Melbourne in 1973. South at times demanded the clearance of ruckmen Peter Keenan and John Clennett for Skilton's signature, and schoolboy David Warming but neither player ended up joining the Swans. Melbourne's backup plan if South failed to clear Skilton was for Roy Simmonds to coach.

Having played just one final during his career he was keen to atone for this as a coach but despite showing flashes of brilliance, Skilton's side never saw September. The closest they came was 1976, where a last round win over Collingwood and a victory for minor premiers Carlton over Footscray would the Demons finish fifth. Melbourne did their bit but inexplicably Footscray managed a draw, dropping Melbourne to sixth. Skilton was reappointed as coach for another year despite reported interest in poaching Tom Hafey from Richmond, but 1977 was a step backwards, with Melbourne losing their first seven games and finishing 11th. Before Round 16, 1977 Skilton announced that he would step down as coach at the end of the year. He claimed that he had intended on giving the game away to spend more time with his family at the end of 1976 but that players had convinced him to go on. He cited a lack of dedication and effort from players for his decision to retire. Ex-player and committeeman Denis Jones replaced him as coach.

Despite suggestions he would coach Sydney in 1986, Skilton remained in his job as a TV commentator.


Inside Football - 16/06/1973
Age - 28/11/1973, 29/11/1973, 06/04/1974, 29/09/1976, 13/07/1977, 13/07/1977, [http://news.google.com.au/newspapers?id=4dAzAAAAIBAJ&sjid=-ZQDAAAAIBAJ&pg=1954%2C307551|16/09/1985[

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Created by Supermercado. Last Modification: Friday 15 March 2024 11:46:06 AEDT by Supermercado. (Version 30)

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