Ivor Warne-Smith

Image DOB: 29 October 1897
Died : 4 March 1960

Debut: Round 10, 1919 against St. Kilda at MCG
Last Game: Round 18, 1932 against St. Kilda at MCG

From: Wesley College/Latrobe

Number: 33 (1919), 14 (1925-1932)

Premiership Player - 1926
Captain - Coach - 1928 - 1931
Brownlow Medal - 1926, 1928
Victorian state representative - 6 times from 1926-1929 (Captain in 1928/1929)
Australian Football Hall of Fame inductee - 1996
Team Of The Century member
150 Heroes selection
MFC Hall of Fame - 2001
MFC Hall of Fame legend - 2013
Life Member - 1952

Games: 146
Goals: 110
Career Statistics

WinsDrawsLossesWinning %

Born in Sydney, Warne-Smith discovered Australian rules while boarding at Wesley College, and started his football career in the amateur competition. After lying about his age while still under 18, he joined the army during World War I. He was gassed in combat, and both his brothers died during the conflict. On returning to Australia, Warne-Smith was one of many recruits trialed by Melbourne during their winless 1919 return to the competition. He impressed in eight games at centre half-back before moving to Tasmania to become a farmer. He was invited to play with Latrobe, debuting with them in mid-1920. He took over as their coach in 1922, leading the club to two premierships in three years, and leading the North West Football Union to their first ever win over the Tasmanian Football League.

Richmond identity and future Melbourne coach Checker Hughes spotted Warne-Smith playing in Tasmania and suggested the Tigers sign him at all costs. They tried, but Melbourne appealed, and the VFL ruled that he was still tied to the Redlegs. He returned to Melbourne in 1925, and despite breathing difficulties as a result of his gassing during the war, Warne-Smith was one of the fittest players in the competition. In 1926 he was made vice-captain and won his first Brownlow Medal. The same year, Melbourne won their second premiership.

In 1927, Warne-Smith was linked to Ballarat side Golden Point, but stayed at Melbourne. He became captain-coach in 1928, first appointed coach, then elevated to captain at the committee's insistence that a playing coach occupy both roles. That year he won a second Brownlow Medal, and also played for Victoria.

Warne-Smith was named at centre-half forward in both the Melbourne and Tasmanian teams of the century. He holds 'icon' status in the Tasmanian Football Hall of Fame.

1919 82n/a
1925 1871
1926 20179
1927 1661
1928 20138
1929 18194
1930 17232
1931 1693
1932 13140


First game: Round 1, 1928 vs Essendon at Windy Hill
Last game: Round 18, 1932 vs Collingwood at MCG


The Redlegs won the premiership in Warne-Smith's first season, but missed out on the finals thereafter. He initially retired from playing at the end of 1931, but was convinced to return in 1932 due to a lack of players. As coach, he played under the newly appointed captain Francis Vine. He retired in March 1933, and was succeeded as coach by Checker Hughes.

Image Warne-Smith became a writer for the Melbourne Argus, as well as a veteran of the Second World War when he re-enlisted at 43-years-old. He was originally deemed too old to serve, but ended up going to the Middle East, New Guinea and Borneo.

In 1947 he returned to the Demons as a member of the Committee of Management and as a selector. In 1949 he became chairman of selectors and served in that role until his death. He was also on the board of the Melbourne Cricket Club at the same time.

Warne-Smith died of heart disease at the age of 60 in March 1960. The MFC annual report of that year said "We mourn his passing with the certain knowledge that, in having known him, our club has been much the better for it".

Interstate recruits
Players who served during war

Richmond Guardian - 03/10/1925
Record - 12/03/1927
Table Talk - 05/05/1927, 23/06/1932
Sun - 02/03/1928. 28/03/1933
Argus - 28/03/1933
Independent - 31/03/1933
Football Record - R1 1933
Sporting Globe - 16/05/1936

Australian Dictionary of Biography
Boyles Football Photos
Demonwiki image gallery
Tasmanian Football Hall of Fame
War record
Wikipedia profile

Created by Supermercado. Last Modification: Thursday 28 March 2024 16:26:13 AEDT by Supermercado. (Version 54)

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