DOB: 6 May 1949
From: North Launceston
Statistical categories led
Most games in jumper 19
The tough and uncompromising Biffin started his senior career in Tasmania aged 15, and had been selected to represent North Tasmania in 1966 as a 17-year-old. He crossed to Victoria to field offers from Fitzroy and St. Kilda before Jim Cardwell managed to win his signature.
He began his career with the Demons at full-forward, but after suffering a broken ankle during a pre-season intra-club game Biffin broke another ankle five games into his career and saw his 1968 season ruined. He returned the next year as a defender and eleven games that season were followed by a horror 1970 where he didn't make it to the park until Round 21 - just in time to boot 6 goals in a narrow loss to the Cats at Kardinia Park.
The next year he was firmly entrenched in his side's defence, and though he could roost the ball into the centre circle from deep in defence there was a crushing inevitability that it would come straight back again. The side won their first five games of the year but faltered late in the year and finished 7th. Biffin was voted Most Improved Player for the year.
1972 saw the toughman battle through the year and play 20 games despite needing an operation to fix a hernia. In 1973 he was one of the main agitators in a players revolt after the sacking of Ian Ridley. Biffin announced that he would be leaving the club, and spoke to both St Kilda and Collingwood. It was speculated that he'd be swapped for Collingwood rover Henry Coles, but Biffin was convinced to return. Fitzroy was refused permission to interview him in early 1974 and SANFL club Central Districts also showed interest but Biffin turned them down.
Thrown forward later in his career, Biffin was Melbourne's leading goalkicker in 1976, and no matter which end of the ground he was at he was renowned for his toughness. Peter Hudson, who held a career average of more than five goals a game, never managed more than four against Biffin. That might have had something to do with his habit of planting a kiss on opponents to psyche them out.
Interested in coaching he had been linked with Tasmanian club New Norfolk for 1976, and nearly took a job with the VFA side Dandenong in 1977 but stayed with Melbourne. a broken thumb in Round 3 kept him out for six weeks. Biffin's 1978 campaign was ruined by a mystery stomach complaint which caused him to miss seven weeks in the middle of the season. During his career he also had four knee operations and ankle surgeries.
Biffin announced his retirement after Round 2, 1979 and moved to the position of Reserves coach but was lured back in Round 14. The next week he had a collision with Shane Zantuck of South Melbourne that turned into septicemia. He played the next two games, before being rushed to hospital after Melbourne's record loss to Fitzroy, and didn't play again until a farewell game in Round 22.
Also a handy cricketer, Biffin played for Tasmania in a first-class cricket game during the 1968/69 season, taking two wickets - including one from his first ball. He later earned selection in the Brunswick club's team of the century despite only playing four seasons.Biffin was an assistant to Carl Ditterich in 1979 before coaching Dandenong from 1980 until he was sacked in mid-1981. He was in dispute with the club about the different salaries for being a playing and non-playing coach after suffering a leg injury. He also coached Hawthorn Under 19s for seven years, then joined Scoresby in 1989. He spent three years with them, before returning to Melbourne's selection committee in 1993.
His grandson Noah Gown was on Essendon's list in 2019.
|Round 19, 1971
|Round 19, 1972
|Round 6, 1978
Also shown as from East Launceston (Inside Football - 07/05/1981)