Stuart Spencer

Image DOB: 3 February 1932
Died: 27 September 2011

Debut: Round 1, 1950 against Carlton at MCG
Last Game: Grand Final 1956 against Collingwood at MCG

From: Portland High School/Heathmere/Portland

Number: 12 (1950-1956)

Premiership Player - 1955, 1956
Grand Final team - 1954
Best and Fairest - 1955, 1956
Leading Goalkicker - 1955
Team of the Century rover
150 Heroes selection
Australian Football Hall of Fame member - 1995
Victorian State representative - 1955, 1956
Life Member - 1987
AFL Life Member
MFC Hall of Fame - 2001

Games: 122
Goals: 146
Career Statistics

WinsDrawsLossesWinning %

Invited to pre-season training in 1949 by Geelong Spencer didn't make their side. He returned to Portland and won their best and fairest, and the award for best player in the Western District League aged 17.

Signed by Melbourne before the 1950 season after a recommendation from Fred Fanning who had coached against him, Spencer started his career playing in ordinary sides early on before enjoying through a golden era for the club.

Recruited as a rover he was also used as a half-forward and in the back pocket. When Norm Smith took over as coach he threw him into the ball and Spencer won two ((Best and Fairest) awards and two premierships. It meant throwing away a certain spot in the state side, but took him from a good player to a great one. He had been no slouch in the backline, but his natural talents were wasted there. Smith said "You can go back to the back-pocket when you're 30".

In 1951 Spencer missed a month with a knee injury, before contracting severe influenza.

Teamed with Ian Ridley, they formed one of the deadiest roving combinations of the era. In 1956 the two small men kicked 82 goals between them on route to premiership success.

In Round 5, 1956 he equalled a VFL/AFL record which still stands to this day of 0.11 in a game against Geelong. It was a soaking wet day and many of his behinds came from speculative kicks off the ground, but over three weeks he booted 18 straight behinds. When it mattered Spencer got it right though, kicking five goals in his last game - a best on ground performance in the 1956 decider.

Having missed out on receiving his 1956 Best and Fairest cup when he moved to Tasmania, Spencer was finally presented with the trophy at the Annual General Meeting in February 2010.

Spencer shocked the footballing world by moving to Tasmania to captain/coach Clarence at just 24 years of age. The move was intended to provide a supporting family environment for his wife Fay who was 8 months pregnant. The Demons attempted to convince him to extend his stay in Victoria by a year, but his mind was already made up. The VFL initially refused to clear him as part of an ongoing war of clearances with the Tasmanians, but eventually relented and allowed him to go.

He won two TFL and two Tasmanian statewide Best and Fairest awards and captained Tasmania to a famous victory over a Victorian representative team in 1960. Spencer finally retired from playing in 1968 while playing in the back pocket just as Smith had predicted.

Spencer applied for the Demons coaching job for 1971 and 1974 but missed out both times. From 1972 to 1975 he coached at St Virgil's College in Hobart.

Appointed to the football club board by the MCC in 1985 he was then named president of the club where he served until 1991. Ironically he handed over presidency to his former roving companion Ridley.

In June 1986 it was revealed that Spencer had met informally with Fitzroy chairman Leon Wiegard with a view to merging the two clubs. He explained that the move would only be beneficial if the new side became instant finals contenders. The side also had had informal discussions with Richmond and North Melbourne.

Spencer was voted off Melbourne's board at a contested election at the end of the 1991 season. He won reelection at the end of 1992, serving until 2001.

1950 1650
1951 13141
1952 18411
1953 16107
1954 21377
1955 19349
1956 19424


Also shown as from Port Fairy. In his wife's biography of him, it's said Spencer was approached to coach Melbourne in 1974 but rejected the offer.

Sun - 01/08/1951
Sporting Globe - 09/06/1954
Age - 18/09/1956, 02/03/1957, 28/03/1957, 18/10/1973, 26/06/1986, 18/12/1992, 01/05/2001
melbournefc.com.au - 28/09/2011

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Created by Supermercado. Last Modification: Saturday 01 June 2024 22:44:21 AEST by Supermercado. (Version 40)

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