DOB: 30 September 1956
MFC Debut: Round 1, 1983 against Collingwood at MCG
Last Game: Round 16, 1985 against Carlton at Waverley
Number: 31 1983-1985
Games: 34 (177 total)
Goals: 109 (593 total)
Picked up by the Bulldogs after kicking 100 goals for Traralgon in the 1973 Latrobe Valley league, Templeton was also hotly pursued by Hawthorn, who organised a land survey to try and prove he lived within their zoned area. Footscray got him, and Templeton was an instant sensation with six goals on debut. As his lightly built frame filled out he became one of the deadliest sharpshooters in the competition and bagged 82 goals in 1976, including a haul of nine against South Melbourne.
His 1977 season was ruined by injury, ironically caused by a Melbourne player, but he returned to kick 118 goals for the 11th placed Bulldogs in 1978, including a haul of 15.9. Templeton won the Coleman Medal again in 1979, and added the Brownlow Medal to his trophy cabinet the next year after being moved to centre-half forward. He was eventually named at centre-half forward in the Bulldogs' team of the century.
Templeton was coming off two seasons ruined by injury when Melbourne parted with a substantial amount of cash to recruit the boyhood Demon fan for 1983. Footscray initially refused him a clearance, and Templeton was forbidden from training with his chosen club in late 1982. He took the Bulldogs to the Supreme Court alleging restraint of trade in order to win his freedom. He was prepared to sit out of football for half a season, asking that the case be heard before the end of June 1983 clearance deadline.
The Bulldogs responded to his Supreme Court action by counter-suing, alleging they'd offered him a five year contract and that he was in breach of the arrangement. They claimed damages from Templeton, and also against Melbourne after alleging they’d had offered Templeton money to transfer in two separate meetings during July 1982. In February 1983 the Bulldogs realised they'd lost their man and tried to sell him to Collingwood but the Magpies refused to get involved.
The Supreme Court case was set to be heard mid-February, and resigned to the fact that Templeton no longer wanted to play for them, the Bulldogs unsuccessfully tried to sell him to Collingwood. Just days before it was set to begin, court action was dropped when Templeton became the first player to front the VFL Appeals Board. The board cleared him to move, and while neither club would discuss the fee it was reported that Dick Seddon and his Footscray counterpart Tony Capes quickly came to agreement on a $150,000 settlement over a bottle of white wine. The Bulldogs had originally demanded $200,000 for the deal. If the clubs hadn’t settled, the Appeals Board would have determined how much he was worth.
With the deal going through just days before the first practice game, Templeton missed out while he built fitness. He’d been training on his own all summer but had to build his fitness base from an off-season ankle injury before making his Demon debut.
He would be paid $85,000 a year at Melbourne but his time with the club was riddled with injuries. In his second game for the club Templeton booted eight goals in a narrow win against Geelong, and ended with 38 from 13 games for the year, but was dropped late in the season after a run of poor form before his return was halted by an Achilles injury. In 1984 he had two more hauls of eight, against Hawthorn in Round 3 and his old side in Round 9 on the way to 51 goals in 16 games.
1985 saw Templeton play just five games after missing the first 11 games of the year with a foot injury. The issue flared after his first injury-free pre-season in three years. Melbourne initially denied sacking him during the 1986 pre-season but soon told him he wasn't required. Templeton retired from VFL football a month into the season aged just 28 years old, barely unable to kick over the mark because of his injuries. He had two years to run on his contract but came to an agreement with the club to remain as a specialist coach. Despite an average of more than three goals a game at the Demons many considered the move a failure.
Templeton was an assistant coach at Sydney under Tom Hafey and Col Kinnear before serving as CEO of the Swans from 1995 to 2002.
Inside Football - 23/06/1973
Age - 18/11/1982
Age - 25/11/1982
Age - 27/11/1982
Age - 15/12/1982
Age - 15/01/1983
Age - 05/02/1983
Age - 11/02/1983
Age - 22/02/1983
Age - 23/02/1983
Age - 24/02/1983
Inside Football - 31/03/1983
Age - 29/07/1983
Age - 10/08/1983
Inside Football - 07/03/1985
Age - 18/03/1986
Age - 18/04/1986
Age - 16/06/1995
May have been paid $60,000 to terminate his contract in 1986 (Inside Football 20/03/1986)
Demonwiki image gallery
Interview with Templeton - woof.net.au