Richard Roe

PLAYER 1932 - 1936

The WAAFL is proud to announce that a footballer born 100 years ago has been honored by the people of today as a High Achiever and had his name added to our prestigious Hall of Champions.

Richard ‘Dick’ Roe was born in Geraldton in 1913 but his parents moved to Perth when he was 18 months old. Richard attended Subiaco Primary School and Narrogen School of Agriculture, and while still a teenager represented Western Australia in the State Schoolboys competition, then highly regarded as the nursery for future football champions.

He went on to Muresk Agricultural College where he was Captain of the school, dux, and champion athlete, captain of cricket and captain of football.

Roe went to the University of Western Australia just before his 20th birthday and joined the University Football Club in 1932 where he very quickly displayed skills that caught the eyes of the umpires. Not only did he win the club Fairest and Best in his second year he also won the 1933 Association Fairest and Best.

Dick Roe went on to be part of Association football history as the captain of the University club that in 1934 became the first team in amateur football to go through the season undefeated. From there, he repeated his effort of the previous year, winning the club and association Fairest and Best.

He was awarded blues in both football and cricket by the University of Western Australia.

The talented Roe was selected to play in the State Amateur team against the WA Football Association and was one of the best on ground in a game that lost by just seven points.

After finishing his study, Roe worked for the CSIRO and was transferred to Canberra where in 1936 he joined the fledgling Ainslie Football Club and tied with Roy Seton as the inaugural Mulrooney Medal winner, given for the Fairest and Best player that season in games organised by the Canberra Australian National Football League.

He was a member of the Ainslie team that went through the season undefeated. Newspaper articles of the time said that Dick Roe, a 6 foot 1 inch tall but very mobile player, was generally regarded as a talented footballer who could kick equally well with either foot.

The Canberra Times reported in October 1937 that Roe was the best and fairest exponent of the national code ever to play in Canberra. So highly regarded was he as a footballer that in 1936 the Ainslie Football Club organized for all the players in the winning premiership team to sign the match football which was presented to Roe. This football was given back to the club in 1993 by Roe at a presentation lunch held in his honour and has a place of prominence in the club today.

Roe was also an excellent cricketer playing A Grade for the University club in Perth and for University in Queensland where he once scored 152 not out. His cricket exploits in Perth saw him play two games for Western Australia, scoring a total of 122 runs in three innings.

It is a wonderful testament to amateur football that our grassroots national game has been played in all Australian States and Territories for many years and that a footballer as talented as Richard ‘Dick’ Roe – a man who died at the age of 95 and who graced our grounds many years ago should be recognised as a High Achiever and his name added to our Hall of Champions.

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