Hall of Fame

The Hampton Rovers AFC Hall of Fame recognises players and/or coaches who have excelled both on and off the field. The Hall of Fame was established in 2004 where at the club’s 75th Anniversary Gala Dinner, held at the Brighton International on July 17, thirteen men were inducted, with all eight living inductees in attendance. In 2016, there were 14 club legends inducted to make up for the fact there have been no additions since the first in 2004 – these occurred at three special home game luncheons throughout the year.


Played for the Rovers between 1945 & 1965 with a total of 312 games. Club captain 1954-55 and between 1957 & 61. Senior coach between 1960 & 62 as well as in 1966. Reserves captain/coach in 1964. Club president in 1965.

One of three players to win the senior best & fairest on four occasions, in 1946, 1947, 1949 and 1951, three of which were premiership years, including the 1951 A section flag. He was also senior captain from 1948 until 1951 – the only A section premiership captain in the club’s history. In those four years, he was also captain of the Big V and was an All-Australian in 1950 and 1951, playing in the Australian Amateur Carnivals in 1948 and 1951 where he was also captain.

One of the all-time greats. Sam is a three-time senior best & fairest winner (1948, 1949 & 1953), senior captain in 1952 & 1953 and A section premiership player in 1951. He won the VAFA A section league best & fairest in 1949, won the league goal kicking in 1946 (119 goals, C section) and 1949 (64 goals, A section) and represented the Big V in 1947, 1949, 1950 & 1952, the last year serving a captain. Sam was inducted as a Big V Champion in 2011. He was also an All-Australian in 1950 and 1951 and senior coach of the Hampton Rovers in 1964 and 1965.

Started at the Rovers in 1965. Played 284 games with the club over two decades. Reserves coach for 8 years, in that time his chargers played in 14 Finals matches for one flag (1979) and two runners up. Several stints on the Senior Committee – firstly between 1966 and 1972, then 1996 and 1999, and from 2004 on. Has been the Senior Vice President (one year), Club Secretary (3 years) and VAFA Delegate (5 Years). Was awarded Best Clubman in 1969. VAFA State Selector for 5 years and was on the VAFA Permit Committee for two years.

Robert captained the club in the premiership years of 1946 and 1947 and won the best & fairest on three occasions: 1938, 1939 and 1940. He was club secretary for four years between 1952 and 1957 and again in 1968, and president from 1966 until 1968. The club’s senior best & fairest trophy is named in Robert Cave’s honour.

Playing career started in 1955 and concluded in 1994, playing a total of 208 games. Won the under 19 Best and Fairest in 1958 and won the VAFA Leading Goal kicker award in B Grade in 1960. Under 15 coach 1983-84, Under 17 coach 1985-87, Under 19 coach 1990. Awarded life membership in 1992. Best clubman in 1992 & 1995. Awarded VAFA Certificate of Merit in 2003. Has also filled the following positions: Vice President, Secretary. Been on the General Committee over many years. Football Manager, Team Manager, Team Trainer and Senior Stats man – something he still does today. Has also been the VAFA Delegate.

The founder of the club and after which our home ground ‘Boss James Reserve’ was named after in 2002. Senior coach for 16 years from 1929 until 1951 (excluding 1933 and when the club was in recess during WWII).

Played 63 games for the Rovers in the 1960’s. Under 19’s coach in 1970 & 71. Senior coach between 1972 & 76. Reserves coach in 1974 & 75. Senior coach again between 1982 & 84. Club President in 1976 & 77. Awarded VAFA Cert. of Merit in 1989. Yet another person whose family has a long association with the Rovers – and reinforcing the strong family orientation that is such a strong part of the Hampton Rovers.

Played for the Rovers between 1962 & 1974 playing a total of 213 games. Described as a hard at the ball Ruck Rover who during his playing days was one of the fittest players at the club. Club captain 1968-1970 & 1972-1973. Club Best & Fairest in 1971 & 72. Club President in 1974 & 75.

Joined the Rovers in 1965 playing U19 football. Became a member of the Senior Committee in his early 20’s in 1967. Took on the role of Club Treasurer in 1968-69. Won the Best Clubman award in 1970 – an award he won again in 1997 – nearly 30 years later. In 1971, he left club to travel overseas and work interstate. Returned to club in 1975 and resumed playing. Served on senior committee between 1976 & 78. Awarded Life Membership in 1977. Senior Club President between 1978 & 81 and also in 1983. Retired from playing in 1984 with total 243 games. Senior Committee Member between 1984 & 86. Assistant coach and Coach U17’s between 1989 & 91. Senior Coach between 1994 & 1997, including the 1995 premiership – the flag that broke a 40-year drought. Awarded VAFA Certificate of Merit in 1998. Member club coterie/sponsorship committee between 1999 & 2003. Chairman Board of Management 2003 & 04.

The most decorated player ever to wear the green and gold. Started with Hampton Scouts – the under 19s as they were then called – in 1958 and played 51 games between then and 1960. In 1961, started at St Kilda in the then VFL aged 19. Played 234 games for the Saints as a Rover. According the AFL Encyclopaedia of Football which has the records of every AFL/VFL footballer, his career really kicked of in St Kilda’s Prelim Final win in 1966 – the biggest and clearly most successful year the club has had on the field. In 1967 he earned his Big V Guernsey and in that year won the games most coveted award – the Brownlow Medal with 24 votes. Won 2 Club Championships at St Kilda. Played in St Kilda’s grand final team in 1971 when they were beaten by Hawthorn. Captained St Kilda from between 1970 and 1972. Captained Victoria in 1972. Headed West to coach Subiaco in the WAFL for three years, and in one of those won a flag. Coached the Saints in 1977. Ross Smith was inducted into the Hampton Rovers Hall of Fame under the clause relating to Meritorious Achievement at the highest level.

Four-time senior best & fairest winner (1932-1935), senior captain from 1934 until 1938 and senior coach in 1954 & 1955. Won three consecutive league best & fairest’s (1933-1935 in D section). Senior president from 1958 until 1960.

Joined the Rovers in 1964. U19 most consistent award in 1965 & third in VAFA Best & Fairest despite only playing 12 games before being promoted to the Seniors. 1969 Club Best & Fairest. Senior captain in 1970 & 71. Awarded Rovers Life Membership in 1974, also in that year won most the seniors determined player. Retired in 1977 after 212 games to accept a work transfer interstate. Returned to Victoria four years later and became Treasurer for three years, then became President for two years, and did another year as Treasurer in 1988. During his 40 years at the club he has held many other positions, such as General Committee Member, Social Committee Member, VAFA Delegate, Senior Runner, Boundary Umpire, Trainer and Chairman of Selectors. Was awarded the VAFA Certificate Of Merit in 1999. Took on Treasurer again in 2004 for his ninth year in that position.


Axe is regarded as one of the all-time great players of the Hampton Rovers Football Club. He played 130 VAFA games and 85 Junior games for the club. He won the Senior B&F in 1999 and 2003, represented the VAFA (A/B side) on multiple occasions including once as vice-captain, and played in three Senior premierships, 1995, 1998 & 2001.

Wiley played 159 very tough games of VAFA football and was Senior captain for five years from 1982 to 1985 and in 1987. He was a member of the club executive for three years and was Bar Manager/Clubroom caretaker for many years and the heart and soul of the football club in some very lean years.

Birdy played 352 VAFA games for the Rovers. He won three Reserves Best & Fairests in 1983, 1987 & 1988 and was a member of the Club Executive for three years and a committee member for many more.

Anthony played 182 VAFA games and 94 Junior games for the club. He won the Senior Best & Fairest on four occasions, 1998, 2001 (both premiership years), 2002 and 2005 and won the U19’s Best and Fairest in 1996. He represented the VAFA (C to Div 4 side) and was senior captain in 2005 and 2006.

David played 192 VAFA games for the club, won the VAFA D section goal kicking in 1975. David won the Reserves best & fairest in 1972 and was Senior President in the premiership year of 1995, until 1997.

Graham played his junior football with the Hampton Rovers U19’s (formerly known as the Hampton Scouts). He was recruited by Hawthorn and played 90 VFL games between 1959 and 1965 and was a member of the Hawks first ever premiership team in 1961, a feat his younger brother Ian experienced five years later when he played in St Kilda’s first ever premiership team. Graham is inducted to the Hampton Rovers Hall of Fame under the Meritorious Achievement category.

Crawf played 135 VAFA games for the Hampton Rovers. He won the U19’s Best & Fairest in 1988 having played only 11 games. Crawf was a goal kicking machine, winning the VAFA D Section goalkicking on four occasions, 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995. He helped break the 44 year Senior premiership drought in 1995 and was club president in 1994.

Merv played in excess of 100 VAFA games for the Hampton Rovers Football Club. Won the club best & fairest in 1950 and played in the club’s only A Section premiership in 1951. Merv won the A Section best & fairest in 1954 and also represented the Big V.

Chief played 251 VAFA games and 32 Junior games for the club. He won the U19’s B & F in 1993 and played in two Senior premierships, 1995 and 2001. He represented the VAFA (C to Div 4 side) and was Club President in 2007.

Matty played 302 VAFA games and 107 Junior games for the Hampton Rovers. He won the Senior Best & Fairest in 1992 and represented the VAFA (C to Div 4 side). He was Senior captain for three years from 1997 to 1999 and played in three Senior premierships, 1995, 1998 and 2001.

Macca played 214 VAFA games for the Rovers, was Senior Best and Fairest in 1990 and 1993. He represented the VAFA (C to Div 4 side) and was Senior captain for five years from 1988 to 1992.

Nashy played 193 VAFA games for the Rovers and won the senior best & fairest in 1977 and the under 19s best & fairest in 1972. He was senior captain for three years – from 1978 until 1972. Nashy was both senior and reserves coach in 1986. He is a member of the senior executive and a member of the club’s board. Has won the best clubman award and continues to be a tireless worker around the club.

Freddy played a total of 168 VAFA games for the Hampton Rovers. He was a senior running for many years, coached the reserves for 7 years, under 19s for 3 years as well as the under 17s and under 16s. Tony was awarded the VAFA Certificate of Merit in 2006 and has been club secretary since 2013.

Lofty played 153 VAFA games for the Hampton Rovers. He won the VAFA D Section Best & Fairest in 1975 and the Rovers Senior Best & Fairest in 1975 and 1981. He represented the VAFA (C to Div4 side) and was Club President in 1986.

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