Polly Farmer Bio, Wiki
Graham Vivian “Polly” Farmer was born on March 10th, 1935 and died on August 14th, 2019. He was an Australian rules football player and coach who revolutionised ruckwork and handballing.
Australian Football Hall of Fame legend Graham ‘Polly’ Farmer has died aged 84.
Polly Farmer Career
Poly Farmer was born in Western Australia. He joined the East Perth Football Club as a ruckman in 1953, where he won several awards and contributed to the team winning three premierships. He was recruited to the Victorian Football League (VFL) in 1962 for the Geelong Football Club, where he played 101 games and captained the team for three seasons. Farmer returned to Western Australia and became the captain/coach of the West Perth Football Club in 1968, leading the club to premierships against East Perth in 1969 and 1971. After retiring as a player, he coached Geelong, East Perth and Western Australia’s first state of origin team.
The Western Australian forged a spectacular career in the WAFL before and after a successful stint with Geelong in the VFL. One of the greatest ruckmen of all time, Farmer was named in the AFL Team of the Century in 1996 and as captain of the Indigenous Team of the Century in 2005.
His achievements include five WAFL flags – three with East Perth and two with West Perth – as well as one VFL premiership with the Cats. Farmer was made an official Legend of Australian rules football. The Graham Farmer Freeway in his hometown of Perth is named in his honour. Farmer was also the patron of the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation, a nonprofit educational organization founded in 1995.
Perhaps the strongest argument for Farmer’s legacy among the greats of the game, however, is how he changed football with his ruck craft and handball skills.
Polly Farmer Wife (Marlene Farmer), Children
In 1956, Farmer met a Tasmanian woman holidaying in Perth named Marlene and the two were married in 1957. His wife passed away in 2015 after 58 years into their marriage. They had three children, daughter Kim, and sons Brett and Dean.
In 1992, Farmer and his wife Marlene sold their house and ran a two-star Southway Auto Lodge motel in South Perth until 1998. Farmer said the business failed due to the downturn in the Asian economy and a 40% drop in tourist numbers, and left him with no money or assets. He said, “We have nothing and we are back to square one. But we didn’t borrow money to keep the business going. All my life I have helped myself and there is no reason why I can’t still do that.” Farmer and Marlene were given temporary accommodation at the caretaker’s flat in the Main Roads building. Two fundraising events were organised in Perth and Melbourne by John Watts, Bob Davis and Sam Newman, raising $120,000. A trust fund was established with the money and a small villa bought in Innaloo.
Polly Farmer Death & Cause
Farmer died in Fiona Stanley Hospital, Murdoch on August 14th, 2019, aged 84. The West Australian reports Farmer died in hospital surrounded by his family. “We have just shared our last precious moments with our dear dad and grandfather,” daughter Kim said in statement. “It’s been an amazing life shared with a beautiful man. We will miss him.”
Champion Geelong Football Club ruckman Graham 'Polly' Farmer has died at 84. An AFL legend who revolutionised the game. RIP Polly
— Lachie Young (@lachie_young) August 14, 2019
Back in 2014, we published Steve Hawke's marvellous biography of Polly Farmer, one of the greats of the greatest. The Australian Football Hall of Fame defines a Legend as one who "changed the game for the better". He surely did. May he rest peacefully. pic.twitter.com/uObcvraSAw
— Geoff Slattery (@GeoffSlattery) August 14, 2019