WA Premier’s Statement


Statement by WA’s Premier
MR A.J. CARPENTER (Willagee – Premier) [12.14 pm]:

Western Australia lost one of its all-time sporting greats on Sunday with the passing of George Ronald Doig. Born in Fremantle in 1913, George Doig was from a family whose links to the top levels of football in this state may never be surpassed. In fact, when we read about George Doig’s pedigree, it is no surprise that he turned out to be the champion player and renowned gentleman that he was.

His father, Charles Alexander Doig, was one of five brothers who played for East Fremantle Football Club. Charles Doig not only played in 11 grand finals for East Fremantle, but also served as president of the club from 1924 to 1936. One of George’s uncles, James Alexander Doig, also represented Western Australia in its first interstate match in 1904.

However, in this family of football legends – and the word “legend” is not used lightly – George Doig managed to rise to an even higher plane with his on-field exploits. In fact, these days the term “superstar” would be an insult to him. Such were his youthful talents that in one game, while playing in the South Suburban Football Association competition in 1931, he kicked his team’s entire score of 26 goals 21 points, a feat that I believe can only be described as astonishing. Not long after, and not surprisingly, East Fremantle recruited him.

It is well documented that he kicked nine goals in his first match, and things just got better. He kicked 106 goals in this debut season in 1933, becoming the first player in the West Australian Football League to break the century goal mark. The following year he set an Australian record of 152 goals in one season. In this season, he kicked a record 19 goals in one match, followed by a 13-goal haul in the following match.

For nine consecutive seasons he broke the 100 goal mark, which was a remarkable streak of individual brilliance. Unfortunately, the Second World War curtailed his career, although he returned to play six games for East Fremantle in 1945 to help the club win yet another premiership.

Fittingly, George Doig was made a member of the Australian Football League’s Hall of Fame in 2002 and was inducted as an inaugural legend of the West Australian Football League’s Hall of Fame in 2004. The Fremantle Dockers should also be congratulated for naming their fairest and best award the Doig Medal.

Relatively short in stature, George Doig was a giant of the game. He shone in a golden era of WA football, which we now only read, dream and romanticise about, and that makes his passing all the more sad for football lovers. I take this opportunity to pass on our deepest sympathy to George Doig’s family and friends, and may he rest in peace.

Tribute from Alan Carpenter