An Interview between Robert “Dipper” DiPierdomenico & George Doig

On the evening of the Australian Football League Hall of Fame induction, 1995.

A night to celebrate pure football Talent

An interview by Robert “Dipper” DiPierdomenico
with George Doig on the evening of the Australian
Football League Hall of Fame induction, 1995.

Dipper: What does becoming an AFL Hall of Fame member mean to you?

George Doig: It means a lot … I’m 88*, so I appreciate it vey much.

You kicked a lot goals, but did you kick many points?

I kicked my share of them. One day I kicked 13.4, which was a little off target.

Were you a strong mark, a strong lead or both?

I was a bit of everything, but I relied on my ability to kick with both feet. I was a natural right-footer, but I could kick just as well on my left. All my snap shots would be on my left foot. I could read the play better than most and I was fast. I wasn’t very heavy – 10 stone (about 63 kilos) at the start and I got to about 11 (70 kilos). When I got knocked about, I’d move to the the half-forward line or into a pocket for 10 minutes just to revive.

How old were you when you started?

Let me see. I was born in 1913 and I started in 1933. I was 19 when I played my first few games and turned 20 in the May.

How did your career start?

I kicked 127 in a suburban junior team and I got 128 in the East Fremantle reserves. I kicked my 152 in the seniors a couple of years later and from then on, the centuries seemed to come automatically. I didn’t train very much; only once a week.

Did you ever consider playing in Victoria?

I got two offers to play in Victoria. When I kicked 152 goals, I beat Bob Pratt’s record (150 goals in a season) by two. I got a congratulatory telegram from Bob, which I’ve still got. Later that year, I got an offer from St Kilda – I’ve still got that letter too – and the following year I got an invitation from Melbourne. But in those days, they didn’t have any jobs to offer. I wasn’t going to leave my job here to go to Victoria.

What kick did you use when shooting for goal?

A drop punt. I could kick torpedoes from a distance, but I prefered a natural punt kick.

You must have kicked some great goals in your time.

I could kick them over my head, from all angles – anything at all. I was congratualted by the goalkeeper (full back) twice in state games after kicking goals over my head next to the point posts.

Your teammates must have delivered the ball to you well.

God yes. The father of (fellow Hall of Fame member) Jack Sheedy was marvelous to me. I reckon he is the best stab kick to have ever played. I used to lead straight to him and he would hit me on the chest at 100 miles an hour. I don’t think I ever droppped a ball that hit my chest.

Did you have after-match functions?

We did, but quite often I couldn’t go because I had corked legs and goodness knows what. My wife used to help me with a bandage of Epsom Salts to reduce the swelling.

Did you miss many football games through injury?

Only one. I had a broken finger once that I bandaged up so I could play the next week. I played seven years without having to leave the ground.

I hear you are a fanatical Fremantle supporter now.

Yes. They actually made me a legend of the club. I get to a few matches, but I can’t see because I’ve been legally blind for the past 18 months.