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Graham Farmer Biography
Graham 'Polly' Farmer was arguably the greatest ruckman, and some would say the finest player, to ever play Australian Rules Football.

His dazzling all round skills aside, he is credited with being the first player to use the handpass as an offensive weapon - his direction impeccable and the distance often as good as a kick.

He began his career with East Perth in the WAFL where he played 176 games from 1953 to 1961. During this time he won the club's Fairest & Best award 7 times and was a member of their 1956, 58 and 59 Premiership teams. In 1959 he was awarded the Simpson Medal for being best on ground in the Grand Final.

He was awarded the WAFL's highest individual honour, the Sandover Medal, in 1956 and 1960.

Indeed he again tied for the Sandover Medal in 1957 with East Fremantle's Jack Clarke but lost on a countback. He was however later awarded a medal in 1997 when the WAFL decided to retrospectively reward countback losers.

Bob Davis recruited Farmer to Geelong in 1962. Davis had witnessed Farmer's brilliance first hand when he had captained Victoria against Western Australia in 1958. During a lull in play Davis remarked to Farmer that one day he would coach Geelong and he wanted him in his side.

In the opening moments of his debut for Geelong in 1962 Farmer severely injured his knee which kept him out for the year. However in 1963 he played a brilliant season helping them along to a Premiership whilest he came runner-up in the Brownlow Medal to Bob Skilton.

In total Farmer played 101 games for Geelong from 1962 to 1968 and was their Fairest & Best in 1963 and 1964.

In 1968 he desired to return home to Western Australia and hence accepted the role of Captain/Coach at East Perth's rival West Perth.

He led the Cardinals to Premierships in 1969 and 1971 - both times playing against his old club East Perth in the Grand Final.

He retired as a player in 1971, but was back involved with football again as he coached Geelong from 1973 to 75.

He coached East Perth from 1967 to 77 with some success and it came as quite a surprise to many when he was replaced by Barry Cable in 1978.

During his playing career he played a record 31 games for Western Australia and was selected in the All-Australian team in 1956, 58 and 61. In 1956 he was awarded a Simpson Medal for his performance against South Australia in the Perth Carnival, and later he also awarded the Tassie Medal for being judged best in the Carnival overall. He was awarded another Simpson Medal in 1961 for his game against Victoria in the Melbourne Carnival, and in 1969 he received his fouth and final one during the AFC Championships in Adelaide.

He was inducted into the inaugural AFL Hall of Fame in 1997 as a "Legend". Likewise he became a West Australian Football Hall of Fame "Legend" in 2004.
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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Graham Farmer.