Footy legend who appeared in the Hall of Fame dies aged 84
AFL legend Graham ‘Polly’ Farmer has died at the age of 84.
The West Australian ruckman is officially enshrined as one of 28 legends in the AFL Hall of Fame, and played 356 games with Geelong, East Perth and Perth.
Farmer, who suffered from ailing health, was surrounded by his family when he died on Wednesday.
‘We have just shared our last precious moments with our dear dad and grandfather,’ his daughter Kim told The West Australian.
‘It’s been an amazing life shared with a beautiful man. We will miss him.’
AFL legend Graham ‘Polly’ Farmer has died at the age of 84. The West Australian ruckman is officially enshrined as one of 28 legends in the AFL Hall of Fame, and played 356 games with Geelong, East Perth and Perth
Farmer was raised at Sister Kate’s orphanage for Aboriginal children in Perth where he was given the nickname ‘Polly the Parrot’ for frequently talking.
He debuted for East Perth at the age of 18 and went on to revolutionise the game with his ability to hand pass the ball accurately to teammates over long distances, opening up a sport that was dominated by kick-and-mark.
Farmer was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996 and was named in the AFL Team of the Century the same year. In 2005, he was awarded the captaincy of the Indigenous Team of the Century.
Sam Newman, who has always idolised Farmer, previously told the Geelong Advertiser: ‘Without speaking one word, he [Farmer] taught me everything I know’.
‘I watched how a man overcomes not the physical, not the mental, but the spiritual – that’s the most important.’
Farmer dedicated his post-playing life to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youths, with the The Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation established in his name in 1994.
‘I was fortunate in being successful in football. Now I want to put something back into helping Australian people achieve their aspirations,’ he said.
More to come
Polly Farmer (right) and Daniel Wells pose after Daniel won the Polly Farmer medal during the AFL game between the Western Bulldogs and the Allstars at Marrara oval, February 5, 2005