HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
Simon Francis BEASLEY
|Date of Birth||26th July 1956|
ERA: 1961 – 2006
GAMES: 238 – 80 Swan Districts; 154 Footscray, 4 WA
HONOURS: Simpson Medal 1981 (WA v Victoria)
As one of Australia’s leading horse racing bookmakers Simon Beasley can afford to take a bit of a gamble occasionally….but as an emerging league footballer with Swan Districts back in the late 1970s he was generally a ‘sure thing’ when he lined up on goal.
Beasley stepped out of University Amateurs after he had studied to be a stockbroker and he soon overcame his late arrival at Bassendean Oval in 1978. He kicked 291 goals for Swans in his four years, topping the WAFL goal-kicking table in 1982 meant that he missed the hat-trick of premierships with Swans, Beasley soon carved his place in history with Footscray, now the Western Bulldogs.
In eight seasons he played 154 games and kicked 575 goals, topping the club’s goal-kicking table in his first six years and heading their all-time list – although veteran Chris Grand is closing with 550 goals at the end of 2006. Beasley became Footscray’s third player to win the John Coleman Medal for the leading goal-kicker in the VFL, with his tally of 105 in 1985, joining Jack Collins and Kelvin Templeton (twice). Beasley kicked 12 goals three times and also had hauls of 10 and 11 once each.
He proved many theories wrong about full-forwards – firstly that they didn’t like wet or heavy conditions and secondly that they seldom won best-afield honours. In 1984 Footscray coach Mick Malthouse dropped Beasley from the side at the last minute on a wet, muddy day. Soon after however, Beasley proved that to be a wrong decision when he kicked a match-winning five goals against Collingwood in much worse conditions.
And, his Simpson Medal for the best-afield in the 1981 State match against Victoria, when he kicked 6.5 in the 29 point victory, proved that full-forwards can claim such honours.
His last two years at Footscray saw him troubled with injuries, knee and back and he retired in 1979, with only 26 footballers ahead of him in the history of the VFL/AFL. His goal average of 3.7 per game over his eight years puts him in the top 20 averages of all time in VFL/AFL football. Only 10 players have averaged more than four goals per game. There are only 20 players ahead of Beasley with a better average, with most of them playing in strong teams – and all are in the AFL Hall of Fame, three being Legends. Ironically, Beasley was named in the Footscray/Western Bulldogs Team of the Century, but missed a similar honour at Swan Districts, with the great Ted Holdsworth claiming that position.