HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
Leslie Robert FONG
|Date of Birth||24th August 1956|
Games: 290 – West Perth 284; WA 6
Premiership: West Perth 1975
Honours: West Perth Fairest and Best 1982-83; record seven-year term as Club Captain 1980-86, Selected as first rover in the West Perth Team of the Century.
In a sport where guts and determination are accolades often kicked around loosely in the football playing arena, Les Fong was the rover who epitomized the true meaning of the words.
Standing just 170cms (5ft 7in), Fong was solidly-built at 76kgs (11st 4lb) and was never afraid to put his body on the line. A true bottom-of-the packs rover, Fong was often first to fling himself on the ball (in the days when that tactic was allowed) and generally the last to extricate himself from the bottom of the pack.
Graduating from local juniors at Nollamara in 1973 as an 18 year-old, he was part of the inspirational Graham Campbell – coached Premiership side of 1975 when a host of youngsters were given liberal licence to adopt a free-wheeling style of football.
an exceptional leader, Fong made light of injuries over his years and his games-played tally has him sharing third place with Alan Watling (from the same era) behind the club’s two greatest games achievers in Mel Whinnen and Bill Dempsey.
It was soon after the retirement of the Whinnen-Dempsey double that Fong stepped into the captaincy, in 1980 and despite his relatively young age of 23, he immediately commanded the respect of his team-mates.
He led the re-built team into the 1985 first semi-final, but then missed the 1986 finals by half-a-game before his retirement after the 1987 season.
Fong continued his involvement with football, serving as president of the Player’s Association and he was an instrumental organizer of the revived WAFL 200 Club – in conjunction with his brother, WA Football Commission chairman, Dr Neale Fong.