HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
Alfred Augustine MOFFAT
|Date of Birth||15th March 1870|
Category - Administrator
WAFL Player 1891-1895 (East Perth, West Perth and Rovers)
WAFL Delegate, Perth Football Club 1903-1919, President WA Football League 1920-1932
President Australian National Football Council 1924-1929 (Delegate 1920-1932)
Life Member WAFL 1909, Perth Football Club 1910, Australian NFC 1927
WEST Australian football has had no stronger advocate at the national administrative level than the highly-respected Alf Moffat whose involvement as a pioneering player and outstanding administrator spanned more than 40 years. This period included a critical five-year stint as Chairman of the Australian National Football Council – the first West Australian to attain that position.
Alfred A. Moffat was a true son of Western Australia, having been born in Perth in 1870. His father George had arrived as a convicted guest of Queen Victoria in 1855 – transported for 15 years for the crime of “forging and uttering”. Alf was 15 when the Australian game was formalised in WA with the formation of the WAFA in 1885 and he was an early playing devotee, turning out for the junior club West Parks in 1888. He later progressed to senior ranks with the original East Perth team and won a medal for outstanding all-round play in 1891. He was good enough to retain his place in senior ranks for the West Perth and Rovers clubs when the major influx of Victorian and South Australian league players began in the mid-1890s and he played against the great Albert Thurgood. In later life Moffat’s perspective on the first 50 years of football in WA was much sought after. His all round athletic prowess was demonstrated by his selection in the first West Australian interstate cricket team in 1892/93 as a right-hand batsman and medium pace bowler. He also achieved notable success in Athletics - principally walking contests, either fixed distance or “go-as-you-please” in which the aim was to cover as much distance as possible in a fixed time.
However, it was in football administration where Moffat excelled and he filled official positions with several clubs from his teenage years. He was the inaugural Secretary of the WA Junior Football Association in 1888 and after finishing as a player with the Rovers club in 1895 he began a long association with their successor Perth. Moffat served in practically every official capacity at that club and was Perth’s League delegate for 17 years, from 1903 until 1919. In 1920 Moffat was elected unopposed to the Presidency of the WA Football League. Renowned as a diligent, enthusiastic and perspicacious President, he served for 12 years during which time WA hosted and won their first Interstate Carnival and the game was steered through the difficult period of the Great Depression. Moffat had the unenviable task of casting the deciding vote (in favour of Tom Outridge) after the first Sandover medal count was tied in 1921. Although it occurred some 40 years after his death, the awarding of a retrospective medal to Cyril Hoft in 1997 would very likely have met with the strong approval of a man renowned for his fundamental fairness. Noting the return of Moffat to the WAFL presidency unopposed in 1929, the WA Footballer magazine (forerunner of the Football Budget) stated that “Delegates rightly recognize the great work that AAM has done and is doing, while his strict impartiality at the League table has secured for him the confidence of all.”
AS WAFL President, Moffat served as the West Australian delegate on the national football administrative body, the ANFC, from 1920 and he was well-known as a staunch protector of the interests of the game in WA, but also as a visionary keen to secure the advancement of football throughout the country. He succeeded Charles Brownlow as President of the ANFC in 1924 and his five-year term as President was longer than any predecessor. He was awarded Life Membership of that body in 1927 which complemented earlier Life Memberships at the Perth Football Club (1910) and the WAFL (1909). Minutes of ANFC meetings indicate the preparedness of Moffat to defend the football interests of his state, particularly with respect to player transfers during the great depression. Ultimately his term as WAFL President was to end in resignation over a clearance for Brighton Diggins that he felt did not “preserve the constitutional integrity” of the League.
Alfred Moffat was one of the great WAFL administrators. His outstanding integrity and tenacity equipped him well to confront challenges as daunting in their time as many of those presenting today. Moffat served football with distinction for 44 years and deserves recognition as one of the critical fosterers of the early growth of the game in Western Australia.