Mel Melvyn WHINNEN

Year Inducted 2004
Date of Birth 6th October 1942

PLAYER: 1960-77

GAMES: 355: West Perth 371; WA 14

PREMIERSHIPS: 1960, 69, 71, 75

HONOURS: Simpson Medal 1975; West Perth fairest and best 1962, 64, 67-68, 70-73, 75; 1966 and 1972 national carnivals; MBE for services to football, 1976

A 17 year old reserve in West Perth’s 1960 premiership team in his first year of senior football and a 32 year old hero in 1975 when he won his fourth flag.  In between, Mel Whinnen was one of the most consistent, durable and reliable midfielders.  His 371 game tally is the highest by any player representing just on club.  He and Bill Dempsey have a gate at Subiaco Oval and a grandstand at Arena Joondalup named in their honour.   Whinnen finished second in two Sandover Medals, to Barry Cable in 1964 and David Hollins in 1971.  His career of 142 Sandover  medal  votes in the era of the 3-2-1 voting system is easily the highest by a player not to win the medal.  The sort of player parents liked to tell their kids  to be like.  Immaculately presented and scrupulously fair but as fierce a competitor as there was in his era.  Perth’s 1970 Sandover medallist Pat Dalton said he had tried to niggle Whinnen out of matches with no effect. “He would just come back with a hefty hip and shoulder the next time we got close,” Dalton said.  “Whinnen was the hardest centre man for me to beat.  He had speed and ability.”