Francis Valentine SPARROW

Year Inducted 2004
Date of Birth 1st July 1927


GAMES: 237: East Perth 163; Swan Districts 51; West Perth 6; WA 17.

PREMIERSHIP: East Perth 1944

HONOURS: Fairest and best East Perth 1948, 52, Swan Districts 1953; Captain East Perth 1949, 51; captain-coach Swan Districts 1953-55; Captain-coach West Perth 1956, coach 1957; Subiaco Oval broadcast centre named in his honour

Remembered as a football commentator, it is a tribute to his on-field skills that he has been selected in the Hall of Fame as a player.  According to Percy Johnson, who sat by Sparrow’s side for nearly 20 years of his radio and TV career, that’s how it should be.  Johnson, who played against him at club level and with him in State games, described Sparrow as a hard-nosed, competitive strong man who was rarely beaten in a one-on-one contest.  “In his 17 State matches he did not play a bad one,” Johnson said.  Sparrow, whose father Val has also made the Hall of Fame, played A-grade cricket with Mt Lawley, hitting 171 in the 1950-51 grand final against North Perth.

Sparrow retired from coaching in 1957 and started radio commentating the following year until 1995.  He was also chairman of Channel Seven’s World of football panel for 13 years.