Malcolm Walter ATWELL

Year Inducted 2004
Date of Birth 5th March 1936

PLAYER: 1958-71

GAMES: 255 – East Perth 1958-59; Perth 76; WA 17

PREMIERSHIPS: East Perth 1958-59; Perth captain-coach 1966-68

HONOURS: Member 1961 carnival team; coach WA 1968-69, Perth 1966-69 (as a Player), 1970-71, South Fremantle 1972-73; East Perth President 1983-85; West Coast board member 1988, chairman of selectors 1989.

Mal Atwell only knew one way to play the game – hard.  It was once said that it would be curtains for his grandmother if she inadvertently got between him and the ball.  “I suppose I am noted as a player who doesn’t go around the fringes.” Atwell said.  “I believe the only way to play football is to go straight in and get the ball.  Players have got to learn how to use their bodies.”  Playing mainly at full-back, he was one of the toughest men in the game.  He had a powerful physique and was very fast for a big man, sometimes competing in professional running races.  At the end of the 1965 season, after eight years at East Perth and at the age of 28, Atwell stunned the football world when he was cleared to captain-coach of Perth.  An immediate success, he took Perth to the next three premierships as the Demons came tougher, fitter and more determined.  He trained with them in every session and very few players found it easy to outdo their coach.  Atwell followed the teachings of his mentor at East Perth, the legendary Jack Sheedy, who was a great influence.  “I used many of Jack’s coaching methods,” he said.  “I have great respect for Jack.  He played the game the way I thought it should be played.”