Dean Phillip KEMP

Year Inducted 2005
Date of Birth 17th February 1969

PLAYER: 1989-2001

GAMES: 268: Subiaco 23, West Coast 243, WA 2

PREMIERSHIPS: West Coast 1992, 94

HONOURS: West Coast best first year player 1990; fairest and best 1992; Norm Smith Medal 1994; All Australian 1992.

West Coast was renowned as the AFL’s powerhouse team of the early 1990s.  Dean Kemp represented the team’s silk.  Recruited from Kalgoorlie via Subiaco, Kemp possessed one-tough ball-handling which became the envy of the AFL.  By the time the Eagles won their first flag against Geelong in 1992 h, Peter Matera and Chris Mainwaring were midfield linchpins. Matera provided the high-octane flair, Mainwaring the guts and grunt and Kemp fitted somewhere in between.  He was not as quick as Matera but smooth, every bit as skilled and tougher than his slim physique indicated.

As his career developed, Kemp drew comparisons with Melbourne champion Robert Flower – a player of similar stature and skill level.  Only three West Coast players have played more than Kemp’s 243 matches and he played more finals matches (25) than any other Eagle.  His courage often took him into perilous situations and while his vision and skill usually got him out safely, the buffeting took a toll over time.  One hit, by Crow Mark Ricciuto is regarded as one of the biggest of the modern era.  After several bouts of concussion in 2001, Kemp was forced to retire.