Barry Thomas CABLE

Year Inducted 2004
Date of Birth 22nd September 1943

PLAYER: 1962-79

GAMES: 405: Perth 225; East Perth 43; North Melbourne 116; WA 20 Victoria 1

PREMIERSHIPS: Perth 1966-68; North Melbourne 1975, 77; East Perth captain-coach 1978

HONOURS: Sandover Medal 1964, 68, 73, runner-up 1965-66; Simpson Medal in Perth’s hat-trick of premierships 1966-68, 1969 carnival;

Tassie Medal 1966 carnival; All-Australian 1969;

Perth fairest and best 1965-69, 71, 73; Perth captian-coach 1972-73; North Melbourne best and fairest 1970; East Perth captain-coach 1978-80; North Melbourne coach 1981-84;

MBE for services to football 1979.

Such a huge name in WA that everything Barry Cable did made headlines.  In 1971 when he was poleaxed by Leigh Matthews in a State game at Subiaco Oval, there was an outpouring of public resentment against the Victorian.  In 1979, Cable’s last year as a player, he was badly injured when a runaway tractor pinned him at his Orange Grove farm.  His leg was shredded to the bone and doctors at first feared it might have to be amputated.  He returned to coach East Perth the following year.  He grew up in Narrogin, the youngest of 10 children.  Spotted by Bert “Sixer” Sykes, wh had played 58 games with Perth and was working in Narrogin.  The brash youngster from the bush knew he was good enough to be the best and was determined to prove it.  He oozed so much confidence he was nick-named Cassius Cable – and like the famous heavyweight, he backed up his words with actions.  A fitness fanatic who perfected his skills to such a degree that he had more time than most other players.  Won the first of three Sandover Medals as a 21 year old and became the dominant player of WA football in the 60’s. 

Determined to test himself in Victoria, Perth agreed to let him to North Melbourne for a year in 1970.  He showed his class by winning North’s best and fairest and finishing fourth in the Brownlow Medal.  A true ball player, he always polled well in umpire’s awards.  He polled a record 183 votes in the Sandover Medal (when it was 3-2-1) and 73 in the Brownlow. 

Cable returned to Perth in 1971, played for a year under Mal Atwell and then took over as captain-coach  In 1974, at the age of 31, he went back to North Melbourne and stayed for four seasons, playing in each of the Kangaroos’ 17 finals.  In 1878 he took over as captain-coach of East Perth, taking Supreme Court action against the WFL and Perth, which had refused to clear him.  The two clubs finally compromised.  That year Cable led East Perth to victory over his old club in one of the great grand finals.