Bob Skilton

  • Bob Skilton, AFL Speaker

    Few players have personified old fashioned ‘G and D’ to the extent of tenacious former South Melbourne rover Bob Skilton. In 237 games with the Swans he never gave less than the optimum in terms of effort. It was the same story when he donned the VFL state jumper, and towards the end of his career when he fulfilled a boyhood dream in representing…

    Location: VIC, Australia
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About Bob

Few players have personified old fashioned ‘G and D’ to the extent of tenacious former South Melbourne rover Bob Skilton. In 237 games with the Swans he never gave less than the optimum in terms of effort. It was the same story when he donned the VFL state jumper, and towards the end of his career when he fulfilled a boyhood dream in representing his beloved Port Melbourne.

One legacy of this attitude was the exceptional number of injuries – often several in the same game – sustained by Skilton during the course of his career. A more measurable legacy came in the shape of three Brownlow Medals and an incredible nine South Melbourne best and fairest awards. Not that Skilton’s approach lacked finesse. He was, in fact, a highly skilled, pre-eminently two-sided footballer in an era when this was still very much the exception to the rule. Roving to losing South Melbourne rucks for much of his career he turned this to his advantage by developing an unparalleled ability to anticipate the direction of the opposing ruckman’s taps. By contrast, roving to the likes of John Schultz, ‘Polly’ Farmer and John Nicholls in interstate matches must have seemed the height of luxury.

Skilton often remarked that he would have traded every one of his Brownlows to have played in one premiership but the closest he got was South’s losing First Semi Final against St Kilda in 1970.

 

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