Fal­con joins Hall of Fame

Joondalup Weekender - - Front Page -

LEG­ENDARY West Perth cen­tre­man Mel Whin­nen was in­ducted into the Aus­tralian Foot­ball Hall of Fame on Tues­day night.

Whin­nen (75) was in Mel­bourne to re­ceive the hon­our, while goal­kick­ing mas­ter Bernie Nay­lor – who died of cancer in 1993 – was in­ducted posthu­mously.

Whin­nen was a pacy and elu­sive mid­fielder who won an in­cred­i­ble nine best and fairest awards at West Perth, where he played 371 games from 1960-1977.

That in­cluded pre­mier­ships in 1960, 1969, 1971 and 1975, and he was run­ner-up in the San­dover Medal in 1964 and 1971.

Whin­nen told the AFL Record: “I was sur­prised I was even con­sid­ered.

“I was a lo­cal West Perth boy, I loved the club and loved watch­ing my he­roes play, and then I got to play with them,” he said. “How lucky was I?” West Perth tragic and com­men­tat­ing doyen Den­nis Cometti ranked Whin­nen among a rare col­lec­tion of play­ers, as quoted by AFL.com.au.

“Mel was a won­der­ful player who had this Ablett-es­que qual­ity where he’d be run­ning full pelt with the ball and stop sud­denly and go the other way, and it would throw ev­ery­one out,” he said. “I’ve only seen three or four play­ers do that.”

For­mer Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy was in­ducted as a Le­gend, while for­mer Gee­long de­fender Matthew Scar­lett, Carl­ton great Wayne John­ston, Hawthorn’s Terry Wal­lace and Mel­bourne for­ward David Neitz were other in­ductees.

Mel Whin­nen (right) with fel­low West Perth great Bill Dempsey af­ter a ‘golden oldies’ match.

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