Robert Flower was a legend of Australian rules football and known as one of football’s true gentlemen. Flower was supremely gifted, highly effective – one-club footballer for 272 games for the Melbourne football club. Blessed with all the attributes of a born champion, Flower’s particular trademark was his almost implausible evasive ability, a skill which stood him in good stead as he was often the target of unseemly opposition assaults.

Robert Flower played on the wing for most of his career and was characterised by his ability to create space for himself and kick and handpass the ball with extraordinary accuracy. Flower’s thin physique and low playing weight—68 kilograms was not an issue as he possessed speed, sure-footedness and unrivalled tactical awareness.

For a player that with the skill and greatness at the game, flower really did not receive the big awards he deserved and often missed out on Best and fairest awards. He only won Melbourne’s premier award once, and never finished higher than third, which he did twice, in the Brownlow, despite often starting as one of the favourites. However, he won virtually every other accolade the game had to offer, including making 15 (almost invariably superlative) Big V appearances (three as captain) and earning selection in two All Australian teams. Contemporary VFL and interstate wingmen were near unanimous in declaring him their most troublesome opponent.

Flower was inducted in the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 1996 and was named on the wing in Melbourne’s Team of the Century.

Playing Career

1973 – 1987 Melbourne

Games

272

Goals

315

Playing Honours

  • Keith ‘Bluey’ Truscott Medallist: 1977
  • 2× Melbourne leading goalkicker: 1979, 1983
  • Harold Ball Memorial Trophy: 1973
  • Melbourne captain: 1981–1987
  • Melbourne Team of the Century–wing
  • Melbourne Hall of Fame
  • Australian Football Hall of Fame
  • 2× All-Australian: 1980, 1983

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