Graham "Polly" Farmer passed away in 2019 at the age of 84. After his passing, a sample of his brain tissue was examined. In a first for the AFL, both a scientific journal and the West Australian newspaper reported that the examination revealed that he had CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) from head knocks he suffered during his playing career. While the medical journal did not reveal his name, the newspaper did. Farmer played 356 games from 1952 to 1971 as a ruckman for East Perth and West Perth in the WAFL and for Geelong in the VFL. He is considered a revolutionary figure in the game because of how he played the ruck position and his use of the handball.
Graham Polly Farmer
The footy world is mourning the death of perhaps the greatest indigenous player and ruckman of all time, Graham "Polly" Farmer. Farmer, 84, died at his home in West Australia surrounded by family. He had been in poor health for some years and his wife Marlene revealed in 2012 that Farmer was suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
Farmer revolutionized the role of the ruckman with his sublime skills not only in the air, but at ground level as well. He lacked speed so used the handball as an attacking option when most other sides did not. He honed his handball skills in his native West Australia, where he would handball through a half-open car window. He was also a fitness fanatic, with daily running and weights sessions to, as he put it, "... to suffer the consequences of 100 minutes of football."
Farmer grew up in an orphanage for Aboriginal children in a Perth suburb. He always claimed the upbringing gave him a chance to make something of himself. It was at this orphanage where he received the nickname "Polly" for his talkative nature. Ironically, as a footballer, he was very quiet on the field.
The NAB Cup Chase Is Off and Running
The Eagles chose to play many of their rookies and players selected in the recent draft while the Magpies went with experience. The result showed on the scoreboard. Experienced Eagle duo Kerr and Cox started on the bench with the Eagle youngsters thrown into the proverbial deep end. The Eagles started well enough with Staker running down Heath Shaw and then being awarded a 50-meter penalty (55 yards) for the opening goal. The Magpies then took control through the midfield and put plenty of pressure on the young Eagles to force turnovers.
- Major Awards in the AFL The Brownlow Medal, The John Coleman Medal, The Norm Smith Medal, The Sandover and Magarey Medals, The Dr. William C. McClelland Trophy, State Of Origin Football, The All-Australian Team, AFLPA MVP, AFLCA Champion Player, Club Awards, AFLPA Best First Year Player, NAB Rising Star Award, AFLCA Best Young Player, Jack Titus Award, Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award, Premiership Cup and Medallions, NAB Cup / NAB Challenge / JLT Community Series, Teal Cup/Commonwealth Bank Cup, Australian Football Hall of Fame, AFLCA Allan Jeans Senior Coach, AFL Women's Awards: The Best and Fairest Medal, The All-Australian Team, AFLPA MVP, NAB Rising Star, Jill Lindsay Scholarship, Football Woman of the Year Award