GEELONG LEGEND BOB DAVIS PASSES AWAY
By Ben Jensen twitter.com/thecattery "Fair dinkum unbelievable" GEELONG legend Bob Davis succumbed to illness overnight at the age of 82. The 1963 Premiership coach and 1951-52 Premiership player Bobby Davis was an icon not just for Geelong but for the then-VFL. He was often seen at the club doing what he could to lend a hand, always with a radiant smile and never a bad word about anyone. Known as 'Woofa' or 'The Geelong Flier', Davis was until that one day in September 2007 known as Geelong's last surviving premiership coach, a title he gladly rescinded.
Along with Lou Richards and Jack Dyer, Davis anchored Channel Seven's World of Sport from the 1970s until its demise in the 1990s, and remained a sought-after figure in the media until his death. He is survived by his beloved wife Margaret, son Guy and four daughters.
Davis developed the catch-cry of "fair dinkum unbelievable" during his media career, vernacular which should well-outlive the legend. He is a member of Geelong's Team of the Century on a half-forward flank, the AFL Hall of Fame and of course Geelong's Hall of Fame as a Legend.
John Harms of The Footy Almanac has written a stirring piece today: footyalmanac.com.au/?p=23494
Official announcement: www.geelongcats.com.au
A famous Davis recruit, 300 gamer and ruckman John 'Sam' Newman, paid tribute to Bobby today. Davis famously gave Newman the nickname 'Sam', after being inspired at training by Sam Spear, a character on The Jackie Gleason Show.
"Bob had the presence of mind to come out to Geelong Grammar in 1963 and asked if I wanted to have a crack at trying to play for Geelong the rest, as they say, is history, so much so that we both ended up in the Team of the Century for that great club. Bob has helped make me what I am today. He was just a wonderful human being," he said.
"They set the template for a tongue-in-cheek and irreverent look at the game when they were on League Teams," said Newman of Davis and colleagues Dyer and Richards. "You'd look at these three blokes talking absolute nonsense about the teams one minute and the next they were giving out recipes. It was ahead of its time."
As Newman has spoken of in the past, Davis was as keen to ensure the game was played 'as it should be played', as winning. That is, to step around another player if possible rather than go through him, so he could 'fight another day'.
"The greatest accolade I could give Bob is that he was stickler for the spirit of the game. He hated any illegal tactics. He coached hard, but fairly, and I think he imparted that on most of the people who played under him. He got people to play for him at that club not in spite of him. He loved the game and he loved Geelong. He was a modest man and he never tried to be anyone other than himself."
On 3AW tonight, another former Geelong great Billy Goggin said he had never once heard Davis swear, and about the harshest words he ever heard directed at a player were, as a collective "you can do better than that". Former Geelong skipper and long-time Falcons boss Michael Turner, whose father Leo played with Davis in the two Premierships, credited Davis with providing him with much needed guidance when he was a young player.
Current coach Chris Scott appreciated Davis welcoming him to the club and knows what an impact he has had on his current playing squad. "Bob spent a lot of time at the club I'm led to believe and got to know the players quite well on a personal level. I'm loath to say it will change the way the players play this week, but it will be in all Geelong people's minds for this week and weeks to come. It's a horribly difficult situation for everyone at the club, Bob Davis was a legend of the club and it's all the more disappointing for me that I never got the chance to spend much time with him."
BOB DAVIS SHOWS THE DASH THAT SAW HIM NICKNAMED 'THE GEELONG FLIER'
VALE BOB DAVIS
1928 - 2011
"FAIR DINKUM UNBELIEVABLE"
1963 PREMIERSHIP COACH AND GEELONG LEGEND BOB DAVIS ENJOYS THE 150th YEAR ANNIVERSARY BALL LAST YEAR