DOUG WADE was recruited from Horsham ( Victoria ) by the Geelong Cats in 1961 and played 208 Games kicking 834 Goals for the Club, prior to transferring to the North Melbourne Kangaroos for the 1973 to 1975 Seasons, where he played 59 Games kicking 223 Goals. Wade has the distinction of being one of only 5 Australian Football Players to have kicked more than 1000 Goals in their VFL/AFL careers. There are a number of Wade’s Australian Football Cards and many of his team-mates Cards available at qualityafltradingcards.com.
Doug Wade was a sharp lead for the ball, a powerful mark with a vice-like grip on the ball, and an accurate prodigious kick for Goal. He was a formidable opponent who was robust by nature, and ever ready to use his bulk and strength to win the ball. Wade was possibly the best exponent of the torpedo punt kick to ever play the Game and he kicked many goals from 50 Metres and beyond. His early years at Geelong were filled with high flying marks, and his importance to the Cats is amplified by Wade’s feat of being the Club’s Leading Goalkicker in 11 of his 12 years at Kardinia Park.
Wade achieved many individual Awards and Honours during his playing career, including:- Best and Fairest Player Award ( Carji Greeves Medal ) for Geelong in 1969, Geelong Club Captain in 1972, Geelong Premiership Player in 1963, selected in the Geelong Team of the Century, selected to represent Victoria on 7 occasions, winner of the Coleman Medal on 4 occasions- 1962 ( 68 Goals ), 1967 ( 96 Goals ), 1969 ( 127 Goals ), and 1974 ( 103 Goals ), then at North Melbourne he was the Leading Club Goalkicker in his only 3 seasons, North Melbourne Premiership player in 1975 and was an inaugural inductee to the Australian Football League Hall of Fame in 1996.
Doug Wade built a strong reputation of standing up to be counted when matches needed to be won, and some of his most memorable goalkicking performances were capped by important Goals, late in Games. One example was against Collingwood in 1974 when he was goal-less at three quarter time, however kicked 7 Goals in the Final Quarter. Wade enjoyed the 1963 Cats Premiership success early in his career, then played in a losing team in the 1967 Grand Final, so was seeking further success when he transferred to the Ron Barassi coached Kangaroos in 1973. The Roos had not won a VFL Premiership till that time , and Wade had completed a 90 Goal Season for Geelong in 1972.
Wade contributed strongly to the new-look Roos, under Master Coach Barassi, and the Team played in the 1974 Grand Final , which they lost to the Richmond Tigers. ( Wade won the Coleman Medal with 103 Goals for the Season). Unfortunately for Wade, advancing age, increasing weight and lack of fitness caused a form slump that reduced his Goals tally, and almost caused his omission from the 1975 Grand Final Team. Wade was able to convince the North Melbourne selectors to bank on his experience and fighting spirit as key weapons, and he did not let them down, kicking 4 Goals and contributing unselfishly to a number of his Team- mates Goals in the Kangaroos inaugural Premiership victory of 1975. ( He announced his retirement as a player immediately after the Grand Final ). He went on to become a successful businessman after his playing days were done.
Doug Wade was a Champion of our Game, and his rightful place within the Top 5 Leading Goalkickers of all time, is indicative of the remarkable impact he had during his superb career. The author witnessed a number of Wade’s Goal barrages , and his dominance was to be admired, even if your Team was on the receiving end of his powerful performances.
( Image courtesy of weeklytimesnow.com.au ).