ROBERT FLOWER was recruited from Murrumbeena ( Victoria ), by the Melbourne Demons in 1973, and played 272 Games, kicking 315 Goals, until his retirement as a player at the completion of the 1987 Season. Flower was generally acknowledged as being the leading Australian Football Player in the Victorian Football League, throughout his 15 year career at the elite level. There are many of Robert Flower’s Australian Football Cards, and plenty of his Demons team-mates cards available at qualityafltradingcards.com.
Flower had an uncanny ability to win the football in tight contests and scrimmages, despite his slender, almost fragile build, and inevitably found a team-mate with foot passes or handballs of depth and precision. He quickly made a name for himself as the uultimate wingman, with his blistering pace, acute tactical awareness, and perfect balance, enabling him to create space to draw oppostion players and be the perfect springboard for most of the Demons forward thrusts. Flower also dispayed immense courage throughout his career, and a number of knocks to his spindly frame resulted in matches being missed through injuries. Robert Flower was the Melbourne Demons Games Played record holder, at 272 Games until 2006, when Captain of the Day, David Neitz surpassed this total. When you consider that Flower missed 52 career Games due to injury, it is astounding that he competed at his high standard for so long.
Robert Flower captured the imagination of Australian Football Followers in general, due to his wizardry and domination, through one of the least competitive periods in the Melbourne Demons existence. He received many individual honours, and is fondly remembered for:- winner of the Melbourne Demons Best and Fairest Player Award in 1977, Demons leading Goalkicker in 1979, 1983 and 1987, Melbourne Football Club Captain from 1981 to 1987, twice finished third in Brownlow Medal Voting, selected to represent Victoria on 15 occasions ( 3 as Captain ), selected on the wing in the Victorian Team of the Century, selected as an All Australian in both 1980 and 1983, and inaugural inductee to the Australian Football League Hall of Fame in 1996.
Flower was to become one of the first players picked for Victorian representative sides due to his high skill level, courage, ability to win the ball at any cost, and the inspirational manner in which he conducted himself , in a scrupulously fair manner. Because Flower was the standout Demon of his time, opposition Teams tended to pay him undue physical attention, as it was believed that if you stopped Flower, Melbourne could not possibly win the game. It is ironic that Melbourne’s lack of success during Flower’s career, meant that he was unable to play any Finals Football, other than the last 3 games of his career. These games were in the 1987 Finals Series when Melbourne were cruelly knocked out in the Preliminary Final, by an after the siren Goal from the Hawthorn Hawks Gary Buckenara. Further irony for Flower was that he had retired at the end of the 1986 Season, and was co-erced to play one further Season in 1987. If he had stuck with his original decision to retire, he would have missed Finals Football altogether.
Robert Flower was undoubtedly one of the Melbourne Demons greatest players of all-time, stamping his authority as the superstar wingman. He also showed his versatility when Master Coach/Tactician Ron Barassi employed him as an attacking Half-Back Flanker, whist we are also drawn to his incredible performances as a goal-kicking Half Forward Flanker during his latter years. The legend that is Robert Flower, certainly and justifiably lives on in Melbourne Demons-land.
( Image courtesy of cartoonsandcaricatures.com.au ).