Aussie Rules Legend Graham ‘Polly’ Farmer Dies Aged 84
Former champion Geelong ruckman and coach Graham "Polly" Farmer has died aged 84.
Farmer, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease more than 20 years ago, passed away in Perth's Fiona Hospital with his family by his side.
Farmer's ruckwork and creative use of handball were considered ground-breaking during his 101-game stint with the Cats from 1962-67 and a long career in the WAFL with East Perth and West Perth.
Selected as an All Australian in 1956, 1958 and 1961, he also won the Sandover Medal three times in the WAFL.
AFL Chief Executive Officer Gillon McLachlan said Farmer’s death had marked the passing of the greatest ‘big man’ in the history of the code.
"When the Australian Football Hall of Fame was founded in 1996, Graham Farmer was one of the elite dozen players in our game’s history who was deemed both exceptional and worthy to be an inaugural Legend," Mr McLachlan said.
"When discussing ruckmen, every player who saw him play or took the field against him, deferred to Polly.
"Beyond football, as a proud Noongar man, he was a leader for the Aboriginal community and his standing in the game and in society enabled his people to believe that they too could reach the peaks and achieve their best potential.
"At every point of his career, his teams found success on the field, thanks largely to his dominance that built a record that few players could ever hope to match."
Tributes from the Aussie Rules community flooded in on Wednesday including from former Geelong player and media personality Sam Newman.
Newman played 300 games for Geelong between 1964 and 1980, when Farmer carved out his career in the VFL.
The pair played four seasons together.
‘Graham Farmer, then, and 50 years on. THE greatest,’ Newman wrote on Twitter.