My brush in with Doc Wheildon By Luke Simmons

If you don't know who Doc Wheildon is, he's an AFL footballer that played for Fitzroy and showed glimpses of brilliance in the early 1990's.

He was known as being a bit of a showman and getting reported on multiple occasions for wacking opponents. I recall watching him at Princes Park where he was on fire, taking speckies and kicking freaky goals. I have to say that he was one of my favourite non-Richmond players!

Unfortunately his career was cut short in 1995 when he ran into the path of a car at 4am outside a nightclub. I think there may have been some alcohol involved...

Fast forward to 2000 and I am playing football for Morwell Tigers in the old Gippsland Latrobe Football League. The day had come to play against Wonthaggi and guess who was in their line-up. The Doc!

I must admit, I was a bit star struck and daunted at the prospect of playing against him. But everything was put aside once the "white line" fever kicked in and he was just another player. He seemed to struggle a bit, taking too long to get rid of the ball and didn't have much of an effect on the game. In the 3rd quarter, he went to run for the ball and unfortunately his hamstring gave away. Game over.

As he was hobbling from the field, the ball was booted from the backline and bobbled towards him. He was almost off the field and I could see the indecision in his mind. But he could see no opponents around him, so he gingerly picked up the ball and looked around to hand-pass it to a team mate.

What he HADN'T seen was my mate Tubby. He was sprinting at him from behind and smashed him into the ground with a hard tackle. He took too long. The ball spilled clear and, just like in the cartoons, all I could see was the Doc's fists and dust flying everywhere. Haha.

Even though we lost that day, I owe him a thanks for putting on one last show.

in 60 Korumburra-Wonthaggi Rd, Wonthaggi, Victoria, Australia


I believe that life is a (relatively) short ride and that it's crucial to squeeze as many good times out of it as possible. I love travelling, music, reading, writing, all kinds o' sport, & my wife!

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Luke's website.


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