103. Bill Fielding

Player Inductee

Penguin, Defender, 1974-95

432 games for Penguin, 1974-95 (club record)
Penguin captain, 1980-84, 1987-91
Penguin coach, 1981-82, 1990
Penguin NWFU premierships, 1977, 1980, 1985
Penguin Best and Fairest, 1979, 1984, 1988
Six representative matches for NWFU
Life member of Penguin Football Club, 1989
Life member of the NTFL, 2001
Penguin ‘Team of the Century’ (half back flank/captain)

An attacking defender who led by example with fierce determination, Bill Fielding is one of the longest serving players in the history of coastal football, leading Penguin through a large portion of its most successful era in the NWFU.

Born in November 1956 in the tiny community of South Riana, Bill Fielding first played football with Ulverstone High School. He joined the Penguin Football Club in 1972 at Under 17’s level, playing his way up through the ranks until finally making his senior debut in 1974. He soon established himself as a core member of the Penguin defence, using his penetrating kicking and strong marking to great effect in repelling countless opposition attacks. In 1977 Fielding was a member of Penguin’s first senior premiership-winning team since 1932 as the Two Blues overcame Cooee by four points in a monumental struggle. The legacy of this match lives on, with the 1977 Penguin side inducted into the Tasmanian Football Hall of Fame in 2009 as one of three ‘Giant Killing Teams’ of Tasmanian Football.

After claiming his first of three Penguin Best and Fairest awards in 1979, Fielding was appointed captain in 1980 under Laurie Howard, and in his first season as skipper he led his side to their second premiership in four years. When Howard departed as coach after only one season Fielding was chosen to replace him, and as captain-coach Fielding steered his side to consecutive finals campaigns before relinquishing the role of coach at the end of 1982. He would retain the captaincy until Tim Allen arrived at the club as captain-coach in 1985, and in that year Penguin would again capture the NWFU premiership with a 48-point win over Smithton. Upon Allen’s departure after the 1986 season, Fielding would reassume the captaincy mantle and would keep it until 1991, when he handed over to Brent Plant. After four more seasons for the Two Blues, illness forced Fielding into retirement part way through the 1995, and he departed the game after a club record 432 games, three Best and Fairest awards and three premierships.

Fielding has maintained an unofficial involvement in the Penguin Football Club post-retirement, and taken a keen interest in the progress of the club, promoting several heritage endeavours in recent years. His impact and legacy at the club was recognised in 2003 when – in addition to being named on a half back flank – he was named captain of Penguin’s official ‘Team of the Century’.