178. Gary Linton

Player Inductee 

Glenorchy/Latrobe/ Sandy Bay, Rover/Forward, 1969-1989

237 games for Glenorchy 1972-76, 1979-81, 1984-89
35 games for Sandy Bay 1982-83 (captain-coach 1982)
28 games for Latrobe 1977-78
Glenorchy TANFL/TFL premierships 1975, 1985, 1986
Glenorchy State premiership 1975
William Leitch Medal, 1980 (TANFL Best and Fairest)
Glenorchy Best and Fairest 1975
Tasmanian State of Origin Carnival representative 1980 (Adelaide)
18 representative matches for Tasmania/TANFL, 1976-84
Lefroy Medal, 1978 (Best Tasmanian interstate player)
Tasmanian National Schoolboys Carnival representative 1969, 1970, 1971 (All-Australian 1971)
L. Williams Medal, 1971 (National Schoolboys Carnival Best and Fairest)
Weller Arnold Medal 1976, 1984 (Best TANFL representative player)
3 representative matches for NWFU, 1978
Glenorchy Team of the Century (Forward Pocket)

 

A splendidly-skilled rover and clever goalsneak, Gary Linton was one of the hardest working small men in the state during an 18-season career with three clubs that brought multiple individual and team honours.

Born in 1955, Linton was a decorated schoolboy footballer, representing Tasmania at three National Schoolboys Carnivals from 1969-71, winning All-Australian selection as well as the Carnival Best and Fairest award in the last of those years. The following year saw Linton make his senior debut for Glenorchy in the TANFL, and he quickly established himself as a key member of the strong Magpie combinations of the mid-1970’s. Arguably his best season came in 1975 when – still aged only 20 – he took out Glenorchy’s Best and Fairest award in a year when the club took out both the TANFL and State premiership crowns. Further honours came the following season as Linton collected the first of two Weller Arnold Medals as the TANFL’s best representative player and made his first appearance for the Tasmanian state side; he was also a member of a second consecutive TANFL Grand Final side, although the Magpies were humiliated on the day by Sandy Bay to the tune of 96 points. In 1977 Linton transferred north to NWFU club Latrobe. His outstanding representative form continued in his two years in the north-west, winning the Lefroy Medal in 1978 as Tasmania’s standout performer and representing the NWFU three times the same year before returning to Glenorchy for the 1979 season.

It didn’t take long for Linton to be amongst the awards again after returning to the Magpies, taking out the William Leitch Medal as TANFL Best and Fairest in 1980 after a magnificent season which also saw him represent Tasmania at the National State of Origin Carnival in Adelaide, for which he was named Vice-Captain. Linton’s second stint at KGV lasted only three seasons before he was on the move again, this time to make his first foray into coaching, joining Sandy Bay as captain-coach for the 1982 season. After guiding the Seagulls to only four wins in 1982, he relinquished the coaching role in 1983, remaining as a player for one more year under Paul Sproule before once again returning to Glenorchy for the 1984 season. As had been the case previously, a return to Glenorchy brought with it more stock for Linton’s now bulging trophy cabinet, with the now 29-year old claiming a second Weller Arnold Medal in 1984. This was joined the following season by – for the first time in ten years – a premiership medallion, as Glenorchy stunned minor premiers and red-hot favourites Clarence by four points to claim the last TANFL premiership title. Glenorchy remained a force in the first season of the TFL Statewide League in 1986, and again claimed a stunning premiership from third with a thumping win over Sandy Bay in the big dance. During this era he had also tasted success as coach of Glenorchy’s U18’s coaching the side to a premiership in 1986. After playing in losing Grand Finals in 1987-88, Linton’s final season of senior football came in 1989, with his last game the 1st Semi Final loss to Hobart. He retired having appeared in exactly 300 games of senior club football, 237 of which came with Glenorchy. His contribution to the great success of his era at the Magpies was a major factor in his selection in the Glenorchy Team of the Century, as well as induction into the club’s Hall of Fame.