290. Roy Apted

Player Inductee

Riverside/North Launceston/St. Kilda/Launceston, Ruck-Rover/PageLines-290.RoyApted.jpgDefender, 1951-77

44 games, 1 goal for St. Kilda, 1959-63
Around 80 games for Riverside, 1951-55
Around 50 games for North Launceston, 1956-58
Around 80 games for Launceston, 1964-69
Credited with 318 senior appearances
North Launceston Best and Fairest, 1958
18 Tasmanian Representative games
18 NTFA Representative games
Tasmanian National Carnival Representative, 1958, 1966

A tough and dependable ruck-rover who was the equal of any contemporary on his day, Roy Apted is perhaps a forgotten legend from an era when Tasmania produced many national household names. Apted made his senior debut for the Riverside Football Club at age 14 in 1951, and would go on to play in two senior premierships before the age of 19, playing mostly on a half forward flank. He subsequently joined the powerful North Launceston Football Club in 1956 under Jim Ross, and despite being tall for a midfielder of the day – he stood 5’11 – he quickly established himself as a ruck-rover of class and substance.

At the end of the 1957 season, Apted sought a clearance to VFL side St. Kilda; however the TANFL – desperate to retain Apted in order for him to represent Tasmania at the 1958 National Carnival – refused to clear him. The move was a success, with Apted going on to form a potent midfield group with Jim Ross and Stuart Spencer in a side that is widely regarded as the most successful Tasmanian interstate team of all time, with Tasmania defeating powerhouse states South Australia and Western Australia for the first time.

At the conclusion of 1958, Apted got his wish and was cleared to St. Kilda, paving the way for other Tasmanian football icons to join the club in later seasons such as Darrel Baldock (1962) and Ian Stewart (1963). He arrived with the Saints on the cusp of its most successful period in history, with the club boasting names such as Allan Jeans and Brownlow Medallists Neil Roberts and Verdun Howell. However, while Baldock and Stewart would stamp themselves as legends of the VFL and the game as a whole, Apted was never able to establish himself in the strong Saints outfit, playing 44 games over five seasons – mostly as a defender – before returning to Tasmania in 1964 to join the Launceston Football Club under former Saints teammate Graeme ‘Gypsy’ Lee. Apted went on to play five seasons with the Blues from 1964-68, and again represented Tasmania in the 1966 Hobart Carnival. By the time injury ended his playing career at the age of 32 in 1969, Apted had played more than 300 games of senior football, and accumulated a staggering 36 combined state/NTFA representative jumpers – a truly impressive CV.

Post-playing career, Apted became a successful junior coach, taking the helm of the Launceston Junior Football club in 1976-77, while also leading a Tasmanian juniors side to Western Australia in that time.