38. Gordon Abbott

Player Inductee

Lefroy/Geelong/Glenelg/New Town/Essendon, Ruckman/Forward, 1933-47

50 games, 27 goals for Geelong, 1936-38
83 games, 43 goals for Essendon, 1941-47
Around 50 games for Lefroy, 1933-35
Around 15 games for New Town, 1940
Geelong VFL premiership, 1937
Essendon VFL premierships, 1942, 1946
New Town captain-coach, 1940
Two time William Leitch Medal runner-up, 1933, 1934

A magnificent ruckman/forward who had a superb build, could kick with either foot and was a great team man, Gordon Abbott is one of a select group in the Tasmanian Football Hall of Fame who have achieved premiership success at two VFL/AFL clubs. A classic football journeyman, he played senior football for five clubs across three states during his 15-year career.

Born in Victoria in 1914, Abbott’s football journey began at Geelong Amateurs. At the age of 19 he moved to Tasmania and played three seasons with Lefroy in the TFL, including the Blues’ losing 1934 grand final side. In his three years in the TFL Abbott was one of the stand-out players in the competition, placing second in the William Leitch Medal counts of 1933 and 1934. In 1936 he moved back to Victoria to play with Geelong, his first of two stints in the VFL where, playing mostly as a ruckman, he would play 50 games with the Cats, including the club’s 1937 premiership win over Collingwood.

Abbott’s third and final season at Kardinia Park in 1938 would be the first of four consecutive years at four different clubs: in 1939 he played one season at Glenelg in the SANFL; 1940 saw him return to Tasmania as captain-coach of New Town in the TFL; while 1941 would be the start of his second and longest period of time playing in the VFL, this time with Essendon. His first season at Windy Hill was arguably the most successful of Abbott’s career. He made his first appearance for the Dons in Round 4 and didn’t miss a game for the rest of that season, kicking a career high six goals against North Melbourne at Arden Street in Round 13 and starring in the ruck in the Dons’ losing grand final team against Melbourne. Abbott was Essendon’s first picked ruckman for the rest of his six-and-a-half year stint at Windy Hill, playing in two premierships in 1942 and 1946 and winning the club’s ‘Best First Year Player’ and ‘Most Consistent Player’ awards in 1941 and 1946 respectively.  After five games in 1947, Abbott departed Essendon after 83 games when he was offered the captain-coach position at Wilby in Victoria’s Ovens and Murray League.