77. Jim Ross

LEGEND – Player Inductee

St Kilda/North Launceston, Centre Half Forward/Ruckman, 1946-60

139 games, 171 goals, St Kilda, 1946-54
St Kilda best and fairest, 1949, 1951 and 1952
Won St Kilda’s goalkicking, 1954 (34 goals)
Represented Victoria four times
Represented Tasmania 11 times
All Australian, 1958
Lefroy Medal for best Tasmanian player at a national carnival, 1958
NTFA best and fairest, 1956 and 1958
Milbourne Trophy for NTFA coach rendering the best service, 1956
A.W. Orchard Trophy for best player in the NTFA, 1957 and 1958
Coached North Launceston, 1955-57
109 games, North Launceston

Born 18 October 1927, Jim Ross was a truly classy forward who was recruited from Ringwood, Victoria, and became an outstanding player for St Kilda in an era in which the club had few genuine stars. This was demonstrated by the fact that Jim Ross won more St Kilda best and fairest awards than any other player, until the arrival of dual Brownlow Medallist, Robert Harvey, in the late 1990s.

Ross’ contribution up forward was matched by his intelligent work in the ruck. The significance of his play led to his selection on the state side for Victoria on four occasions.

When recruited to Tasmania by North Launceston he was only 27 years old and had many good games ahead of him. In his first season, however, he suffered a debilitating back injury and this restricted his progress. Nonetheless, following his recovery, he reached some of his greatest heights in football. In 1956 and 1958 he won the NTFA best and fairest award and also the 1956 NTFA coaches’ award for service to the game. At a personal level his high standard of play was rewarded by All Australian selection following Tasmania’s highly successful 1958 National Carnival.

Ross’ ability and leadership was instrumental in Tasmanian football achieving some of its highest team standards in the period 1956 to 1960, when the state regularly defeated Victoria, South Australia and West Australia in respresentative football. During this period Ross represented the state on 11 occasions.

At the end of a long and illustrious career, Jim Ross played his final game with the Bob Withers-led North Launceston side in the 1961 NTFA grand final. A one-point triumph by the Robins over the more favoured Longford was a thrilling and fitting end to a great playing and coaching career.

Following his retirement from playing Jim Ross firmly established himself as a football commentator in the media community in Tasmania.