78. Graeme Lee

LEGEND – Player Inductee

Wynyard/Launceston/St Kilda/East Devonport, Centre/Wingman, 1957-75

Wynyard, 43 games, 1957-59
18 games, 7 goals, St Kilda, 1961-62
Coached Launceston, 90 games, 1963-67
Coached East Devonport, 127 games, 1968-70 and 1974-75
East Devonport NWFU premiership, 1968 (having secured the wooden spoon the year before)
Represented NTFA, 1963-67, including two years as captain
Represented NWFU, 1968-70
Represented Tasmania 11 times between 1965 and 1969
All Australian, 1966
Lefroy Medal for best Tasmanian player, 1966
Credited with 325 senior games throughout his career
Named captain in Launceston’s ‘Team of the Century’

Graeme Lee was born 12 July 1939 and was universally known as ‘Gypsy’. He was a superbly built player who could control proceedings and was a great leader of men. Best remembered as a wingman, but capable of playing in a variety of positions including half forward flank and even full forward, Lee commenced his senior career with Wynyard towards the end of the 1956 season, shortly after his seventeenth birthday.

Lee had played 43 games for the Cats by the time he crossed to Victoria in 1960 in order to join St Kilda, where he added 18 senior games to his record in an injury affected three season spell.

Lee returned to Tasmania in 1963 and joined Launceston as captain-coach. In the five years that followed he kept the Blues among the leading clubs in the NTFA, albeit without securing a premiership. A regular Tasmanian interstate representative during this phase of his career, Lee captained the state in 1965 as well as at the 1966 Hobart carnival. It was at that carnival that he produced some of the best football of his career, earning plaudits as Tasmania’s best player of the series, finishing joint third in the Tassie Medal voting, and gaining selection in the All Australian team. Pacy, clever, and a superb drop kick, he proved beyond doubt that when fit, he could match it with the very best footballers from Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia.

In 1968, after 90 games for Launceston, Lee transferred to East Devonport as captain-coach, where he was immediately successful in steering the club to its first flag in twenty years. He remained with the Swans until 1975, playing a total of 127 NWFU games, and serving as captain-coach from 1968 to 1970 as well as in his final two seasons.

In addition to his 279 senior club appearances, Lee represented Tasmania a total of 11 times and played representative football for both the NTFA and the NWFU. He is credited with playing 325 senior games throughout his career.

In March 2001 Graeme Lee was selected on a half forward flank and named captain of Launceston’s official ‘Team of the Century’. He was inducted into the Tasmanian Football Hall of Fame in 2005.