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After growing up locally, Graeme had a glittering career with North’s junior grades where he captained the junior colts (under 17) side, won the Tomkins Medal for the best and fairest for the senior colts (under 19) competition, won the NAFC best and fairest and numerous other junior awards as well as playing in a number of junior premierships and Grand Finals before earning senior selection, firstly in the second eighteens in 1962 and then in the league team in 1963.
Such was Graeme’s form that he was selected in the 1963 Grand Final side as a half-back flanker. Unfortunately that side, which included a number of first year players, lost by 33 points to a finals-hardened Port Adelaide. Graeme won the Most Promising Backman award that year.
He continued to progress as a player to the extent that in 1964 he finished third in NAFC’s league best and fairest and also won the Best Backman award.
Graeme continued to impress as a defender, although his career was interrupted in 1965 when he received a serious jaw injury when playing Central at Elizabeth. Graeme did win the Most Effective Backman award for 1965 based on his form prior to the injury. It took Graeme some time to recover from this injury but by 1967 he was an integral part of North’s defence in the side that finished minor premier. Unfortunately this side lost the second semi-final to Sturt and was very unlucky to be narrowly beaten by Port Adelaide in the Preliminary Final. Most scribes voted Graeme as North’s best player in this heart breaking loss. Graeme retired after this game and was given an award of Appreciative Club Service.
Away from football, Graeme was also an outstanding cricketer. He played 7 first class games for South Australia in 1966-67 as an opening batsman and was a good enough player to pass 50 on 3 separate occasions with a highest first class score of 66. Luckily for Graeme he achieved the premiership success with Prospect Cricket Club that unfortunately eluded him with North Adelaide’s senior side. He captained Prospect to the 1969/70 and 1970/71 premierships before relinquishing the captaincy part way through another premiership year, 1971/72.
In all, Graeme scored 4693 runs for Prospect including figuring in a club record partnership for the 4th wicket with fellow Rooster footballer and interstate cricketer Bob Gilbourne. These two outstanding sportsmen put on a partnership of 307 runs against West Torrens in 1968-69.
The North Adelaide Football Club salutes a wonderful all-round sportsman who served the area with distinction in both winter and summer.