Haydn Bunton, Sr.

Haydn Bunton, Sr.

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Haydn Bunton, Sr.

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Haydn William Bunton (5 July 1911 – 5 September 1955) was an Australian rules football player and coach. He is regarded by some historians and observers of Australian rules as its greatest-ever player.See, for example, (The Age, access date: 2 February 2007); (fullpointsfooty.net, access date: 2 February 2007) and; (australianrules.com.au, access date: 2 February 2007)

Playing career

Bunton was born and grew up in Albury, New South Wales. He originally played for Albury Football Club in the Ovens & Murray Football Association. His natural Australian football ability attracted the attention of all twelve VFL clubs, and he was eventually recruited by Fitzroy in 1930. However, he was unable to play during the 1930 season, after it was shown that Fitzroy had offered him a one-off £222 payment (about $25,000–$30,000 in present day terms), which was illegal under VFL rules. (The Age, access date: 2 February 2007) His initial, legal match payments were the modest sum of £2 a week.

Bunton played as a rover/follower and achieved instant success, winning Brownlow Medals in his first two seasons in the VFL. He worked in a department store during the day, and practised baulking by weaving his way through crowds of shoppers. One of his opponents, Dick Reynolds, spied on him during this activity in order to learn how to defeat his technique.Jim Main, Aussie Rules for dummies (2nd edition, 2008) p 96.

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