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Cats mourn passing of Graham ‘Polly’ Farmer

Polly Farmer was a pioneering figure Brian Cook speaks to the media following the sad passing of Polly Farmer

Polly Farmer, one of the greatest players to grace the football field, passed away today.

Farmer is one of the most decorated players in the history of the game, and spent six seasons with Geelong as a player and a further three as senior coach.

Geelong Football Club CEO Brian Cook has made the following statement following the passing of Polly.

“Polly Farmer was a pioneering figure in both Australian football and in changing Australian culture.

“Polly’s record as a footballer stands among the greatest that the game has known. He revolutionised football with his brilliant ruck play and use of handball as an attacking threat. He thrilled crowds both in Victoria and in Western Australia and was the first indigenous coach in the history of the VFL/AFL.

“The fact that Polly, who last played with the Cats in 1967, remains an iconic figure today for the Geelong faithful speaks to the impact he had on the club, our supporters and the region. The Geelong Football Club will forever be better due to the fact Polly played and coached us.

“Polly remained a role model for today’s players. He came to our team hotel a few years ago when we were playing in Perth and the excitement amongst our group was incredible. 

“Polly had a caring side. Back in 2004 James Kelly suffered a broken leg in Perth and was forced to remain in hospital. Polly regularly visited him over that period. One Geelong person looking out for another.

“While it is easy to focus on Polly’s feats as a player, his role as a family man was even more significant. His love of his wife Marlene and his three kids Brett, Dean and Kim was known to all. Our thoughts are with Polly’s children and family.”

Geelong Cats President, Colin Carter, had the following to say.

"Polly was a hero of the Geelong Football Club and he was my hero as well. Many of us regard him as the greatest footballer of all time. But he was much more than that. 

As a proud Aboriginal man, he pushed through barriers which he did with incredible strength and grace. He was captain of our club and also our senior coach at a time when it must have been tough. 

Polly is a legend of our club and of  our game – we miss him but he will never be forgotten." 

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs