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|Farewell Woosha! A Fair Dinkum Unbelievable Legend!
THE son of Geelong legend Bob Davis has paid a heartfelt tribute to a father whose life reflected his two greatest loves.
Davis, who has been ill in recent months, was admitted to hospital on the weekend and died suddenly last night, aged 82.
Guy Davis said his father would be remembered for his tremendous heart, enduring passion for the game and love for his family.
"He was a larger than life character,'' Mr Davis said.
"He had a long full life and live it to the utmost and that is one of the greatest lessons I can take away. He was a terrific ambassador for the Geelong Football Club and the game itself.
"But as a father he was the kindest, sweetest and funniest man I've ever met.''
Davis is survived by his wife Margaret, four daughters and son Guy.
Geelong coach Chris Scott said Davis's death had hit the players hard and they would carry the memory of him into coming AFL matches.
"It's a horribly difficult situation for everyone at the club, Bob Davis was a legend of the club and it's all the more disappointing for me that I never got the chance to spend much time with him,'' Scott said.
"Everyone speaks very highly of not only his involvement and contribution to the club as a player and coach, but the time he spent at the club when his official duties had ended. It's just a really sad day.''
Scott said Davis had become a good friend to many of the current players.
"It actually hit the players really hard. Bob spent a lot of time at the club, I'm led to believe, and got to know the players quite well on a personal level,'' he said.
"I'm loath to say it will change the way the players play this week, but it will be in all Geelong people's minds for this week and weeks to come.''
Scott said the name Bob Davis had become synonymous with the Geelong Football Club.
Davis played 189 games with the Cats from 1948-58, including the 1951-52 premierships, and was club captain from 1955-58.
He then coached the Cats from 1960-65, taking them to the 1963 premiership.
Davis then forged a long and successful career in the football media.
He lost his long-held title of Geelong's last premiership coach in 2007, and in 2009 he was given the honour of handing the cup to Tom Harley after the Cats' victory against St Kilda.
The Geelong Football Club said they were deeply saddened by Davis's passing.
"Bob was an outstanding contributor to the club and the game, as a player, coach, media commentator and most importantly as a great person," the club said in a statement.
"His ability to connect with people on all levels made him the person that we all came to love.
The club said Davis was a regular visitor and extremely popular among young players.
"His storytelling, humour and recall of events always lit up the changerooms and the club whenever he was around," the club said.
"Bob will be deeply missed by all those who loved him, and indeed by all those that have been fortunate enough to know him or meet him."
Club CEO Brian Cook said players would wear black armbands on Friday night in a tribute to Davis.
Davis was recruited to Geelong from Clunes, having twice been knocked back by South Melbourne in an attempt to play in the VFL.
His friends knew him as “Woofa” but during his playing days his great pace led to a nickname of the Geelong Flyer after the train that travelled from Melbourne to Geelong.
Lou Richards, who starred with Davis along side Jack Dyer in the long-running footy show League Teams, said he had many fond memories.
"Bob would come to my house for dinner every Thursday night and we would eat together and then head off and do the show,'' Richards said.
"It was a bit of a tradition. It was our night.
"He was a very good mate of ours and we thought the world of him. He was a character and a lot of fun to be around.
"We used to talk a lot of rubbish but people liked that.''
He said Davis had also been a marvellous player and a great family man.
"He will be missed by Geelong,'' Richards said.
AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou said Davis's passing was "a sad day for football".
"No one ever had a bad word to say about him. He’s just much loved. It’s a sad day and he’ll be sorely missed," he said.
"Incredibly decent and very kind. There’s not many Bobby Davises that come along in a lifetime.”
Premier Ted Baillieu, a Geelong supporter who has known Davis since childhood, said it was a sad day for Victoria.
"Bobby Davis - he was a legend in Geelong, a legend in football," Mr Baillieu said.
"We knew each other well enough to have a hug and have a laugh. Delightful (man), delightful family, loved in Geelong and loved everywhere."
"It is a sad day and I pass my condolences and I'm sure those of all Victorians to the Davis family."
Sam Newman remembered a man who discovered his own talents.
“He was a great man because he genuinely loved the game of football and its morals and ethics," he said.
“He first coached me in 1963 when he plucked me out of the school side at Geelong Grammar.
“He impressed on me not so much in telling me, but his actions that you must play football in the spirit of the game.
“He hated unethical football. He hated snide football. He like good, honest, clean football.
“And I think that’s the greatest thing he gave our game. He liked it to be played in the way it was meant to be played.”
Davis’s name is making its way to the top of the trends list on Twitter as former and current AFL players, as well as fans, express their sadness at the legend’s passing.
Geelong FC is asking Twitter users to their tweets with Davis’ his memorable #fairdinkumunbelievable saying to honour his memory.
Gary Ablett Jnr was among the first players to tweet their respects to Davis.
The former Cat turned Gold Coast Suns captain tweeted: "Thanks for everything Bobby Davis.... A GFC all time great!’’
Minutes later Ablett's girlfriend Lauren Phillips tweeted: "Rest in peace Bobby Davis.. You were a wonderful man. X"
Former Melbourne player Jeff White posted: "Bob Davis, RIP a true legend of the game", while Sydney's Jared Crouch also tweeted: "RIP Bobby Davis true legend of our game will be missed".
Former state Attorney-General and Geelong fan Rob Hulls also took to Twitter to pay his respects.
"Bobby Davis made footy fun. A piano accordionist as a pre match pep up and Happy Hammond leading GF team on to ground! Vale Bob," he tweeted.
Story by Jon Anderson & Aaron Langmaid
Bob Davis (Australian Football Hall of Fame Member, Inaugural inductee 1996)
Played 189 games for Geelong, 1948-58.
Played 13 games for Victoria, kicking 14 goals.
Geelong Best and Fairest 1957.
Geelong premiership 1951-52.
Geelong captain 1955-58.
All Australian 1958.
Geelong Team of the Century (half-forward).
Geelong coach 1956 and 1960-65.
Geelong premiership coach 1963
More details, video & audio at the Herald-Sun
Posted on May 17, 2011 12:08pm by
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