Champion declared a ‘legend’

Micheal TraillNarrogin Observer
Michael, pictured centre, was elevated to legend status along with Bill Walker, Denis Marshall, Graham Moss and John Todd last Tuesday night.
Camera IconMichael, pictured centre, was elevated to legend status along with Bill Walker, Denis Marshall, Graham Moss and John Todd last Tuesday night. Credit: Michael Bain

The “best player to never play VFL or AFL”, Stephen Michael has officially been recognised as a legend of Australian football.

Hailing from Kojonup, Michael was elevated to “Legend” status in the WA Football Hall of Fame last Tuesday night during the WA Football Commission’s gala event.

Scan of library photo, Stephen Michael, Perth champion Robert Wiley is flat out after receiving a heavy bump from Stephen Michael. 15 April 1985
Camera IconScan of library photo, Stephen Michael, Perth champion Robert Wiley is flat out after receiving a heavy bump from Stephen Michael. 15 April 1985 Credit: WA News

Football commentator Tim Gossage delivered a tribute to Michael, who was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2004.

“Many will say this honour is long overdue for a man who is considered by many as the greatest player never to play in the VFL or AFL,” Gossage said.

“Ahead of his time, big, strong, fast and brave — few if any players of his era had the same capacity to influence matches.

“At his peak, there was certainly no shortage of attempts to lure him but he stayed put and carved out a special place in WA football folklore.”

Michael has a long list of accolades during his time at South Fremantle being a dual Sandover Medallist, five-time Souths fairest and best, Bulldog premiership player, Simpson medallist and All-Australian captain.

With Maurice Rioli and Noel Carter, he was the driving force behind South Fremantle’s 1980 premiership.

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