Keith Truscott

Image DOB: 17 May 1916
Died: 28 March 1943

Debut: Round 7, 1937 against North Melbourne at MCG
Last Game: Round 2, 1942 against Richmond at Punt Road

From: Melbourne High School/Melbourne High School Old Boys

Number: 5 (1937-1940), 1 (1942)

Seconds premiership player - 1935
Premiership player - 1939, 1940

Games: 50
Goals: 31
Career Statistics

WinsDrawsLossesWinning %

Having captained Melbourne High School in both football and cricket, Truscott was invited to train with the Demons by Checker Hughes and instantly impressed. He was from a fine football lineage, his father Bill played for Prahran in the VFA and won a gold medal in 1902 for his service.

Truscott played in the Melbourne Seconds during 1935, winning a premiership, and also appeared with Melbourne Boys' Club in the Morning League the same year. After initially being named in a deal to acquire Bert Chandler from Hawthorn, Truscott stayed with Melbourne, represented the VFL Seconds in a match against the VFA in 1936, and made his senior debut the next year. Truscott played six games in his first season, and 11 the next. 1939 was his first season as a regular, appearing 17 times, including the first premiership victory of Melbourne's first flag hat-trick.

At the end of the 1940 season, after winning his second premiership, Truscott left Australia as part of his wartime service with the RAAF. He left considered a good footy player, but his deeds with the Air Force meant that when he came back for a one-off game in 1942 he was treated like a king. By January that year he'd flown 65 missions and had 15 confirmed enemy kills. He'd already cheated death, bailing out of his plane from 400 metres over the English channel, with his parachute opening just in time to stop him falling to his death. He led a squadron on an attack on the French city of Brest where the hood of his cockpit was torn off and shrapnel strafed the plane's wings. The people of Britain raised the equivalent of $100k to buy him a new plane.

In 1942 he was due to join the conflict in the Pacific, and with a stopover in Melbourne he contacted his old coach Checker Hughes and arranged to play a game while he was in Melbourne. Before the game he received a donation of 1000p from local identity John Wren, and was named captain for the day. Three young girls threw rose petals on the ground as he ran onto Melbourne's temporary home ground Punt Road. Richmond's Jack Dyer raised his arm to the crowd before the first bounce, and an opponent even conceded a soft free kick to allow him to kick a goal. Truscott was out of shape for football and Melbourne lost by 79 points but the crowd still charged the ground at the end of the match to get a closer look at a hero of the Battle of Britain.

Truscott never played again. In March 1943 he was killed in a plane crash during a training exercise off Exmouth in Western Australia

As a tribute, Melbourne's Best and Fairest was named after him, as were an RAAF Base in Western Australia and streets in Sydney and the ACT. In 1956 Heidelberg High School named one of their school houses after him.

1937 1270
1938 1140
1939 17103
1940 990
1942 110

Tribunal Record

Round 14, 1939 Elbowing Not Guilty

Players who served during war

Sun - 22/08/1934
Argus - 01/06/1935, 24/06/1936,30/03/1943
Age - 20/05/1937
Herald - 11/08/1941
Barrier Miner - 12/11/1941
Horsham Times - 19/05/1942
Canberra Times - 30/03/1943
Sporting Globe - 07/08/1943
Football Record Finals
Age - 26/04/2009

Australian Dictionary of Biography
Boyles Football Photos
Wikipedia profile

Created by Supermercado. Last Modification: Tuesday 26 March 2024 19:38:05 AEDT by Supermercado. (Version 35)

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