From: Portland High School/Heathmere/Portland
Number: 12 (1950-1956)
Premiership Player - 1955, 1956
Grand Final team - 1954
Best and Fairest - 1955, 1956
Leading Goalkicker - 1955
Team of the Century rover
150 Heroes selection
Australian Football Hall of Fame member - 1995
Victorian State representative - 1955, 1956
Life Member - 1987
AFL Life Member
MFC Hall of Fame - 2001
Invited to pre-season training in 1949 by Geelong Spencer didn't make their side. He returned to Portland and won their best and fairest, and the award for best player in the Western District League aged 17.
Signed by Melbourne before the 1950 season after a recommendation from Fred Fanning who had coached against him, Spencer started his career playing in ordinary sides early on before enjoying through a golden era for the club.
Recruited as a rover he was also used as a half-forward and in the back pocket. When Norm Smith took over as coach he threw him into the ball and Spencer won two ((Best and Fairest) awards and two premierships. It meant throwing away a certain spot in the state side, but took him from a good player to a great one. He had been no slouch in the backline, but his natural talents were wasted there. Smith said "You can go back to the back-pocket when you're 30".
In Round 5, 1956 he equalled a VFL/AFL record which still stands to this day of 0.11 in a game against Geelong. It was a soaking wet day and many of his behinds came from speculative kicks off the ground, but over three weeks he booted 18 straight behinds. When it mattered Spencer got it right though, kicking five goals in his last game - a best on ground performance in the 1956 decider.
Spencer shocked the footballing world by moving to Tasmania to captain/coach Clarence at just 24 years of age. The move was intended to provide a supporting family environment for his wife Fay who was 8 months pregnant. The Demons attempted to convince him to extend his stay in Victoria by a year, but his mind was already made up. The VFL initially refused to clear him as part of an ongoing war of clearances with the Tasmanians, but eventually relented and allowed him to go.
He won two TFL and two Tasmanian statewide Best and Fairest awards and captained Tasmania to a famous victory over a Victorian representative team in 1960. Spencer finally retired from playing in 1968 while playing in the back pocket just as Smith had predicted.
In June 1986 it was revealed that Spencer had met informally with Fitzroy chairman Leon Wiegard with a view to merging the two clubs. He explained that the move would only be beneficial if the new side became instant finals contenders. The side also had had informal discussions with Richmond and North Melbourne.