DOB: 6 June 1950
Debut: Round 18, 1969 against Carlton at MCG
Last MFC Game: Round 13, 1980 against Fitzroy at MCG
From: Bentleigh High School/Bentleigh/McKinnon Youth Club
Number: 57 (1968 Reserves), 50 (1969 Reserves), 11 (1969-1980)
Captain - 1977 - 1978
Best and Fairest - 1971, 1976
Brownlow Medal runner up - 1972
Victorian state representative - 1973, 1977, 1979 (5 games)
150 Heroes selection
Life Member - 1978
Team of the Century - Emergency
Reserves premiership player - 1969
MFC Hall of Fame - 2001
Games: 224 (267 total)
Goals: 251 (275 total)
Statistical categories led:
Most disposals in a game : 48 - Round 13, 1980
Equal most kicks in a game: 35 - Round 13, 1980
Most goals in jumper 11
Most career kicks : 4280
Most career free kicks for : 694
A Demon fan as a kid, Wells had the good fortune to grow up in the heart of Melbourne's recruiting zone. When he made it to the VFL he had a sensational debut, kicking four goals against the top of the table Blues. The blonde midfielder soon became one of his side's most prominent players. Nuggety and durable, Wells was a good mark for his size, a prolific kick winner and accurate user of the ball.
By his third season he had won a Best and Fairest, and in 1972 the Demon with the tigerish approach ran second to Len Thompson in the Brownlow. Some claimed he bleached his hair to attract umpire's attention, but Wells strongly denied it and said the colour was due to the effects of a summer in the surf.
Wells threatened to quit the club after Ian Ridley was sacked as coach at the end of 1973. He trained with Subiaco and had talks with Sturt and Norwood but eventually agreed on increased terms and stayed with the club. In 1975 Carlton tried to trade "six or seven" players for Wells but were unsuccessful in their bid.
Having won his second Best and Fairest in 1976, Wells was handed the captaincy the next year. He skippered the Demons for two seasons before Carl Ditterich returned as captain-coach in 1979. He was selected to play for Victoria in 1978 but had to withdraw due to injury. Signed a three year contract extension before the 1979 season.
Wells wanted to play finals, and with Melbourne regularly out of contention he had to cross to Carlton to achieve that goal. After originally asking for a clearance to North Melbourne before the 1980 season started he then underwent a protracted wrangle to join the Blues midway through that season.
In late May it was reported that his playing career was in doubt due to a knee injury and that he would have to take a rest from the game, but by July a deal was on the cards for him to be swapped to the Blues for Alan Mangels. The swap collapsed when Mangels declared that he wanted to be traded to Geelong instead. Carlton paid $35,000 up front but in February 1981 Melbourne launched Supreme Court action claiming Carlton was in breach of the agreement when they agreed to let Mangels join the Cats instead.
The clubs agreed on a $70,000 fee plus Rod Ashman but issues with Ashman's contract and a disinterest in playing for the club saw them change tack again. The clubs eventually settled on a $35,000 transfer fee and two players - Vin Catoggio and Michael Young. Wells played in Carlton's premiership team that year, and remained with the Blues until retiring at the end of 1982 when he missed out on their premiership side.
In the lead-up to 1983 season Wells was rumoured to be on the way back to the Demons but eventually joined the reformed Moorabbin in the VFA before giving up playing for good.
After his playing career ended Wells returned to Melbourne as chairman of selectors. He served as an Assistant and coached the Reserves from 1986 to the end of 1988. At the end of that year he was on the shortlist for the vacant Sydney job but was passed over.
In 1992 he was once again named Chairman of Selectors, and served on the club committee. He retired as Chairman of Selectors at the end of 1995.
100 Plus Consecutive Games
Premiership players at other clubs
Also selected for the 1975 interstate team but didn't play.
Later Wells claimed the deal was done without his knowledge in June 1980, and suggested in 10/07/1980 Inside Football that the price had been $100k, and Inside Football 17/07/1980 says $140k. Age 02/07/1980 says the price was $100k.
Some sources show Wells wearing #50 in 1969. He wore this earlier in the season but was in #11 by the time he debuted.
Age - 15/01/1974
Age - 24/03/1975
Inside Football - 08/03/1979
Inside Football - 06/03/1980
Inside Football - 29/05/1980
Age - 02/07/1980
Age - 04/02/1981
Age - 10/03/1981
Age - 10/03/1983
Age - 04/10/1988
Age - 22/12/1991
VFA Project profile