Career : 1964 – 1972
Debut : Round 2, 1964 vs Hawthorn, aged 19 years, 94 days
Carlton Player No. 759
Games : 132
Goals : 5
Last Game : Round 10, 1972 vs Hawthorn, aged 27 years, 133 days
Guernsey No. 21
Height : 184 cm (6 ft. 1 in.)
Weight : 82.5 kg (13 stone, 0 lbs.)
DOB : January 21, 1945
Premiership Player 1968, 1970
His possession rate was never particularly high, and there was nothing flashy or flamboyant about Barry Gill. He was however, dependable, brave, and a valued member of the 1968 and 1970 Carlton Premiership teams.
Barry’s older sibling John had already established himself at Princes Park by the time the brothers from Casterton in western Victoria teamed up for the Navy Blues in 1964. Like John, Barry was a strong mark, and deceptively quick for his size. John preferred to play up the ground, while Barry’s steady concentration made him the ideal defender.
When Melbourne legend Ron Barassi shocked the football world by accepting a lucrative offer to captain-coach Carlton in 1965, he and Gill struck up a rapport that lasted throughout Barassi’s tenure at Carlton. Gill’s dedication and self-motivation made him a fixture in the Blues defence, and he was solid as ever on a half-back flank when Carlton beat Essendon by just 3 points to claim the 1968 Premiership.
In 1969, Gill played in a back pocket alongside Wes Lofts when the Blues defended our title against Richmond in that year’s decider. Although he was just 24 years old by then, premature baldness was making him unmistakeable on the field. While it was unfortunate, his hair loss helped to highlight Barry’s work rate, and this in turn made him a particular favourite of many Blues supporters. There were almost 120,000 people at the MCG that day to see the Tigers prove too good for us by four goals.
Redemption from that defeat however, was not long in coming. Twelve months later - in September 1970 - Barry was part of perhaps the most memorable occasion in Carlton’s long and proud history, when the Blues surged back from 44 points down at halftime in the Grand Final to snatch the Premiership flag from Collingwood’s grasp. Again in a back pocket (but this time next to Kevin Hall, who had sensationally replaced Lofts at full-back) Gill blanketed the resting Magpie rovers all day and conceded just one goal for the game.
Like many of his team-mates, that brilliant victory was the pinnacle of Barry’s career. He played on for another two seasons, but was overlooked for a place in the 1972 flag side and retired from VFL football at the end of that year. He had worn guernsey 21 in all of his 132 games, and kicked just 5 goals in his rare forays upfield.
In 1973, Barry was appointed captain-coach of VFA club Williamstown, and led the Seagulls to mid-table finishes in his two years in charge. Later - in the late 70's or early 80's - he coached the Coragulac Under-18s in Victoria's Western Districts. One member of his squad was a young Peter Foster, who would later represent Fitzroy and Footscray, as well as play for Victoria and Australia. Foster later credited a lot of his football development to Barry Gill, who mentored him and gave him the confidence to become a League footballer.
Gill also wore Guernsey No. 13 during the 1962 season when he played with Carlton reserves team.
Radio SEN Barry Gill InterviewBarry features in this 1 hour interview by Mark Fine & Geoff Poulter
Part 1 www.sen.com.au/audioplayer/Audio/Barry-Gill-Feature-Part1/5359
Milestones50 Games: Round 17, 1967 vs Colllingwood
100 Games: Round 17, 1970 Vs Fitzroy
Career Highlights1968 - Premiership Player
1970 - Premiership Player
1971 - 6th Best & Fairest
LinksArticles: Carlton's Controversial Finishes
Blueseum: Summary of playing statistics for Barry Gill | Gill's Blueseum Image Gallery
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