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Champion Demons inducted into Hall of Fame

Monday, November 27, 2017 - 4:30 PM by Peter Kennedy
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Four Perth champions have been inducted into the WA Football Hall of Fame at a gala dinner held in a giant marquee on the turf at the "home of football", Subiaco Oval.

They were Frank ("Dick") Walker, Bob Shields, Alan Johnson and Peter Bosustow, who played in a golden era for Perth which resulted in six of club's seven league premierships.

Frank Walker played 233 games between 1952 and 1964, including seven for WA. Frank was a goal-kicking rover (421 goals) who started his career roving to champion ruckman Merv McIntosh. One of his best games was in the 1955 Grand Final in which he kicked two goals in the last quarter against the wind, a key factor in Perth's come-from-behind two point win. He spoke of the impact premiership coach Ern Henfry had on the club when he returned from Carlton in 1953.

Bob Shields was the high flying centre half back in the club's hat trick of premierships between 1966-68, led by captain-coach Malcolm Atwell and champion rover Barry Cable. Bob started as a 17 year-old and played 194 games over 10 seasons, including seven State games.  His grand final clashes with East Perth's Malcolm Brown were features of the game. Bob had a prodigious leap and a good turn of pace. His versatility also saw him play many games later in his career at centre half forward. Bob spoke of the impact Atwell had on the club when he took over in 1966.

Alan Johnson enjoyed a 16 year career in league football between 1975 and 1990, thrilling fans in both WA and Victoria with his skills, pace and tenacity. A lightly built half forward and wingman, Alan was always in the action with his capacity to wrong foot opponents and kick goals. He played in Perth's 1976 and 1977 premiership teams, coached by Ken Armstrong, and notched up 140 games before joining Melbourne, where he played a further 135 games. He was Perth's Fairest and Best in 1981, and Melbourne's in 1983 and 1989.

Peter Bosustow started his eventful career in league football when he kicked one goal in his debut for the Demons in 1975. He went on to play 141 games for Perth, and 65 for Carlton during an eventful three seasons in the VFL. Peter was a spectacular player with a great leap - he won the VFL Mark and Goal of the Year in 1981 - as well as possessing an unusual capacity to turn and swerve. He played in Perth's 1977 premiership team - and Carlton's premierships in 1981 and 1982 - and kicked a total of 542 goals, including 379 goals for Perth. One of his most memorable games was in the 1978 grand final against East Perth, kicking seven goals in atrocious conditions, which almost enabled the Demons to snatch another premiership.

Many Perth champions attended the gala dinner. In addition to Malcolm Atwell and Barry Cable, they included Bob Shields' other premiership team mates Ray Lawrence and Ian Rothnie, 1976 and 77 premiership captain Colin Lofts, and team mates Brian Cook and Wim Rosbender.

Simpson Medallist Allan Stiles was also there, along with president Daryle Mann, past president Damien Matthews, and CEO Marty Atkins.