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AFL great Greg Parke dead in Grand Final tragedy

High flying Demon key position forward Greg Parke  sadly passed away today after a long illness.

He came to the club in 1968, four years after Melbourne won its second-last flag to date. He added excitement to our forward line with his stick fingers and combined with another key forward Ross Dillon in giving us hope during some dark times.

In his first season at the club he finished the year with more Brownlow Medal votes than any other Melbourne player. In 1970 he took 238 marks, the most in the league that season and he holds the AFL record for most marks in a game. In 1972, he topped Melbourne's goalkicking with 63 goals. However, he went to Footscray in 1974 and then crossed to Norwood in the SANFL before finishing with Fitzroy in 1977.

Parke played 119 games with the Demond and sadly died on the day that two of his former teams met in the 2021 AFL Grand Final.

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Sad to see this news, on today of all days.  Very good forward.   One of the finest marks on his era.  The only part of his game which was a bit iffy was his kicking, otherwise he would have been a superstar.  A shining light in an otherwise pretty dark period.  RIP Greg  

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38 minutes ago, DeeSpencer said:

175cm. Just turned 19. Predominantly played wing and half forward as a junior. Missed the whole year last year from covid. Interrupted VFL season. What a story.

Awwwww. Wasn't it cute seeing young "David" Bowey playing AFL football just like a real grown up AFL footballer?

With luck, young "David" might be able to make a career as a real AFL footballer, With a bit more experience, of course.

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He joined the players who went too soon like Flower Stynes Wight Sylvia Gordon who put on the Melbourne Guernsey with pride but never felt the joy of a being a part of a premiership team.

I am 75 and in good health and love the club spent 10 years as trainer at the club, each year we would look at the list and hope this would be our year well here it is!!!

In 1984 I was a trainer with MFC and felt a apart of the reserves premiership.

Edited by durango
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He was part of our terrific start to the season in 1971...when we won 8 of the first nine games.  What a great pair of hands.   

We also lost Jon Lord and Bluey Adams recently too.  A apart from Barass, Hassa and Dixon...are there any other survivors from the 1964 team?  

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What a fantastic player Greg was and an exceptional mark. He was a policeman stationed at parliament house back then and my father was one of the carpenters there and got to meet Greg daily. At the time you could get coloured posters of your favourites which dad got Greg to sign for m, he is an all time favourite. A bentleigh boy just like Bevo, Taylor and Lamb.

He and Ross Dillon formed a great duo in the key forward spots

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Greg shone bright as one of our best in those dim and dark days.

RIP Greg.

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As mentioned a great pair of hands and contested mark. 

He would have kicked a bag of goals if not let down by his inaccuracy. 

Think he did his knee at some stage thereby restricting his mobility. 

However with his mop of fair hair  he lit up some  gloomy afternoons with his aerial strength. If the ball went forward there was a fair chance that Greg would take a strong overhead mark. 

Not great but a very good player in a bleak period characterised by defeat. 

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Very sad to hear.  My first recollection of going to the G and watching the Demons in 1971 was Greg walking out on the field to take his place at CHF. 

Couldn't miss his blonde locks but what always stuck in my mind as an eight YO at the time was the ciggy in hand, having a few puffs then butting it out not long before the ball was bounced! 

The other names that stuck in my young head around this time included Ross Dillon, Greg Wells, Stan Alves, Gary Hardeman, John Tilbrook (big wraps from my big brother was like the coming of the messiah!), Townsend, Crackers Keenan (i seriously thought he was a mad man and wondered how someone like this was allowed to play), Ray Biffin (not far off Crackers!), Barry Bourke, Tony Sullivan and Graham Molloy.

What also stuck in my head at the time was that our supporter base was pretty darn big, to the point that we had two lots of cheer squads.  A large one that hung around the Punt Rd boundary (forward pocket i think) and another up in the top tier of the southern stand.

Vale Greg may you R.I.P.  What a pitty he didn't get to see us win this.  Or maybe he did!

Edited by Rusty Nails
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9 minutes ago, Rusty Nails said:

Very sad to hear.  My first recollection of going to the G and watching the Demons in 1971 was Greg walking out on the field to take his place at CHF. 

Couldn't miss his blonde locks but what always stuck in my mind as an eight YO at the time was the ciggy in hand, having a few puffs then butting it out not long before the ball was bounced! 

The other names that stuck in my young head around this time included Ross Dillon, Greg Wells, Stan Alves, Gary Hardeman, John Tilbrook (big wraps from my big brother was like the coming of the messiah!), Townsend, Crackers Keenan (i seriously thought he was a mad man and wondered how someone like this was allowed to play), Ray Biffin (not far off Crackers!), Barry Bourke, Tony Sullivan and Graham Molloy.

What also stuck in my head at the time was that our supporter base was pretty darn big, to the point that we had two lots of cheer squads.  A large one that hung around the Punt Rd boundary (forward pocket i think) and another up in the top tier of the southern stand.

Vale Greg may you R.I.P.  What a pitty he didn't get to see us win this.

Sums it up for me. I went to an open training day at the MCG and got a heap of players signatures. Because of our lack of success, many people forget the great footballers on your list, Rusty. I loved Biffin - there was a bit of madness in his eye and thuggery in his fist that appealed to me as a kid. I was devastated when Wells and Alves left. But Gary Hardeman is the one. Playing CHB he came second to Keith Grieg in the Brownlow - from memory being overtaken in the last round. Yes, the days when backmen polled in the Brownlow. 

Sad to hear about Greg Parkes - strangely enough I only just remember him - but I hope he was well enough to see the cup lifted. 

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Great was a good mate of my Uncles, and used to get us into the rooms after every game when I was a kid.

I got to meet many Demon greats in that time, thanks to him.

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I started going every week in '73. I had followed them as a little tacker since '63 but don't remember those early days including '64.

We lost 22 games in a row but every week you could see Parkes at CHF and Hardeman at CHB. Probably to this day the most exiting combo in those two positions. The centreline was Alves Wells and first year Robbie Flower who was a star the minute he walked out for the first time. It was Ditterich's first year with us. Crackers Keenan and a few of the others used to congregate on the outside of the 3/4 time huddle smoking ciggies and looking up at the scoreboard to see the results at the races. It was still a great era of players despite the misery of the results. 

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My brother played against him in a reserves game, I think Parke was at the Bulldogs. My bro was a 18 year old who hadnt played a game. Parke shook his hand at the bounce and wished him good luck. He knew my brothers name and called him by his first name. Full on professional and good human. Bro said he ran all day. A sensational player in the shadow of the great Royce Hart. We all tried to take Greg Parke marks at school.

Edited by Half forward flank
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On 9/26/2021 at 9:49 AM, bush demon said:

Was Peter Weekes No 25?

Yes and had a strange kicking style if I remember correctly!

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The Tigers of that era were the champion team with Tommy Hafey coach and Graeme Richmond secretary. Len Smith brother of Norm had laid the foundations of course. Royce Hart was one of the great centre forwards often courageously floating into the front of the pack to take a one grab mark. His drop punts for goal were bio-mechanical perfection, he rarely missed. 

More Lamborghini Miura than Rolls, whereas Greg Parke was more your EH Holden Ute with a souped-up 186. Possessed a powerfully athletic leap out of the  Merri Creek mud of the MCG centre square to take many thrilling pack marks. His kicking as noted previously on this thread was less artful. One of my first demon heroes. Vale GP.

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