Bob Rose (footballer)

Robert "Bob" Rose (7 August 1928 – 7 July 2003) was an Australian rules footballer and coach in the VFL.

Playing career

A Collingwood legend, he has had achievements of the many including the greatest honours for a club, and in the VFL/AFL. From country club Nyah West, Rose debuted in 1946. He was a genuine all-round sportsman, who was looking down the path of a professional boxing career, but decided to play the game of football. Rose was courageous in the midfield, and was very skillful on both sides. His honours included four best and fairest awards, was a leading goalkicker in a premiership season, including All-Australian honours. Rose however didn't win the Brownlow Medal despite being up in the mix on several occasions, coming second in 1953. Rose also, as an icon of the club, never was given the role as captain due to the strong leaders playing for the Pies.

Rose played in 3 Grand Finals, in years 1952-1953 and 1955, including 1 premiership. Injuries had got the better of him though, and retired in 1955 after 152 games, and kicked 214 goals, with the losing Grand Final being his last match.

Rose was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 1996. He was selected as the centre in Collingwood's Team of the Century, and the AFL Players' Association's annual award for Most Courageous Player, struck in 1991, is named in Rose's honour.

Post-playing career

After a stint coaching Wangaratta Rovers, Rose returned to the VFL in a coaching capacity, taking over from Phonse Kyne in 1964 as Collingwood Football Club coach. He led the side to the Grand Final in 1966 when his team went down by a point to St Kilda. He continued to coach Collingwood until 1971 (apart from one game in 1967 when Neil Mann, who later became his successor as coach, took the reins), before coaching Footscray Football Club between 1972 and 1975. His final stint as coach of Collingwood was in 1985-1986, where he held the reins for a brief period before the introduction of Leigh Matthews. He continued to remain around the club behind the scenes right up until his death.


Rose died at Cabrini Hospital after a short battle with cancer on 7 July 2003. A small group of Collingwood players, including Nathan Buckley, paid a visit to Rose in the final week before his death. Rhyce Shaw was the man who wore Rose's no.22 during the time of illness, and would occasionally have initialed B.R above the number in dedication to Bob.


On his relationship with Collingwood supporters:

"The first practice game I played I couldn't find the right gate to get into the ground. I was there about two hours before anybody else. One of the really strong things was about my third year of playing for Collingwood, and I walked into the ground at about 11 o'clock, to watch the reserves play. (By this time I was in the seniors.) And I just saw all these Collingwood supporters. It was a cold, middle-of-the-winter, rainy day, and they had taken up every seat available in the ground, and it was mainly standing room in those days. And I thought then, it really hit me, that these people are there to support people like me, all the players, so it was a real lesson that I would, and I swore to myself, that I would never let the people down, that I would give 100% all the time. And it was really an inspiration to me..."

On his first day of traing at Victoria Park aged 18:

"So when we got to Melbourne on the Thursday, he took me out to Collingwood, and I trained out there for the first night and that was unbelievable. I was 15 at the time, and to be with the Lou Richards and Colliers (the Colliers had finished playing, but they were always at the Club) Phonse Kyne and those great players, Fothergill, I could hardly believe it, and I was in some pretty shabby old gear because the war had just finished and things were pretty tough in Nyah West, so yes, Lou Richards and the boys have let me know over the years about that silly-looking green and white guernsey that I was wearing, with motheaten holes in it. But it was really a bombshell to be able to run out on to the nice green grass, because droughts were pretty prominent in the Mallee at that time, and we were almost playing on clay grounds..."

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