Hall of Fame – Joe Wilson

2009 Hall of Fame Inductee – Joe Wilson

Premierships – 1988,1991,1993,1994
Best & Fairest – 1996
Runner Up Best & Fairest – 1999
Third Best & Fairest – 1993,1994
Most Consistent – 1997,2000
Most Determined – 1993,2001
Best Utility – 1989
O & M All Star Team – 1994
O & M Representative – 1988,1991,1994,1996,1997,1999,2000 (12 Games)
Life Member
240 Seniors – 14 Reserves – 3 Thirds
V.C.F.L. under 19 Representative
1998 Drafted to Brisbane Bears – Pick 51
1989 Member Vermont (EDFL) Premiership 1998 – (BOG)
Also Played Sandringham – 1992

THE year is 1987 and the Rovers rookie coach Laurie Burt is reshaping a new-look team. He turns over talent at a rate of knots – 15 players make their senior debut in a season where the Hawks improve rapidly to just miss the finals. To no-one’s surprise a small skinny midfielder who has been pressing for selection for several weeks is promoted and plays with the aplomb of a veteran. A new star is born. The thing that characterised Joe Wilson throughout his 14-year career with the Rovers was his toughness. In his second season at the Rovers, Joe, aged 18, was an Ovens and Murray and VCFL under 18 representative. So the drums were beating, that this was a lad of not just ordinary talent. The young Rovers lost just four games on their march to the 1988 grand final against an experienced Lavington side. The slender Wilson was named at full forward and booted four of the Rovers 14 goals in their 25-point victory. However, the midfield was his domain. A trademark memory of Joe sees him selling the “dummy”, then dodging and weaving his way through a pack, and threading a pin-point pass onto a teammate’s chest. Joe was taken by Brisbane Bears with pick 51 of the 1989 draft. He was selected in the 23 for one game but a mishap at a Thursday night training session cost him his first AFL game. Having deferred his university studies and needing to take up the option on his course, Joe decided to return home. He played a key role in the 1991 premiership and again represented the O and M. While respected by opposition teams, Joe was one of a number of stars that had to be shut down. He featured in four flags – 1988, 91, 93 and 94 and wore the O arid M guernsey 12 times. Always thereabouts in the best and fairest voting Joe finished in the top five on 10 occasions. But he is famous for breaking Robbie Walker’s stranglehold on the Bob Rose Medal when he saluted in 1996. He played the last of his 240 games in the 2002 grand final. The Hawks were in a dire position during the third quarter but some magic from Walker and Wilson got them back into the contest at lemon-time. Unfortunately, North kicked away again in the last to win comfortably. Joe Wilson has continued his love affair with the Rovers from afar. His work in compiling databases, maintaining contact with former players and keeping the club abreast of player movements and possible recruits is most fastidious. He remains Brown and Gold to the core.