Hall of Fame – Merv Holmes

2001 Hall of Fame Inductee – Mervyn Frederick Holmes




Best and Fairest – 1982

Runner-up: B & F – 1976, 1979

Best First Year Player – 1972

Most Consistent – 1974, 1980

Most Determined – 1986

Best in Finals – 1975

Past Players Awards – 1979, 1980

Captain-coach – 1985-1986 (won 18, lost 21)

Captain – 1982 to 1984

Vice-captain – 1977 to 1981

Premierships – 1972, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979

Grand Finals – 1976, 1980

Life Member


Ovens and Murray League Representative – 1975 to 1981 (7 years, 12 games)

Life Member: Ovens and Murray Football League

Merv Holmes came from the tiny hamlet of Carboor, and the Rovers can thank the persuasive tongue of Jack Moroney for enticing him to the Club. It was no easy feat, as work on the family farm was constant and there was a regular late afternoon appointment with the dairy cows, which made the 100 mile round trip to training per week a bit of a chore. However once “Farmer” got the brown and gold in his blood, he was there to stay. After a hesitant start in 1972, Merv soon impressed the Hawks with his potential and it was not long before he was slotted into center-half-back, a post he was to hold for next 15 years. He was Rovers Best First Year Player in 1972, and when he played in the Premiership team, knowledgeable supporters knew another champion had arrived. The Wangaratta Rovers golden era of the 1970s could be partly attributed to stoic efforts of their leader in defense. Holmes played in six premierships in eight years and became a regular Ovens and Murray representative. In that time, Farmer was Runner-up in the Club’s Best and Fairest on two occasions, but finally broke through with the ultimate award in 1982. Morris Medal votes were scarce for the bruising, hard-hitting backman, and he was never a great favorite of the men in white. After 184 consecutive games, Merv suffered a severe dislocation of an ankle during a match at Benalla in 1980, and pleaded unsuccessfully with trainers to “ give it a yank back into place and let me back on”! He confounded the critics by returning later in the season to star in the Grand-final loss to North Albury. Always consistent, solid and rarely beaten, Merv Holmes played 302 games with the Wangaratta Rovers and capped a wonderful career by accepting the coaching position for his last two playing seasons, 1985-86. The old war-horse approached this task as he did any other with the Hawks – dedication, honesty and professionalism. A lemonade drinker, chain smoker and possessing a rich turn of phrase, Mervyn Frederick Holmes was and always will be a great favorite with the Rovers supporters