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Len Thomas

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Len Thomas

Len Thomas
South Melbourne
Height/Weight179 cm / 80 kg
Playing career1

South Melbourne (1927-38)

  • 187 games, 54 goals

Hawthorn (1939)

  • 16 games, 15 goals

North Melbourne (1940)

  • 6 games, 9 goals
Total - 209 Games, 78 Goals
Coaching career

Hawthorn (1939)
North Melbourne (1940)

Total - 30 Games, 9 Wins, 20 Loses, 1 Draw
1 Playing statistics to end of 1940 season .

Len Thomas (20 July 1908 - 17 August 1943) was an Australian rules footballer who played 187 games with South Melbourne in the VFL during the 1930s, before finishing his career as captain-coach at both Hawthorn and North Melbourne. He was the son of South Melbourne player William Thomas.

Football career

Thomas made his debut for South Melbourne in 1927 and went on to become one of their better players during the 1930s. He won the club's Best and Fairest award in 1931 and 1938. A premiership player in 1933, he played through the centre in their Grand Final victory over Richmond.

In 1939 he moved to Hawthorn where he had accepted the role of captain-coach. The club finished 10th and the following season he crossed to North Melbourne with the same leadership role but couldn't prevent them from winning the wooden spoon. At the seasons end he announced his retirement from football in order to take up military service.

Military career

Although Thomas had attained the rank of Corporal, upon his evacuation from the Middle East in September 1941 he requested that he be allowed to revert to the rank of Private, so that he could serve as a commando. His request was granted. He served with the 2/3rd Independent (Commando) Company, Second A.I.F.

He became the most experienced footballer to be killed in war when he lost his life fighting the Japanese in New Guinea in 1943.[1]

See also

  • List of Victorian Football League players who died in active service

Footnotes

References

  • Main, J. & Allen, D., "Thomas, Len", pp. 338–341 in Main, J. & Allen, D., Fallen — The Ultimate Heroes: Footballers Who Never Returned From War, Crown Content, (Melbourne), 2002.
  • , (Thursday, 2 September 1943), p.9.

External links

  • Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour: Leonard Thomas (VX21564)
  • ISBN 1-74095-010-0
  • Full Points Footy Biography: Len Thomas

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