Graham “Polly” Farmer, widely regarded as Australian rules football’s greatest-ever ruckman, has died aged 84.
Farmer, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease more than 20 years ago, passed away in Perth’s Fiona Hospital with his family by his side.
Farmer’s ruckwork and creative use of handball were considered revolutionary during his 101-game stint with the Cats from 1962-67 – including a key role in the 1963 premiership – and a long career in the WAFL with East Perth and West Perth.
He also coached the Cats in the VFL from 1975-77 and at both West Perth and East Perth.
Farmer was an inspiration for generations of indigenous footballers.
He was named as first ruck in the AFL team of the century and in the same position and as vice-captain in the indigenous team of the century.
Farmer was one of the inaugural intake of 12 Legends when the AFL Hall of Fame was set up in 1996.
His wife of 58 years, Marlene, passed away in 2015.
They had three children, daughter Kim and sons Brett and Dean.