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Graham Vivian "Polly" Farmer, MBE (1935 -2019) was an Australian rules football player and coach. Born in Western Australia, he joined the East Perth Football Club as a ruckman in 1953, where he won several awards and contributed to the team winning three premierships. He was recruited to the Victorian Football League (VFL) league in 1962 for the Geelong Football Club, where he played 101 games and captained the team for three seasons. Farmer returned to Western Australia and became the captain/coach of the West Perth Football Club in 1968, leading the club to premierships against East Perth in 1969 and 1971. After retiring as a player, he coached Geelong, East Perth and Western Australia's first state of origin team.
Farmer is an official Legend of Australian rules football, and he revolutionised ruckwork and handballing. The Graham Farmer Freeway in his hometown of Perth is named in his honour.
Farmer was born in Hillcrest Hospital, North Fremantle and brought up at Sister Kate’s orphanage in Queen's Park. Farmer said, "If it had not been for Sister Kate's, I would have had an ice block’s hope in hell of ever leading a normal life. I owe her and all her dedicated helpers everything – for giving me the chance to make something of myself. I was one of the lucky ones." A bout of poliomyelitis left Farmer with his left leg shorter than his right leg. According to Farmer, he was nicknamed "Polly the Parrot" as a six-year-old because people thought he chattered away like a parrot. At high school, Farmer was spotted by talent scouts for East Perth Football Club, and joined the team.
Garry Gillard | New: 20 October, 2017 | Now: 13 February, 2024