HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
Edward Joshpeh FLEMMING
|Date of Birth||30th October 1902|
ERA: 1901 – 1930 AND 1931 – 1960
GAMES: 246 – 229 West Perth; 17 WA
PREMIERSHIPS: West Perth 1932, 34, 35
HONOURS: Sandover Medal 1930; WAFL leading goal-kicker 1925 (50 goals); West Perth Fairest and Best 1928, 36; West Perth Team of the Century 2000
In the nine decades since West Australian individual football records have been compiled, only one player has claimed the top two individual honours – the Sandover Medal and the leading goal-kicker. Ted Flemming was a star with West Perth in the 1920’s and ‘30’s who became a forward almost by accident and a Sandover Medalist only after two team-mate defenders had retired, allowing him to play in his favoured position of centre half-back.
Born in the Goldfields, Flemming joined West Perth in 1922, with the side boasting a half-back line of Sandover Medallists in Harold Boyd, Jimmy Gosnell and Jim Craig. Flemming was happy to occupy a back pocket, but when West Perth found themselves short of a full-forward in 1925, he switched with immediate results, topping the League’s goal-kicking table with 50. However, it was never a permanent defence, where he generally started the game, only to be switched to the other end when goals were needed.
By 1930 Boyd and Gosnell had retired, so Flemming joined Craig on the half-back line and, aged 27, he polled 23 votes to win the Sandover Medal by five. Flemming had to shake off a severe illness before playing senior football, having suffered pleurisy and pneumonia as a teenager when he neglected to change his sodden Guernsey after a match at Westonia, on the Eastern Goldfields. It took him some years to fully regain health and fitness and it was 1919 when he moved to the city to play with Maylands, in the WA Football Association, before switching to nearby Highgate. Both were East Perth strongholds, but some astute recruiting saw him enticed to West Perth, with one of the talent-spotters being Henry (Ivo) Crapp, the man once dubbed the “Prince of Umpires”.
The following 1953 newspaper article reflected on Flemming’s football as follows:
“The 1930 Sandover Medallist Ted Flemming is reckoned the finest high mark the WA game has produced. Flemming was a freak and some of his aerobatics were breathtaking. He lacked height, but could get an incredible spring from the ground and was usually head and shoulders above the packs.”