Elite footballer collection goes under hammer at finals time

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 16th September, 2016

In a career that stretched for 250 games with three VFL/AFL clubs, Australian Rules player Greg “Diesel” Williams was recognised as one of the elite footballers of his era.

Despite being relatively slow, Williams possessed superb handballing skills and was unparalleled at gathering possessions – so much so that as the years progressed his standing in the game continued to grow.

Williams was initially recruited but rejected early by Carlton before signing on at Geelong for the 1984-85 seasons where he won the club’s best and fairest award.

When his request for a pay rise was rejected, Williams moved to the Sydney Swans and won the Brownlow Medal (football’s highest award) in his first season at the harbour city.

At the end of 1991, tired of endless hassles and the club’s sinking fortunes, Williams left the Sydney Swans – with (ironically) Carlton winning the battle for his services.

In 1995, he helped take the club to its most recent premiership, winning the Norm Smith medal (for best player on the day) in the process.

Williams represented his home state of Victoria nine times in interstate matches and captained it once.

In his final season (1997), Williams was suspended for nine weeks for pushing an umpire.

His collection is part of Mossgreen’s latest sporting memorabilia auction over two days from 10am Monday September 19 at 935 High Street, Armadale.

The auction includes items from New Zealander Jack Ryder’s collection – famous for its extraordinary museum complex that featured a private cinema and old English pub at Avondale outside Auckland.

Intriguing items such as training trunks used in 1958 by former Olympic and world heavyweight champion Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) while working out at the Columbia Street Gym in Louisville, Kentucky under the watchful eye of trainer Joe Martin should pique auction goer interest.

Another fascinating item is the signed straw boater hat worn by iconic Australian Test player Sir Donald Bradman on his honeymoon during the 1932 Australian tour to North America.

Bradman gave the hat to fellow Test player Tim Wall who presented it to one of his students Clark Whittington and it was then handed down through the family.


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