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  1. #1
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    Interview With Les Bamblett

    Les Bamblett

    Melbourne - 1983 - 11 games, 4 goals.
    Footscray - 1984-1988 - 37 games, 59 goals



    TCD: Hi Les & thank you so much for your time. One of our moderators on the site will be beside himself.

    LB: No worries.

    Firstly, where did the nickname Lally come from?

    It's actually Lelly. When I was little one of my cousins couldn't say Leslie & used to pronounce it Lelly. It just stuck.

    Where did you grow up & who did you barrack for as a kid?

    I grew up in Shepparton & was a mad Richmond supporter. I loved Royce Hart, KB, Francis Bourke, Dick Clay etc...

    Who did you start playing footy for?

    Chris Connolly's dad, Barry owned the local milk bar. He got me to play with Nathalia in one of the junior competitions that were played on Sunday's. I then played school footy & when I was older I played 3rds for Lemnos in the Goulburn Valley Football League. I was only 17 at the time but also played seniors that year for Lemnos.

    How did you get to Melbourne?

    I was invited to come down to the Norm Smith Scholarship Squad, but I didn't want to leave home, so I stayed in Shepparton. One day in the main street I bumped into Ron Barrassi who was in Shepparton. He made it very clear to me that I should be in Melbourne & not Shepparton. I missed the first few games of the 1982 season before finally coming down.

    How did you go that season?

    Well, I missed about 5 or 6 games as I was late getting down & I played a few games for the reserves. I won the Morrish Medal that year too as the best player in the Under 19's Comp.

    These days, the Brownlow is a huge TV event, how were you notified that you had won the Morrish Medal?

    A Melbourne Football Club official came to my house to tell me.

    Can you remember your first game?

    It was round 1, 1983. We played Collingwood at the MCG & there was over 70,000 people there. We lost by 10 points, but alot of the game is vague as David Cloke run through me & cleaned me up. All my family came down for the game, there were heaps of them there that day.

    So what happened after the 1983 season?

    I got homesick & mucked around a bit. I didn't like it at Melbourne & didn't want to go back. Richmond had Maurice Rioli & Phil Egan there so I went to Punt Road & did a pre season. Melbourne wanted a transfer fee & Richmond didn't want to pay it, so I ended up going to WA. Graham Moss came to see me & got me over to play with Claremont, but with clearance wrangles I didn't end up playing.

    How did you become a Bulldog then?

    Just before the clearance deadline at the end of June Shane O'Sullivan came to WA & asked if I wanted to return to Victoria & play for Footscray? I jumped at the chance & in return Steven O'Dwyer was cleared to Melbourne.

    You arrived mid 1984, but made a huge impact in 1985. Why was that?

    I just loved being there, loved the blokes like Doug Hawkins, Steve MacPherson, Peter Foster, Magic McLean, Jim Edmond & Rod MacPherson. I just couldn't wait to get to training. I was so happy. It was a special time to be around the place.

    I remember a game against Essendon at Windy Hill where you came in as a late replacement after having your appendix removed. Do you recall that?

    Yeah, we had played Geelong at Kardinia Park one Saturday & afterwards I felt a pain in my stomach & was in hospital that night. I had an appendicitis & missed out on playing for Victoria & against Melbourne the following week. When we played Essendon it was like espionage as someone else took in my bag with all my gear in it. It certainly fooled Essendon, but didn't help as we went down by 4 goals anyway.

    Who were some of the better players you played with?

    * Robert Flower - A sensational footballer for his build.
    * Doug Hawkins - A great guy who could just play football.
    * Stephen MacPherson - Hard, tough, a larrakin!
    * Jim Edmond - A great mark for his size, top bloke too.
    * Michael McLean - The best trainer I ever saw. I'm still great mates with Magic.
    * Brian Royal - A real good rover.


    What about some of the players you played against?

    * Ken Hunter - Very hard on his attack at the ball.
    * Tom Alvin - Never gave you a moments peace, always at you.
    * Robert Dipierdomenico - Hard & rugged, skilful & quick for his size.
    * Gary Ayres - A real backman who never gave up, was disciplined continually punched from behind & always ran off.
    * Keith Greig - Easy to see why he won 2 Brownlow Medals. I played on him late in his career but he was silky smooth.


    Now, in 1986,89 & 88 you managed 3 games each year. What happened?

    Injuries. We were playing at Waverley in 1986 & I turned & my achilles snapped. It felt like I had been shot in the heel. In 1987 I did my knee & had a total reconstruction. It was never the same after that though. I called it a day at the end of 1988. I tried a few games with my mates playing for Maldon, but didn't last long.

    Now, it's fair to say that the 3 men who coached you when you came to Melbourne would have left an impression upon you.

    Oh yeah!

    * Slug Jordan - He was very intimidating. A great junior coach & I reckon if Melbourne would have allowed him to go to Sydney he would have been a great senior coach. Slug had some funny sayings & swore a lot too.
    * Ron Barassi - Great knowledge of the game & really knew how to get his point across.
    * Mick Malthouse - Like barassi, Mick had a great knowledge of the game & knew how to get the best out of each player. I'm still friends with Mick.


    Do you still follow the footy?

    Yes, I'm an Assistant Coach with Fitzroy Stars in the Northern Football League so I can't get to AFL games on a Saturday. I get to about half a dozen games a year.

    Who do you watch?

    The Bulldogs of course! Also watch Essendon as my nephew, Andrew Lovett plays there, but I'm a Bulldog.

    Any particular Bulldog players catch your eye?

    Lindsay Gilbee goes alright, so to does Robert Murphy. I know Jarrod Harbrow's family from Shepparton so I like him & Josh Hill.

    Married/Children?

    Not married although my partner & I have been together forever!

    We have 6 children, 5 girls aged 27, 26, 25, 19 & 16 & a boy aged 22.


    What do you do work wise?

    I'm a youth worker & work for a youth hostel.

    Les, thank you so much for your time & for those of us who were fortunate to see you at your scintillating best it was a privilege.

    Thank's for that, you're welcome.

  2. #2
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    Re: Interview With Les Bamblett

    Great work TCD, no mention of Chris Egan?

  3. #3
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    Re: Interview With Les Bamblett



    Thanks TCD, always wondered what happened to Lelly Bamblett.

    One of my favourites from 1985 season, Beazer kicked his 100th and Lelly his 50th in the semi final against North.

    Too bad Andrew Lovett wasn't a bulldog as well.
    FFC: Established 1877

    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

  4. #4
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    Re: Interview With Les Bamblett

    Thank you Thankyou Thankyou what a super player had such a turn of speed you know he is one of my all tome faves Coon Dog YOU ARE A LEGEND
    bulldogs are forever not just when they are winning

  5. #5
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    Re: Interview With Les Bamblett

    48 games is nowhere near enough for a player of Lally's skill. Such a shame he didn't play more. Fond memories of his season in '85.

    Another good effort TCD.

    Cheers
    WOOF Member 315

  6. #6
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    Re: Interview With Les Bamblett

    Was a very exciting player to watch at the time, another great interview TCD.

  7. #7
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    Re: Interview With Les Bamblett

    Twodogs hasn't posted on this thread because he swooned when he saw it and hasn't come around yet.

  8. #8
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    Re: Interview With Les Bamblett

    What's everyone's favourite Lelly moment?

    Mine is just his blistering speed when he crumbed the ball. Never seen anyone as quick since.

  9. #9
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    Re: Interview With Les Bamblett

    I missed almost the whole year of 85 as my family moved from Melbourne to the middle of nowhere in outback Qld.

    I did manage to catch snippets on the ABC's Winners show on Sunday evenings (When my old manlet me watch it). I recall seeing each week I managed to catch the show -Les Bamblett popping up in the highlights often, and I would've loved to have seen those games in full.

    A pity his body let him down as that one year in 85 it seemed as if he was about to become a long term star for us.

    Great Call TCD on choosing Lelly as an interview!!

  10. #10
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    Re: Interview With Les Bamblett

    Quote Originally Posted by The Coon Dog View Post
    What's everyone's favourite Lelly moment?

    Mine is just his blistering speed when he crumbed the ball. Never seen anyone as quick since.
    Yes, many memories of that blistering speed. Roving off the pack and running into an open goal. I do remember a great piece of play against Sydney when he got the ball out of the centre and ran straight down the ground, bouncing the ball and eventually kicking a goal.

    His 50th goal was also great, in the 1985 1st semi final, more because it was 50 and I think not long after the 100 from Beasley.
    FFC: Established 1877

    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

  11. #11
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    Re: Interview With Les Bamblett

    Great to hear from one of our favourites. His best was that steal against Collingwood and goal on the run from the boundary line. Close to goal of the year ,Lelly just lit the place up in 85 everytime he got the ball something happened.

  12. #12
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    Re: Interview With Les Bamblett

    Any time he was at the feet of the Pieman what a great duo crying shame they never played more together
    bulldogs are forever not just when they are winning

  13. #13
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    Re: Interview With Les Bamblett

    Gotta love footy in the 80s!! Les Bamblett was great to watch at the Western Oval.

    By the way, can anyone please help me get a photo for my profile? I've just signed up, but am a computer novice. How do I get a photo from another website as my avatar? Help would be very much appreciated Thanks!!

  14. #14
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    Re: Interview With Les Bamblett

    Quote Originally Posted by Suz 32 View Post
    Gotta love footy in the 80s!! Les Bamblett was great to watch at the Western Oval.

    By the way, can anyone please help me get a photo for my profile? I've just signed up, but am a computer novice. How do I get a photo from another website as my avatar? Help would be very much appreciated Thanks!!
    I will PM you
    FFC: Established 1877

    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

  15. #15
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    Re: Interview With Les Bamblett

    Just checking if the avatar is working - thanks heaps Bornadog. :-)

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