FRANK ‘BLUEY’ ADAMS
1953 to 1964
Heritage Number – 749
Premierships – 1955, 1956, 1957, 1959, 1960, 1964
Guernsey Numbers – 6 (1955 to 1964); 41 (1953 and 1954)
164 games, 180 goals
Renowned for being one of the fastest footballers of all time, Adams holds a supreme record, playing in six premierships with the Melbourne Football Club. He shares this honour with Ron Barassi, and it is only bettered by Hawthorn’s Michael Tuck, with seven flags to his credit.
Adams’ remarkable pace was recognised before he even played senior football; among other achievements, he made the Stawell Gift final, and was a professional sprint champion who once held the Australian record for the 400 yards dash.
Making his way into football, Adams spent a season in St Kilda’s Thirds, before – fortuitously – coming to Melbourne. He played in the Seconds in 1952, and made his senior debut in 1953.
Adams’ first Melbourne premiership was in 1955 – and he made an impact with a difference. Called onto the ground late in the last quarter, his pace saw him collide with Collingwood’s Des Healey. The Magpie had his nose broken in five places, while Adams was knocked out until well after the final siren sounded.
The 1956 triumph saw the Demons anointed as ‘Olympic Premiers’, and Adams was hailed as ‘Probably the fastest footballer playing the game at the moment’. This was followed up by a hattrick sealing flag in 1957, before the disappointment of 1958 broke the run.
Adams – determined as always to contribute – took the team through summer athletics training to ready them for the 1959 season. It paid off, and Adams had a wonderful season, rewarded with the Outstanding Service Trophy in a premiership year.
Reaching 100 career games and playing in another premiership in 1960, Adams went on to finish second to Barassi in the 1961 Best and Fairest. One more flag was to follow – in 1964 – with Adams’ commitment and resolve playing no small part. Announcing his retirement in the aftermath, Adams went on to coach Melbourne’s Fourths for two seasons, then turning his attention to the media, including working as a match caller with Channel Seven for over a decade.
A Life Member of the Melbourne Football Club, as well as an inductee in the club’s Hall of Fame, and recognised as one of the 150 ‘Heroes’ in 2008, ‘Bluey’ was held in great affection by all. He continued to contribute with heritage research until recent days, and the entire football community is saddened by his passing. Very few have given more to the red and the blue than Frank ‘Bluey’ Adams.
We offer our most sincere condolences to Bluey’s wife, Noelle, and to all his family and friends.
The funeral for Frank ‘Bluey’ Adams was held on Wednesday 21 August, at Quat Quatta, Quat Quatta Avenue, Ripponlea.