Being Les Fong (as Graham Miller as Les Fong)

Turner Galleries, 19th September - 19th October 2019


Les Fong 

West Perth Cardinals 1973-87

"During an era when it was becoming increasingly taken for granted that the best West Australian footballers would migrate to the VFL, Les Fong - arguably a better player than many of those who headed east - spent his entire 284-game league career with West Perth. That career commenced in 1973 when, as a sixteen year old, he played the first seven games of the season in the reserves before being promoted to the seniors where he spent the remainder of the year. His form during his brief stint in the reserves was so good that he ended up winning the club’s fairest and best award for that level.

Nicknamed ‘Choppy’, Fong was an ebullient, intense, extraordinarily courageous performer. He had the satisfaction of playing in a premiership team in only his third season, but thereafter the Cardinals tended to struggle. Nevertheless, Fong showed no desire to leave, and indeed for much of the 1970s and ‘80s he was almost a personification of the club, as well as a rare emblem of stability and loyalty in a time of sweeping change.

In 1980 Fong was appointed club captain and ended up serving for a record seven-year term, proving himself in the process to be almost the consummate on-field leader. He peaked as a player during the late seventies and early eighties, making half a dozen interstate appearances for Western Australia, and winning West Perth’s fairest and best award in 1982 and 1983. Popularly known as ‘Captain Courageous’ during his time as skipper, his importance in the history of the club was emphasised in October 2000 with his inclusion, as first rover, in West Perth’s official ‘Team of the Twentieth Century’. John Devaney

If you have any pics of yourself in the Les Fong cut out please send them and I will try to include

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