WAFL: Graham “Polly” Farmer to be honoured in new West Perth-East Perth cup battle


West Perth and East Perth will battle for the Graham “Polly” Farmer Cup. Picture: Getty Images
West Perth and East Perth will battle for the Graham “Polly” Farmer Cup. Picture: Getty Images

WAFL rivals West Perth and East Perth will honour one of the game’s greats with an annual match to be known as the Graham “Polly” Farmer Cup.

Farmer (81), who played for the Royals and the then Cardinals with a stint for Geelong in between, will have his name attached to a game each year hosted by whichever club is not hosting the WA Day derby.

The cup clash will replace the annual Jeremy Silcock Shield match, which was started to honour the former Royal who died on an end-of-season trip in 1996. It is understood the move has the Silcock family’s blessing.

The Graham Farmer Tunnel is named after the official Legend of the game but football officials realised recently that little was named after him in the sport apart from the Polly Farmer Room at Subiaco Oval.

Farmer set the football world alight with his dominating ruck work and handball.

Historian Brian Atkinson, in his book It’s a Grand Old Flag, described the buzz when Farmer chose West Perth over East Perth when he returned from Geelong in 1968:

“The appointment of Graham Farmer as captain coach of the Cardinals generated a wave of excitement and enthusiasm at West Perth, and captured the imagination of the football world. It was hailed as the greatest recruiting coup in WAFL history.”

Farmer led West Perth to premierships over the Royals in 1969 and 1971.

He won three Sandover Medals and three premierships with East Perth.

He captained Geelong and played in a premiership with the Cats in 1963.