Bernie Smith, champion West Adelaide Footballer, was born on 19 December, 1927 and worked as a hot metal compositor in the Government Printing Office Comp. Room in King William Road during the 1940s.
He commenced playing with Westies as a young lad in 1945, playing 55 games which included the 1947 Grand Final when West Adelaide beat Norwood. Bernie was named Best Man on Ground that day
He travelled to Geelong in Victoria in 1948 and played 183 games for the Cats over the next 10 years.
In Geelong Bernie ran a small typesetting company working as a Linotype operator.
In 1951 Bernie won the Brownlow Medal. He was regarded as one the finest back pocket players ever to play the game with great skills, the ability to read the play and was always very cool under pressure.
Sadly, Bernie passed away on 21 April, 1985, aged 57 years.
Since that time he has been inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 1996. and was named in the AFL Team of the Century, playing in the back pocket, of course.
Bernie was pretty good mates with the Legendary Ron Hamence, Proof Reader, Sheffield Shield Cricketer and a member of Don Bradman’s Invincibles on the 1948 tour of England and also Ron Fuss, Monotype operator and now 92 years of age. Ron was a Sturt barracker but spent most of his time watching Bernie play for Westies
When you go to the Westies Footy Club for one of our Luncheons check out Bernie’s picture in the Display Cabinet, outside the Bistro.
Inserted article Above from the Melbourne Argus, 6 September, 1951.