South Fremantle icon Stephen Michael was celebrated last night after being elevated to “legend” status in the WA Football Hall of Fame at Fraser's Restaurant.
The dual Sandover Medallist became just the 18th member of the illustrious cohort, joining the likes of Barry Cable, Polly Farmer and Graham Moss as WA Football immortals.
The legendary ruck-rover’s career spanned ten years with his highlights unmatched in the football landscape – dual Sandover Medallist, five-time South Fremantle fairest and best, a Bulldogs premiership player, Simpson Medallist, All Australian Captain and Australian Football Hall of Famer. He was inducted to the inaugural WA Football Hall of Fame in 2004.
He arrived at Fremantle from Kojonup in 1975 and by 1980 he was arguably the competition’s best player. Along with Maurice Rioli and Noel Carter, he was the driving force behind South Fremantle’s 1980 premiership.
Alongside Michael’s 243 games for South Fremantle, the 62-year old also represented Western Australia on 17 occasions, kicking 246 goals between the two sides.
At his peak, there was certainly no shortage of attempts to lure him east, but he stayed put and carved out a special place in WA football folklore.
In 2017, he was selected as one of 24 members of the Noongar Team of Champions, recognising the outstanding talent to emerge from the Noongar Aboriginal population of Western Australia.
Chris Judd, Dean Cox, John Loughridge, JJ “Boss” Simons, Warren Ralph and Darren Glass were also honoured on the night as WA Football Hall of Fame inductees.