FOOTBALL TO OLYMPICS BACK TO FOOTBALL

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Peter Bennett was captain of the Australian water polo team for the 1952 Helsinki Games and vice-captain in 1956 for the Melbourne Olympics.
The following is extracted from “Water Warriors: Chronicle of Australian Water Polo”.
Peter Bennett from the Melbourne club (now Melbourne Collegians) first represented Australia at the 1950 Auckland Commonwealth Games and later that year at the Centenary Games in Christchurch.
He was selected for two Olympic Games, first as captain at Helsinki (1952) and in Melbourne (1956) as vice-captain.
Peter could have been a three-time Olympican as he was originally selected for the London Games (1948) but withdrew for study purposes.
In an era when there were no World Championships and the Australian team was only selected every four years, Peter still managed to accrue 53 international caps.
He first debued for Victoria in 1948, played for Bondi and NSW in 1951 and then returned home to captain Victoria from 1952 to 1958, being an Australian champion on five occasions.
He led the Melbourne club to six consecutive VAWPA A grade premierships from 1953 to 1958.
Bennett was a dominant footballer at Melbourne High School – he played 14 times for MHSOB Juniors – when he caught the attention of St Kilda’s scouts, and although a boyhood South Melbourne fan, he was happy to be recruited by the Saints after kicking 10 goals in the final practice match in 1944.

Bennett joined the army in 1944 but again injured his knee in another footy match and, after he was demobbed started his amateur career playing with Collegians and kicked 45 goals in the 1946 season.
The next season he was invited back to St Kilda and resumed kicking goals just as he had three years earlier.
He was leading A Section goalkicker in 1958 with 74 goals as he again played for Collegians.
An accurate full-forward, Bennett twice kicked eight goals in a match, but had his football career interrupted by war service.
He was St.Kilda’s leading goal kicker in the 1947-48, 1950-51 and 1953 seasons.
Peter died earlier this year aged 85, click here for his obituary.