A hugely successful VAFA Big V Luncheon was held on Friday at the RACV City Club, as Mark Brady and John Griffiths were inducted as Big V Champions, and Joe Kelly a Big V Legend.
Incoming AFL CEO Andrew Dillon was guest speaker, and the 2023 Men’s and Women’s Big V teams were presented with their jumpers in front of the 250 guests in attendance on the eve of Saturday’s return of representative football against the Perth Football League.
Find out more about the three individuals recognised at the sold-out event below:
Big V Champion – John Griffiths
If John Griffith’s wasn’t such a dominant force and size on the ground, he may not have been noticed by his teammates and opposition players. Griffiths played 117 games for Caulfield Grammarians, joining the club the two years after the Fields claimed the clubs inaugural A-Section premiership in 1970. Throughout the decade of the 1970’s Griffiths represented the Big V eight times, winning the best player trophy in 1976, being apart of the All-Australian Amateur team in the same season.
He spent one season at Monash Blues before returning to Caulfield where he would go on to be the clubs captain in the 1980 season.
Big V Champion – Mark Brady
Hailing from Old Scotch and St Kevin’s Old Boys, Brady is a legendary figure. Known for his unrivalled passion and outstanding contributions to the game, making his Big V debut in the Under 19 side in 1989. Brady would be rewarded a further seven times most notably in the 1994 Carnival where he was named a member of the All Amateur Team.
In his final game in the Big V in 1997, he was named the best player on the ground against the VCFL. As a Big V Champion, his skill, determination, and sportsmanship were a feature of his football during the 90’s.
Brady may be the only player in the VAFA to have played representative football in each year he was a registered member of the competition.
Big V Legend – Joe Kelly
At the start of the 1950 season, the VAFA appointed Kelly as the Big V Coach. It turned out to be an inspired decision. He coached the Big V from 1950-57, his teams winning 15 out of 16 games with the only loss by 3 points to SAAFL. Perhaps his greatest coaching triumph was coaching the Amateurs to a 26 point win in the Olympic Exhibition Match against a combined team of amateur players drawn from the VFL/VFA.
Whilst State Coach, Joe also coached Uni Blues in 1954 and Ormond in 1955 & 1956.