Full Name: JAMES "JIMMY" GRANT DEANE
Date of Birth: 02/01/1928
Date of Death: 13/11/2010
Height: 180 cm ( 5-11 )
Weight: 81 kg ( 12-10 )
Debut: 19/04/1954, Round 1, North Melbourne
Last Game: 20/08/1955, Round 18, St Kilda
Total Games: 33
Total Goals: 17
It could be argued that the Richmond Football Club spent more time and effort and persistence on getting Jim Deane to Richmond than any other player in its history.
By the time he eventually came to Richmond in 1954, Deane was already recognised as one of the champions of South Australian football.
A classy, skilful left-footer, who played half-foward, centre, or rover, he won six Best and Fairests for South Adelaide, two Magarey Medals (runner-up 2nd three times), and was South Adelaide captain for five seasons.
But Deane had aborted starts to his Richmond career.
He had first appeared at Tigerland training in March 1946, on request of either Jack Broadstock (who had played for West Adelaide), or Laurie Cahill (SA player in 1943 premiership) and Richmond supporter Bill Stewart.
Richmond secretary Maurie Fleming signed him after he stepped off the Adelaide train on 18 March 1946 at Spencer Street station, and the club had organised for him to live with Jack Titus in order to fulfil a three-month residential qualification.
It is reported he made the final 25 names at Richmond, but because of homesickness, returned to South Adelaide in April 1946.
He was signed again by Richmond in 1950 on a two year form, and it seems was re-signed again in May 1951, during the interstate football weekend with the club so eager to get his service that officials went over to South Adelaide in September again with rumours circulating they were willing to swap him for their current captain Bill Morris. (Morris would instead become playing-coach of Box Hill).
In late 1951 or early January 1952 it was reported he was offered the position of playing-coach of Richmond (he would have replaced Dyer as coach who wanted to work on his business in South Melbourne and possibly secure a country hotel, and the aforementioned Morris), but South Adelaide refused him a clearance (22/1/1952 MB).
I am anxious to get the job and have been asked by Richmond to make a special approach to the South Adelaide committee for a clearance. - Deane is quoted on 31st Jan, 1952.
News reports suggested the offer was in the vicinity of 1000 pounds, and that South Adelaide had denied his clearance on two occasions in the space of eight weeks. Some officials at South Adelaide felt that the offer of coach was merely a front to get Deane to Tigerland, and that after a few weeks he would have relinquished the position and had Dyer or an experienced coach take over.
Dyer announced he would not leave Richmond unless the club replaced him with an experienced coach, if the Jim Deane deal fell through. It did fall through. South Adelaide refused Deane's clearance yet again on Feb 12, 1952, and Dyer was reappointed coach for 1 last season at the club's AGM two weeks later.
Richmond finished the 1952 season in 9th position, and on 5th November 1952 the club again appointed Deane as captain-coach, subject to South Adelaide's approval. They refused.
Deane had played for Richmond in a night game on Oct 11 against Essendon at the Showgrounds, and despite a bandaged hand, shone in the centre.
So the club rushed out an advertisement in the Sporting Globe for playing, or non-playing coach. Applications were received from Tom Lahiff (Corowa capt-coach), Bill Faul (Prahran coach), George Smeaton, Don Fraser, Fred Fanning (Hamilton coach), Roy Wright. The committee put forward the names of Alby Pannam, Des Rowe, and George Smeaton. Pannam was appointed coach.
Deane saw out the 1953 season as captain of South Adelaide and won the Magarey Medal (though during the season at the Carnival in July Richmond reminded him their offer still stands). He declined South Adelaide's offer to captain for the 1954 season and in a stunning move late December came to Melbourne to live, upon receiving a business offering by Richmond President Harry Dyke, and to fulfil the residential qualification, even though South Adelaide had not allowed a clearance.
At Richmond's AGM on Feb 10, 1954 at the Melbourne Town Hall, President Harry Dyke brought out Jim Deane to the 2,000+ crowd (along with Neil Davies who was runner-up in the Magarey Medal, and John Robson of Tasmania)
Finally, on the March 16, South Adelaide cleared Deane to Richmond. 9 years after he first came to the club to train.
The news was so big, that The Argus ran it on the front page as a 'late news' al
He played the club's first practice match on March 20 1954 and gave a grand exhibition of passing as well as a brilliant display of pacy, purposeful football. Later that week he received a cheque for 111 pounds 6/9 from the South Adelaide supporters. His pre-season form was outstanding and officials and supporters felt it justified the expectations that had been built up over almost 10 years. In April, he suffered severe bruising of the foot during training that initially worried the club.
The League finalised his permit on April 14 1954.
In his debut Senior game, Rd 1 vs Nth Melbourne 1954 he lined up at half-forward and "bewildered (his opponent) with his clever turns", and was one of Richmond's best in the game. In the last quarter Laurie Icke was reported by two umpires for attempting to strike Deane.
Midway in the season he suffered a thigh injury and failed a fitness, missing three games. Upon his return he booted 3 goals in consecutive weeks. Deane finished his first season with Richmond 15 games/ 12 goals and finished 5th in the Best and Fairest.
Post season he was granted permission to play for West Whyalla vs South Broken Hill at Alma Oval. The following day he played for the 'Old Timers' against 'Present Players' at a benefit match at the Jubilee Oval for prominent footballer Ian Sellick who was recovering from a motorcycle accident. In October he played for Richmond in a night game against Port Adelaide at Norwood Oval, where at half time Deane personally introduced new Richmond recruit and fellow South Australian Neil Davies to the other players.
In December he applied for a clearance to Broken Hill, as he had began working in the hotel industry. It was denied by Richmond.
For the 1955 season he played in every home and away match (the club finished sixth), was acting captain in 1 game, and came eighth in the Best and Fairest.
On the eve of the club's trip to Brisbane, Dean's wife gave birth to their first child, and then went back to South Adelaide.
In total Deane spent two years at Richmond, for 33 games and 17 goals. He never played a Reserves game for the club.
He later spent five years with Mytleford where he won the Ovens and Murray Leagues’ Best and Fairest award the “Morris Medal” twice. He later was captain-coach of Port Pirie's premiership in 1965.
After retiring, he commentated with the ABC in Adelaide for 28 years, as well as being involved in the hotel industry.
A fireman with Port Adelaide and Port Pirie Fire Station, he was also an accomplished tennis player. It was whilst he was at Port Pirie that he met and married Colleen. Richmond's champion Roy Wright was his best man.
Deane was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2019.
- by Rhett Bartlett (with assistance from Mike Deane)
Gillies St Primary School ( Honours - Captain South Australian Primary Schools Representative Team 1940 ) ;
South Adelaide Thirds 1943-45 ( Honours - Club B & F 1945, Competition B & F " Tomkins Medal " 1945 ) ;
South Adelaide Seniors 1945-53 ( Honours - Captain/Coach 1951-53, Club B & F 1948-49, 1951, 1953, Margarey Medal 1953)
Non-playing coach S.E.C (Saturday Morning League) 1954
West Wyalla (1954, 1 game)
South Adelaide (1956-57, 153 games, 95 Goals) (Club B & F 1956-57, "Margarey Medal " 1953+ 1957, SA Rep Team incl 1945-53 15 games. 12 goals.
Myrtleford Captain/Coach 1958-62, Games 96, Goals 67 ( Honours - Competition Best & Fairest " Morris Medal " 1958, 1961, League Representative Team Games 2 )
Port Pirie Captain/Coach1963-65, Games 55 ( Honours - Premiership 1965 ) ;
Spencer Gulf League Club - 'Proprietary' coach 1967-68 Games 18 ( Honours - Premiership ).
South Adelaide coach 1970-1971