Vale Dr Allen Aylett OBE
Esteemed Member of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame
24/4/1934 – 16/09/2022
Dr Aylett’s involvement with Australian football at the elite level spanned more than 50 years, throughout which time much changed thanks largely to his vision for the future of the game.
His elevation from the colts to the senior side of the VFL’s North Melbourne, while still a schoolboy, saw the start of what was to become a much heralded and successful playing career. He kicked 313 goals in 200 games for the Roos and was awarded the Syd Barker medal in 1958, 1959, and 1960, captained the club between 1961 and 1964, and represented Victoria 18 times. Aylett was also the first Victorian to win the coveted Tassie Medal as the best player in the triennial state championships.
In 1977 Aylett, aged 42, was elected by his peers at rival clubs to head the Victorian Football League. In his eight years as VFL president, Aylett lead a team that transformed the game and laid the foundations for what we now know as the Australian Football League.
These eight years saw many changes and lots of action, including hosting royalty and government dignitaries, icons and celebrities from around the world, heated battles with the government at the time and tussles with the Melbourne Cricket Club, the competition became truly national when South Melbourne moved to Sydney to become the Sydney Swans, Friday night football was introduced as well as Sunday games and live grand final telecasts, and the foundation of a sport’s marketing empire and self governed league, the AFL.
Sport Australia Hall of Fame Chair John Bertrand AO said, “Allen Aylett was the epitome of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame’s vision – he conducted himself with dignity, with integrity, courage and most of all, modesty.
Allen’s passion for Australian Football knew no bounds. This was evident as his commitment to the sport at elite level spans 50 years. A pioneering administrator for both the Kangaroos and the VFL – he is the key to Australian Football and where it is today.
Our thoughts are with Allen’s wife Marj and children Tony, Rick, Julie and Sam and the entire Football community.”
Read Allen Aylett’s full biography here.
Image: AFL Photos