Denis Ryan (footballer)

Denis "Dinny" Ryan (10 July 1916 – 22 April 1980[1]) was an Australian rules footballer who played for Fitzroy in Victorian Football League (VFL) during the 1930s.

Denis 'Dinny' Ryan
Personal information
Date of birth 10 July 1916
Date of death 22 April 1980(1980-04-22) (aged 63)
Original team(s) Albury Rovers Football Club
Height 187 cm (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 83 kg (183 lb)
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1935–1939 Fitzroy 70 (65)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1939.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables,

Denis originally played with the Albury Rovers Football Club and kicked three goals in their 1933 premiership win over Henty Football Club in the Albury and District Football Association. [2]

Denis won the 1934 - Albury and District Football Association's best and fairest award, the Stanley Medal, playing for the Albury Rovers Football Club, before heading down to Melbourne to play with Fitzroy. [3]

Ryan debuted in the VFL in 1935 aged just 18 and started his career at centre half forward, topping Fitzroy's goalkicking in his debut season with 46 goals. He was moved to centre half back the following season as a result of his wayward kicking for goal and won the 1936 Brownlow Medal, making it the fifth Brownlow in the previous six years to have gone to a Fitzroy player.

In 1939 after injuring his knee, Ryan joined the army and fought in World War II, as one of the "Rats of Tobruk" getting wounded at Tobruk, Libya and later served 18 months on the front line in New Guinea. [4] , but he did serve four continuous years in the Army! [5]

He never played VFL football after the end of World War Two.

In 1947, Denis was appointed playing coach of the Howlong Football Club in the Chiltern & District Football League. [6]


  1. Donald, Chris (2002). Fitzroy: For The Love Of The Jumper. Pan Macmillan Australia. ISBN 978-1-877029-18-9.
  2. "1933 - Albury DFA - Grand Final review". Trove Newspapers. Albury Banner and Wodonga Express Newspaper.
  3. "1934 - Albury & DFA - Stanley Medal". Trove Newspapers. / Albury Banner and Wodonga Express Newspaper.
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 July 2009. Retrieved 3 May 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. "1944 - Fitzroy players on service are much travelled". Trove Newspapers. The Australasian Newspaper.
  6. "1947 - Howlong Football Club coach". Trove Newspapers. The Herald newspaper.

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