Gordon Rattray

Gordon Kitchener Rattray (19 October 1898 – 10 December 1964) was an Australian rules footballer who played with and coached Fitzroy in the Victorian Football League (VFL). He was the first VFL player to use the torpedo punt.[1]

Gordon Rattray
Rattray in 1922
Personal information
Full name Gordon Kitchener Rattray
Date of birth 19 October 1898
Place of birth Shepparton, Victoria
Date of death 10 December 1964(1964-12-10) (aged 66)
Place of death Sandringham, Victoria
Original team(s) Wesley College
Height 180 cm (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 76 kg (168 lb)
Position(s) Half-forward flank
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1917–1924, 1928 Fitzroy 87 (65)
Coaching career
Years Club Games (W–L–D)
1924 Melbourne 16 0(4–12–0)
1928, 1937–1939 Fitzroy 72 (25–46–1)
Total 88 (29–58–1)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1928.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com


The son of Bruce Rattray (1860–1932),[2] and Laura Rattray, née Barratt,[3] Gordon Kitchener Rattray was born at Shepparton on 19 October 1898.

He married Janet Elizabeth Wharton on 29 June 1922. They were divorced in 1938.[4] He married Sylvia Catherine Burnet (1904–1980) in 1939.


He was educated at Wesley College.

Military service

He enlisted in the First AIF on 21 April 1917; and, as he was only 18 years and 6 months of age (i.e., under 21), his parents gave formal permission to him enlisting and serving overseas.[5] He served in France, returned to Australia on 2 January 1919, and was discharged on 2 March 1919.


Fitzroy (VFL)

A half forward flanker, Rattray debuted for Fitzroy in 1917 but his progress was stalled when he missed the following season due to military service. Rattray came back to the club in 1919 and won their best and fairest trophy. He won it again in 1921 and was a premiership player in 1922. In 1923 he became club captain and led them to the Grand Final which they lost to Essendon.

Melbourne (VFL)

In 1924, he was appointed as the playing coach of the Melbourne Football Club. He was, however, still residentially tied to Fitzroy and, therefore, ineligible to play for Melbourne. He served the entire season as Melbourne's non-playing coach.[6]

Fitzroy (VFL)

Melbourne failed to make the Finals in 1924; and, consequently, Rattray was able to returned to Fitzroy as a player — playing in one Finals match, the second of the club's Round Robin Semi-Final matches, against Richmond on 20 September 1924.

Brighton (VFA)

He left Fitzroy after the 1924 season and, having been originally chosen to be the playing coach of North Melbourne in its inaugural VFL season,[7] he was granted a clearance to serve as the captain coach of Brighton in the Victorian Football Association (VFA).[8]

He played 53 games and kicked 39 goals in his three years at Brighton (1925–1927); and, under his coaching Brighton played in both the 1926 Grand Final, with Rattray at centre half-back, and the 1927 VFA Grand Final, with Rattray at centre half-forward. On both occasions, Brighton lost the Grand Finals to Coburg.

Fitzroy (VFL)

In 1928 he returned to Fitzroy and played what would be his final season, as captain-coach.

VFL Representative player

During his career he represented Victoria at interstate football five times.


He died at his home in Sandringham, Victoria on 10 December 1964.[9]



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