Mel Whinnen

Allan Melvyn "Mel" Whinnen MBE (born 6 October 1942) is a former Australian rules footballer who played for the West Perth Football Club in the Western Australian National Football League (WANFL) from 1960 to 1977. He also played 14 interstate and carnival games for Western Australia. In total, Whinnen played 371 games for West Perth, a league record, playing in four premiership sides and finishing runner-up in the Sandover Medal on two occasions, as well as winning West Perth's best and fairest award, the Breckler Medal, on a record nine occasions. He was inducted into the West Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

Mel Whinnen
Personal information
Full name Allan Melvyn Whinnen
Nickname(s) Slippery
Date of birth (1942-10-06) 6 October 1942
Place of birth Perth, Western Australia
Original team(s) Perth Boys High School
Position(s) Centre
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1960–77 West Perth 371 (72)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
1963–72 Western Australia 14 (1)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1977.
Career highlights


Educated at North Perth Primary School and Perth Boys High School,[1][2] Whinnen debuted for West Perth in 1960, and was a reserve in the club's 1960 premiership win over East Perth at Subiaco Oval. Playing mainly as a centreman, Whinnen established himself in West Perth's league team, winning the Breckler Medal in 1962 and 1964 as the club's best and fairest.[3] He also finished second in the Sandover Medal in 1964, polling 22 votes to finish one vote behind Barry Cable, the winner. Whinnen made his state debut for Western Australia against the Victorian Football Association (VFA) in 1963.[4] Whinnen won West Perth's best and fairest award in both 1967 and 1968, and again in 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973 and 1975. In total, Whinnen won the Breckler Medal a record nine times between 1962 and 1975.[5]

Whinnen again played in premierships in 1969, 1971 and 1975.[6] In 1975, he was awarded the Simpson Medal as the best on ground in West Perth's premiership defeat of South Fremantle. Whinnen was appointed as captain of West Perth for the 1977 season, and retired at the end of the year.[3] His 371 games is both a West Perth record and a WAFL record for the most games played for any one club.[7]

Honours and awards

Whinnen was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in June 1976, for "services to sport", along with former teammate Bill Dempsey.[8] In October 2000, he was named in the centre in West Perth's Team of the Century.[9] Whinnen was an inaugural inductee of the West Australian Football Hall of Fame in March 2004.[10] One of the entrance gates at Subiaco Oval is named after Whinnen,[11] and a grandstand at Arena Joondalup, West Perth's home ground since 1994, is named the Whinnen–Dempsey Stand in honour of the two players' contribution to the club.[12] Since 1998, the Mel Whinnen Medal has been awarded to the player judged best on ground in the grand final of the WAFL's colts (under-19) competition. Notable winners have included Paul Hasleby, Scott Stevens, Jacob Surjan and Matthew Leuenberger.[13]


  1. Primary School makes the heritage grade Archived 30 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine – Ministerial Media Statements. Fran Logan. Published 1 December 2005. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  2. Premiership players 1931–2008 – Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  3. Mel Whinnen (West Perth) – FullPointsFooty. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  4. State games 1951–2010 – Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  5. West Perth Football Club Medallists – West Perth Football Club (Inc). Retrieved from, 3 February 2012.
  6. Cardies Hang On Archived 25 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine – FullPointsFooty. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  7. History – West Perth Football Club/ Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  8. Supplement to the London Gazette, 12 June 1976London Gazette. Published 12 June 1976. Retrieved from an online source, 3 February 2012.
  9. West Perth Official 'Team of the Century' – FullPointsFooty. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  10. Hall of Fame Inductees – Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  11. Patersons Stadium history Archived 13 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine – Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  12. MEMBERS RESERVED SEATING Archived 21 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine – West Perth Football Club. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  13. Whinnen Medalists Archived 4 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine – Retrieved 3 February 2012.
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