Paul Couch

Paul Couch (19 July 1964 – 5 March 2016) was an Australian rules footballer who played for Geelong in the Australian Football League.

Paul Couch
Personal information
Full name Paul Edward Couch[1]
Date of birth (1964-07-19)19 July 1964
Place of birth Warrnambool, Victoria
Date of death 5 March 2016(2016-03-05) (aged 51)
Place of death Apollo Bay, Victoria
Original team(s) Warrnambool
Debut Round 5, 1985, Geelong
vs. North Melbourne, at Kardinia Park
Height 180 cm (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 82 kg (181 lb)
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1985–1997 Geelong 259 (203)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
1989–1995 Victoria 5 (?)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1997.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Football career

Prior to playing with Geelong, Couch initially tried out with Fitzroy but was rejected for being too slow.

He was recruited from the Warrnambool Football Club and, though never blessed with pace and with a very "one-sided" left-foot kick,[2] he had the ability to make position and place his team to advantage throughout twelve (often knee injury–ridden) years.

As a traditional "centreman", Couch was the pivot for the leading teams of 1989–1995 (although Geelong failed to win a premiership during that time).

While lacking outright pace, he had a strong work ethic, along with a good football brain and disposal skills, and was well-regarded as a centreman. Couch played 259 games and kicked 203 goals for Geelong from 1985 to 1997 and won the Brownlow Medal in 1989. Couch was known for his broad toothy smile. He formed a strong partnership in the midfield with good friend Mark Bairstow. Together, they both serviced tenured forwards Gary Ablett and Billy Brownless with pinpoint passes. Couch represented Victoria five times, was named All-Australian two times (1991, 1995) and won three club best and fairest awards (1986, 1989, 1995), as well as being named in Geelong's Team of the Century.

Family

Couch's son Tom Couch played three games for the Melbourne Football Club before being delisted in 2013. He is currently signed to Collingwood's VFL.[3] Couch's nephew, Nick Couch, plays for the North Ballarat Football Club in the Victorian Football League (VFL). His father, Bill Couch, played in the Hampden Football League for the Warrnambool Football Club, winning the club's best and fairest twice and playing in four premierships. Couch's two brothers, Bill and Peter, also played for Warrnambool.[4]

Death

Couch died on 5 March 2016, he was cycling with friends near Apollo Bay, Victoria, when he came off his bike, it was reported he had a heart attack[5]

Playing statistics

Brownlow Medal votes
Season Votes
1985
1986 8
1987 6
1988 10
1989 22
1990 3
1991 11
1992 6
1993 2
1994 9
1995 16
1996 6
1997
Total 99
Key:
Green / Bold = Won
[6]
Legend
 G  Goals  B  Behinds  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  D  Disposals  M  Marks  T  Tackles
Led the league after season and finals
Season Team No. Games G B K H D M T G B K H D M T
Totals Averages (per game)
1985 Geelong 717152320210730960N/A0.91.411.96.318.23.5N/A
1986 Geelong 718121024714339080N/A0.70.613.77.921.74.4N/A
1987 Geelong 719141429211841078320.70.715.46.221.64.11.7
1988 Geelong 717151326217443667270.90.815.410.225.63.91.6
1989 Geelong 726231941528570082560.90.716.011.026.93.22.2
1990 Geelong 720131628622250863350.70.814.311.125.43.21.8
1991 Geelong 724211737426263673440.90.715.610.926.53.01.8
1992 Geelong 723261429320149482431.10.612.78.721.53.61.9
1993 Geelong 720141026017943938320.70.513.09.022.01.91.6
1994 Geelong 724292332722955664531.21.013.69.523.22.72.2
1995 Geelong 725131240122162257480.50.516.08.824.92.31.9
1996 Geelong 72151033013446472350.20.515.76.422.13.41.7
1997 Geelong 7530492978860.60.09.85.815.61.61.2
Career 259 203 181 3738 2304 6042 824 411 0.8 0.7 14.4 8.9 23.3 3.2 1.8

Honours and achievements

References

  1. "Tributes: Paul Couch". Geelong Advertiser. 9 March 2016.
  2. Mithen, Anthony (9 August 1996). "Couch keeps 'choofin' on', and on, and on". The Age.
  3. Homfray, Reece. "Couch goes from suburban footy to AFL". AdelaideNow. News Limited. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  4. "Australian Football 150 years, Hampden Football League, Warrnambool" (PDF).
  5. Minear, Tom (5 March 2016). "Paul Couch dies: Geelong Brownlow medallist suffers fatal heart attack". Herald Sun.
  6. Paul Couch's player profile at AFL Tables
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