Ted Tyson

Edward Arthur "Ted" Tyson (4 February 1910 – 5 February 1996) was an Australian rules footballer who played with West Perth in the Western Australian National Football League (WANFL). Ranking behind only Austin Robertson, Jr., Tyson is the second-greatest goalkicker in the various incarnations of what is now the WAFL, having kicked 1,197 goals in his 228-game career.

Ted Tyson
Personal information
Full name Edward Arthur Tyson
Date of birth 4 February 1910
Place of birth Kalgoorlie, Western Australia[1]
Date of death 5 February 1996(1996-02-05) (aged 86)
Place of death Hamersley, Western Australia[2]
Original team(s) Cunderdin
Position(s) Full Forward
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1930–1941, 1945 West Perth 228 (1197)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1945.
Source: AustralianFootball.com

Tyson came from a leading Western Australian footballing family; his uncle Charlie Tyson played for Collingwood and North Melbourne Football Clubs in the Victorian Football League (VFL), while his grandfather, father and four other uncles also played football to a high standard.[3] He debuted for the Cardinals in 1930 and kicked over fifty goals despite the club winning only six and drawing one of its eighteen games. The following year, Tyson established a permanent position at full forward and kicked eighty-one goals, which at the time was the fifth-highest total in league history.[4] 1932 saw Tyson move further with ninety-six goals, equalling Sol Lawn's record from three seasons beforehand. To cap it off, Tyson produced an outstanding display with eight goals in the Grand Final, a record for a WANFL Grand Final not beaten until Eric Gorman in 1963.

The following season, Tyson made four appearances for Western Australia in interstate football, all at the 1933 Sydney Carnival, where he kicked thirteen goals.[5] However, the emergence of East Fremantle’s George Doig put paid to Tyson's ambitions for regular interstate representation. Doig's 152 goals in 1934 saw him take over the full-forward position for the state team until the pair were forced into virtual retirement by World War II. Between 1933 and 1937, although Tyson kicked over 100 goals four times, Doig invariably beat him for the league's leading goal-kicker award and the full forward position in the State's team. Nonetheless, Tyson played in two further Cardinal premiership teams in 1934 and 1935, and in 1938 managed to head the WANFL goalkicking with 126 goals, a figure made more remarkable because the once-powerful Cardinals had fallen to clear last on the ladder with only three wins.[6] In the last match of that season Tyson kicked 17.5 of a team total of 18.7 against Swan Districts, which is the most goals for a losing side in senior Australian Rules football.[7]

The 1939 season was even worse for the Cardinals, who had lost twenty-seven successive matches before their only win late in the season, in which Tyson kicked his thousandth goal during the final quarter.[8] Tyson was presented with the ball with which he kicked this thousandth goal, and a subscription fund was opened for him following this accomplishment, which ultimately reached about 80 (about $5,000 in today's terms).[9] Ironically, the very following match saw Tyson goalless for one of only three times during his 228-game career,[10] but when 1939 closed he was second in the goalkicking behind Perth’s Bert Gook.

With the Cardinals improving phenomenally during 1940, Tyson kicked sixty goals before appendicitis ended his season.[11] He planned to retire after an operation[12] before being coaxed into playing again, a move which West Perth cannot have regretted since in 1941 he again kicked a century of goals and capped it off with six in a superb Grand Final win over East Fremantle, becoming one of five players to play in four Cardinal premiership teams.[13] He formed a superb combination with Bill Baker in that match, and after the under-age competition of 1942 to 1944 ended, made another brief comeback during 1945.

Tyson married a grand-daughter of Wally Watts, a former Midland Junction player, and was also a brother-in-law of Laurie Bandy, who played cricket for Western Australia.[14] He died in February 1996, aged 86, in Hamersley, a northern suburb of Perth.[2] In 2004, Tyson was one of the inaugural inductees in the West Australian Football Hall of Fame. He was also named the full-forward in West Perth’s official “Team of the Century”.[5]


  1. "WW2 Nominal Roll". Government of Australia.
  2. EDWARD ARTHUR TYSON – Metropolitan Cemeteries Board. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  3. Atkinson, Brian; West Perth Football Club 1885-1985; p. 130.
  4. Atkinson; p. 47. Published 1985 by Acton Press
  5. Devaney, John; Full Points Footy’s WA Football Companion; p. 312. ISBN 9780955689710
  6. "Australian Football: WANFL season 1938". australianfootball.com. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013.
  7. Atkinson, Graeme and Hanlon, Michael; 3AW Book of Footy Records: All the Great Players, Matches, Goals, Kicks, Brawls and Sensations from More Than 100 Years of Aussie Rules in Australia; p. 138. ISBN 1863210091
  8. “LEAGUE FOOTBALL: East Fremantle’s Pace. SWAN DISTRICTS‘ SUCCESS. Tyson Kicks 1,000th Goal”; in The West Australian, 14 August 1939, p. 18
  9. “Harry Potter’s Football”; The Daily News, 29 August 1939, p. 10
  10. Atkinson and Hanlon; 3AW Book of Footy Records; p. 147
  11. Atkinson, p. 71
  12. “Tyson Retires”; in The Daily News, 14 March 1941, p. 17
  13. "History: West Perth Football Club". falconsfc.com.au.
  14. "Cricket Loses Great Stalwart"The Sunday Times. Published 14 July 1946. Retrieved from Trove, 27 May 2014.


  • Atkinson, G. (1982) Everything you ever wanted to know about Australian rules football but couldn’t be bothered asking, The Five Mile Press: Melbourne. ISBN 0 86788 009 0.
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