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NorthPort
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From end to end, Borough salutes goalkicking greats Cook and Bonnett

From the Port Phillip Leader.
Reported by Paul Amy
Full article - Click here

THEY were different players and different men.

For all his success in the old VFA, Bob Bonnett remained a humble and gracious figure, as grounded as the Norm L Goss grandstand at North Port Oval.

He’s lived 76 of his 81 years in Port Melbourne.

Fred Cook was charismatic and colourful, and his life plunged out of control after his football career, a drug addiction and pretty crime inevitably lead him to prison.

What they had in common was seasons of spectacular service for Port Melbourne and a gift for kicking goals: between them they put through 2171 for the Borough.

Next month, Port Melbourne will name the ends of the North Port Oval after its champion spearheads and two of the players who featured in its team of the century, Bonnett in a forward pocket and Cook, 66, at full forward.

Cook — “Fabulous Fred’’ to his many adoring supporters — kicked 1238 goals from a club-record 258 matches between 1971-84.

He topped the century seven times and led the association count on five occasions.

All this from a player who was an unreliable kick.

Tall, strong and surprisingly speedy, he compensated by playing close to the goals and taking mark after mark.

All his teammates said it: you wouldn’t see better hands on a footballer.

When the ball went into them, it never came out.

In the 1970s, as Sunday television coverage lifted the VFA’s popularity to heights it hadn’t known, his public profile exceeded those of many league footballers.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/central/from-end-to-end-borough-salut...

billythekid
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Having seen both players many times I rate Fred Cook as the way better player.

Both played for the VFA and Cook did pretty well but Bonnett when he played on the best fullbacks in the Game in these matches would struggle to kick a couple of goals.

Both of course had the luxury of playing in very strong Port teams.
Fred first played for Yarravile when he crossed from Footscray but they ended up last that season and were relegated to Div 2 Cook also won the Liston trophy the year.

Fred was one of the best players along with Max Papley I have seen in my 60 + years of following VFA footy At Sandy Denis Oakley would also be up there with these two with Bruce Harper not far behind.

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MegaA
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Pretty impressive achievement to be regarded as the best player in the league in a season that his team finished bottom placed. I once heard one of my coaches say - its easy to play well in a good team and difficult to shine in a struggling side.

37 times Grand finalists
16 times premiers
21 times runners up - THE MIGHTY BOROUGH!

I'M PORT MELBURNE BORN,
I'M PORT MELBOURNE BRED,
I'LL BE PORT UNTIL I'M DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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MegaA
Last seen: 1 day 15 hours ago
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Pretty impressive achievement to be regarded as the best player in the league in a season that his team finished bottom placed. I once heard one of my coaches say - its easy to play well in a good team and difficult to shine in a struggling side.

37 times Grand finalists
16 times premiers
21 times runners up - THE MIGHTY BOROUGH!

I'M PORT MELBURNE BORN,
I'M PORT MELBOURNE BRED,
I'LL BE PORT UNTIL I'M DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

billythekid
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Posts: 2407

When Yarravile played the Zebras at Beach road Oval it was like Cook verses the rest he took something like 20 marks at CHB where he was play then
Sandy won by a huge amount as the Eagles were hopeless but Fred stood out like a beacon.

Ive no doubt had he stayed at Footscray he would have been a VFL star.

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bobbyborough
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I saw both play but at the end of Bob Bonnett's career but saw Fred Cook's career pan out. Cokie may have been a better Full Forward but Bob Bonnett was not a tall man so to me he is Port Melbpourne' second best full forward to play at the club so ideal to name each end after these great full forwards.

billythekid
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Ted Fryer has to be up there as well. I dont think Bonnett or Cook ever kicked 12 goals in a GF.

In 1938, Freyer transferred Port Melbourne in the VFA without a clearance, at the start of the VFA's throw-pass era. He was a prolific goalkicker at Port Melbourne, and in 84 games managed 464 goals.

In 1940, Freyer kicked 157 goals for Port, including 12 goals in the second semi-final and the Grand Final, to lead the VFA goalkicking for the season.

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cobrascorer
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