Melbourne Sculptures | Sporting HeroesMelbourne has long had an infatuation with Australian sporting culture, and it's a passion that's mirrored throughout our city by the statues and sculptures of our many sporting greats.. some of whom were harder than the stone and bronze that defines them to this day.
Here are just some of the statues you'll find that honour our sporting legends, and the stories behind them that inspired many others, earning their place in history, our streets, and also that most sporting of all muscles.. our hearts!
Sculptures of Sporting Heroes
Jack Dyer [weblink]
by Mitch Mitchell, 2003
Located at Richmond Headquarters on Punt Road
- Jack Dyer, whose actual name was John Raymond Dyer senior (1913 to 2003) was one of football's most iconic figures and Richmond's greatest player and former Coach. Known for his ruthless skills on the playing field, his personality proved nothing but warm when he became the face of football, commentating matches after television's introduction in 1956.
by Louis Laumen, 1999
Located at the MCG
(Private Commission on loan to the MCG)
- Victor Thomas Trumper (1877 to 1915) was a famed Australian cricket batsman, whose most remarkable season was with the Australian team in England in 1902, one of the wettest summers on record. Trumper scored 2,570 runs in 53 innings, and all without a single not out.
Ironically, his addition to the team caused some controversy, having been left out of representative cricket for two years due to a lacklustre performance. M. A. Noble, however, was confident of Trumper's abilitites and his suspicions were proved right as Trumper quickly established himself as one of Cricket's greatest batsmen.
The Birth of Australian Rules
by Louis Laumen, 2001
Located at the MCG
- This sculpture, also known as 'Birth of the Game' and 'The Birth of AFL', commemorates the first recorded Australian Rules match that was held between Melbourne Grammar and Scotch College in 1858.
by John Robinson, 1974
Located at Queen Victoria Gardens
- Unveiled in 1974 by Lord Mayor Cr Whalley, John Robinson's bronze sculpture displays a Hammer Thrower, capturing the energy of the event with great detail in the strained physique of the Olympic athlete.
Among Melbourne's many pass times that have come and gone was the fine art of what was known as Stealing the Hammer where people would steal the hammer from the statue, taking the rod from the grasp of the statue's figure. A prank that was taken too far, the recurring theft became such a problem that the hammer is now removed from the statue each evening and replaced in the morning.
by Peter Corlett, 1988
Located at Flemington Race Course
- The statue of racing history's most iconic horse, Phar Lap, was commissioned by the Victoria Racing Club to honour the legendary racehorse and also to celebrate Australia's bicentenary in 1988.
Phar Lap became the most well known racehorse in Australia after gaining thirty-seven wins during his time on the track, including the illustrious Melbourne Cup in 1930. With his career finally taking the horse to America for the Agua Caliente race in 1931, Phar Lap's death soon after the event has inspired much debate about whether his death was due to an act of poisoning, either deliberate or accidental.
Along with his legendary performance within horseracing, the mystery surrounding his death has seen him become an enduring figure of Australian folklore and sporting history.
Corlett's sculpture of Phar Lap is actually ten per cent larger than the stuffed life size body of Phar Lap, which has become one of Melbourne Museum's most popular exhibits.
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