Bruce Doull Retired Australian Rules Football Player
Bruce Doull was popularly known as the ‘Flying Doormat’.
Bruce Doull is one of the very few Australian Rules players who have played in more than 300 games in VFL/AFL.
Bruce Doull was born on September 11, 1950 in Victoria’s Geelong. Recruited from Jacana, Bruce Doull started playing Australian Rules as a halfback flanker when he was only 19 years old. He played for Carlton Blues from Carlton Football Club.
His club considered him as a dependable kick and safe mark footballer who barely made any mistakes. As a person, Bruce Doull was extremely shy and avoided cameras. He was very reserved and avoided interviews. ‘The Australian’ nominated Bruce Doull in 2009 as one of those 25 greatest players who failed to win the Brownlow Medal even once.
1969-1986: Carlton Blues
Bruce Doull had a long-playing career. He started playing in year 1969 when he was only 19 years old and continued to play until 1986.
Over the years, he earned himself the nickname ‘Flying Doormat’, thanks to his extreme comb-over hairstyle with long portions that remained constantly disarranged. His debut was against South Melbourne on March 5, 1969.
He played in the Grand Finals of season 1973 and 1986 but Carlton Blues lost both the games. Throughout his career, he played as a halfback flanker in 356 games but scored only 22 goals. His record of 356 games was eventually broken by Craig Bradley.
However, he is still the record holder for playing most consecutive matches for Carlton Blues. Bruce Doull played 162 consecutive matches between the seasons 1971-1978.
Bruce Doull’s Headband
Bruce Doull was known for his greying beard as well as his white and navy blue headband. Both of them together became his trademark and Bruce Doull used his headband to keep his thinning long hair in place. Bruce Doull was never engaged in any kind of foul play. He was determined not to play the man but the ball.
This was one of the rarest things because he played in an era that was known for occasional brutal clashes between competing team members.
There was only one instance when Bruce Doull actually lost his temper and was engaged in a fight with opponent team member Cameron Clayton.
The incident happened late in his career when Clayton from Essendon Club actually snatched off his aging headband and threw it directly among the spectators during the game.
Bruce Doull was so enraged by the event that he threw Clayton to ground and started a fight. Bruce Doull’s team members had to drag his away to stop the fight.
The Streaker Harassment
Bruce Doull was being harassed by streaker named Helen D’Amico during the Grand Final of season 1982 between Carlton Blues and Richmond. D’Amico wore a Carlton scarf to tease Bruce Doull.
However 25 years later, D’Amico and Bruce Doull posed together for a photo clarifying the disagreements between them were settled.
Recreation of Memorable Moments
The streaker harassment incident and Bruce Doull’s fight with Clayton were recreated in the Toyota Memorable Moments advertisement in the recent years. D’Amico actually appeared at the end of the harassment incident recreation.
The moments were captured in a painting by Jamie Cooper named ‘Game That Made Australia’. AFL actually commissioned the painting in 2008 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the game.
Awards And Achievements
Bruce Doull had a great playing career marked with several awards and achievements. Yes, he did not really score too many goals but the role he played for his team will be remembered through ages. Here are some of the Bruce Doull’s awards and achievements:
• 1979 – Played for All-Australian.
• 1974, 1977, 1980 and 1984 – Won the Carlton Best and Fairest.
• 1972, 1979, 1981 and 1982 – Played for Carlton Premiership Sides.
• He was a member of the Carlton Team of the Century for the position Half-Back Flank.
• He was a member of the AFL Team of the Century for the same Half-Back Flank position.
• 1981 – He won the Norm Smith Medal.
Bruce Doull is currently working in Melbourne’s northern suburbs as a postie for the Australia Post.