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United by Purple

Reflecting on ‘the Wiz’ and how Ross Lyon could have ended up playing for Freo

Friday Flashback: The Wiz A Friday Flashback to Jeff Farmer's day against Melbourne as he seals an after the siren win against his old team

The latest episode of Fremantle’s preview podcast, the Purple Patch, sees Duck and Oz take a deep dive into some of Freo’s treasured history, as they take on Melbourne on Saturday at the MCG.

As part of their ‘dual citizens’ segment, the boys took the opportunity to reflect on the freakish talents of former Fremantle and Melbourne player, Jeff ‘the Wiz’ Farmer.

Farmer earned his ‘dual citizen’ status after playing 118 games for Melbourne and 131 games for Freo, tallying 483 career goals.

“The Wiz was known for his flamboyance and his eye for goal,” Duck said.

“He had the arrogance and the bravado and the flashiness.

“You would pay your price of admission just to watch him play.”

Hailing from Tambellup in regional WA, some of Farmer’s accolades include an All Australian nod in 2000, a rising star nomination in 1996 and goal of the year in 1998.

“He got drafted from Tambellup where he was playing league there as a 16 or 17-year-old,” Duck, a fellow former Tambellup local, said.

“That 1998 year where he got goal of the year and took a mark on Garry Lyon’s head were things he was doing back in the Tambellup days.

“We’ve got a poster of that mark at home and I’d go as far as to say 90 per cent of people in Tambellup have that poster in their house!”

Duck also credits Farmer for his choice to stay a Fremantle fan during some tough years in the early 2000s.

“When he came to the Dockers in 2002, I was on the borderline as a Dockers fan,” Duck said.

“But with Farmer, I thought ‘I’m in forever, I’m locked in to Freo.

Duck and Oz also dipped into the archives to the first time Fremantle and Melbourne met back in 1995.

“In that game, promising young forward Chris Groom kicked three goals,” Oz said.

“He’s actually from Adelaide and we swapped him for Andrew McLeod!

“That trade didn’t go too well, Groom was delisted at the end of 1995, so he didn’t last too long.”

Looking further into the 1995 draft year, Duck and Oz realised the possibilities of a young Ross Lyon running around in purple back in Freo’s inaugural season.

“But it gets better,” said Oz.

“In the 1995 pre-season draft we picked up Greg Maddigan from the Hawks with pick two.

“But available at pick six was a young man by the name of Ross Lyon, who was picked up by the Brisbane Bears from Fitzroy.

“Imagine if we had Ross Lyon playing for us!”

Stay tuned to fremantlefc.com.au each Thursday for the latest episode of The Purple Patch and be sure to check out their latest episode of the Purple Reign Podcast here.

LISTEN: The club's latest episode of Bleeding Purple featuring inaugural Captain Ben Allan discusses the reason why Allan chose to return to WA to represent Freo.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs