Bill Morris (Australian Rules Footballer)

William "Bill" Morris (24 February 1922 – May 1960) was an Australian rules footballer who played for Richmond in the Victorian Football League (VFL), mostly during the 1940s. He played much of his football beside Jack Dyer as a knock ruckman.

Morris started his career with the Melbourne reserve team but before he could make an impression he decided to join the army. He returned to football in 1942 and was traded to Richmond and made his senior debut that year. In 1945 he won the first of his three Best and Fairest awards, the others coming in 1948 and 1950.

Morris won the Brownlow Medalist in 1948, joining Stan Judkins as the only Richmond player to win the Medal at that time. He polled well in other Brownlow Medal nights, finishing equal second in 1946 and equal third in 1950. He was a regular Victorian interstate representative, playing a total of 15 games and captaining the state in 1950. He was also captain of Richmond, leading the club in 1950 and 1951.

At the end of the 1951 season Morris left Richmond and joined VFA Club Box Hill as captain-coach. He captain-coached Box Hill from 1952 to 1954, winning the Club's Best and Fairest each season. He played 58 games for Box Hill and scored 101 goals.

Morris's story is perhaps the most tragic of all Brownlow Medallists; in 1960 he committed suicide at the age of 38.

In 2002 Morris was inducted into the Richmond Hall of Fame and he is also a member of their official 'Team of the Century', being named in the forward pocket. He is also a member of Box Hill's official 'Greatest Ever Team' as announced in 2000, selected as first ruck.

On 1 June 2009, Morris was inducted to the AFL Hall of Fame.

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