Wilbur (Bill) Mohr
Category: Sporting Hall of Fame
Sport: Australian Rules football
Year Inducted: 1998
"Bill Mohr is six feet of virile youth, gifted with a mighty spring for the ball and a safe pair of hands." Referee, 17 September 1930
Wilbur 'Bill' Mohr, nicknamed 'Wagga', was born on 29 June 1909 in Wagga Wagga. He attended the Wagga Demonstration School and Wagga Wagga High School. He and his brother Jack played with the local Australian Rules team known as the Federals (the predecessors of the Wagga Tigers), where their father was club president.
The Mohr's of Wagga Wagga loved their footy and the St. Kilda Football Club. Both Bill and Jack were recruited from Wagga Wagga by St. Kilda. The brothers were initially approached the play for Carlton, but were relieved when their beloved Saints made them an offer. Injury stymied Jack's career after only a few games but Bill went on to become one of the greatest full forwards of the game.
Bill had an illustrious career with St. Kilda from 1929 – 1941. Along the way he represented Victoria on eighteen occasions between 1930 and 1937. He was arguably the greatest forward until Tony Lockett, who broke Bill's long standing record as St. Kilda's highest goal scorer.
His achievements include Best first year player 1929, Best and Fairest 1932 and 1936, VFL leading goal kicker 1936 and was St. Kilda Football Club's leading goal kicker every year from 1929 to 1940. Bill possessed an ability to kick straight from any angle, and was one of the best exponents of the drop kick. Appointed vice captain of St. Kilda in 1928, and named captain in 1937.
Bill kicked a total of 736 goals over 195 games during his time with St. Kilda, wearing his number 10 jersey. He was the first Saint to kick 100 goals in a season, when he booted 101 in 1936. One of Bill's rituals before each game was to meet a young boy at the front gate of the ground and pay him 3 pence to carry his bag to the dressing room. His advice to others was to always show good sportsmanship.
It was announced that at the start of his final season (1941), he would play in the defence position. But in May that year, after having played just one game that season, Bill announced his retirement, saying that he felt he could not reach form and that it was time to make way for a younger player.
Bill Mohr was one of the first players inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame (in 1996). Today in 2016, his relatives still call Wagga Wagga home, and still follow the footy and St. Kilda.
Bill passed away in 1971, aged sixty-one.