Class of 1973
Peter Spencer spent seven years at Aquinas College before embarking on a stellar award-winning career on the football field in Victoria and WA.
Incredibly officially at least, football was his second sport. He departed the College with the captaincy of the Cricket team and as vice-captain of football. Peter was head of Edmund House, and won the College’s Best and Fairest Football player twice in three years. He played in the 1st XVIII in 1971, 1972 and ‘73. In his leaving Annual he is recognised by the other schools as: “probably the most brilliant footballer in the PSA. His technique in all facets of the game is very good. He trains with verve and dedication. He was the backbone of our side and seems set for a distinguished league career.”
So it was to be, Peter was spotted by East Perth Football Club on the fields of Aquinas and invited to join straight out of school under the “Father-Son Rule”. In fact Peter followed in his father Jim’s footsteps to the letter playing the exact same number of professional games throughout his career, 185. His mother was the Assistant Librarian at Aquinas.
With the money that secured him his position he bought his first car, a Holden HR, and drove it proudly to his first day of professional football in East Perth. Six years later he was poached by North Melbourne and moved his new family east to take up this position. Peter had a belter of a year in 1981 playing for the Kangaroos in 19 games and kicking 26 goals, the third most. Sadly, due to injury he only played five the following year.
On returning to Perth in ‘83 with his family extended by the arrival of a second son, he played two seasons with East Perth before moving to Subiaco in 1985. He moved on to Claremont for two games and sadly was concussed in the last few minutes of the second game. On the advice of a neurosurgeon, Peter decided that his next year would be his last of active professional play and retired from the team he started out with, East Perth, in 1987. He was named as half-forward flank in East Perth’s “Team of the Century” 1945-2005.
A career that included the Sandover twice and the F.D Book Medal three times didn’t stop there and Peter made the jump to on-air commentating for the ABC and a serious sideline in coaching the next generation at Aquinas College. Murray Ward (’54), one of the most memorable of Aquinas sports alumni, was a huge influence on Peter. He’d taught him as a boy and now coached him as a coach.
Peter’s unstoppable path has been a road of many twists and turns and he reflects: “It’s not always a straight road. Knowing that and understanding the importance of friendship and being there for each other” are the two things that Aquinas College gave him that he will never forget. He was inducted into the West Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2007.