In 1964 Peter Bedford completed his school examinations in Dallas Brooks Hall – the same venue in which he was awarded the coveted Brownlow Medal six years later.
Almost 50 years on, and with the assistance of his late wife Lynne’s grandson Nate Anderson, 'Wheels' today cut the ribbon to formally open the Peter Bedford Centre - a newly-built sporting facility at Parade’s Bundoora campus.
“I’m totally overwhelmed,” Peter told the audience, which included the Acting Principal of Parade Andy Kuppe, teachers and staff, and members of Peter’s family - amongst them his older brother Brian, an Old Paradian of the class of 1953.
“It’s an incredible honour, to be recognised in this way by my old school. I am truly indebted to Parade, it has always been a great part of my life.”
Peter is one of more than 100 known VFL-AFL footballers ex-Parade – and until Richmond’s Trent Cotchin in 2012 was the College’s only Brownlow Medal-winner since the coveted trophy was first struck in 1924.
A final year student of Parade East Melbourne in 1964, Peter always considered cricket his first love – and he represented Victoria in 39 matches, plying his craft as both batsman and leg spinner.
Named with his father Bill in the Port Melbourne Football Club’s Team of the Century, Peter represented Port with distinction before crossing to neighbouring South Melbourne. It was 1968, the first of Peter’s nine seasons with the Bloods.
In all, Peter represented South in 178 matches. Notwithstanding his Brownlow Medal triumph, he took out his club’s Best and Fairest award on five occasions and, for the last four years of his tenure at the Lakeside Oval ably led the team as captain.
To round out his outstanding on-field career, Peter represented the Carlton Football Club in eight senior matches for Carlton through the 1977 and ’78 seasons.
A Victorian representative on 13 occasions, Peter was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 1999 and four years later was named in the Swans’ much-heralded Team of the Century.
images courtesy Louise Bedford