Robert Walls is one of those rare individuals that can both unite and divide opinion with his honesty.
His views on football are forthright, and the stories gained during his 259 game playing career for (Carlton and Fitzroy) and 348 games coaching (with Fitzroy, Carlton, Brisbane, Richmond and Victoria) are both entertaining and insightful.
His time in the game was rewarding. He joined one of the VFL/AFL’s rarest of clubs by kicking a goal with his first kick in footy back in 1967 as a 16 year old. From there he built a career that made him a legend at Carlton during one of its strongest eras, being voted best man on the ground in its 1972 Premiership win years before the Norm Smith Medal was first awarded. With three premierships at Carlton, he finished his playing career at Fitzroy, which is where his coaching career began.
As fate would have it, he ended up back at Carlton where he coached its 1987 against the odds win in the Grand Final. He is a member of the Carlton team of the century and is an AFL Hall of Fame member.
Post coaching, his career has been split between various media outlets and a sabbatical in France, where he wrote a book about living there through the eyes of his dog – Gus & Wallsy’s French Revelation. This book is a unique and highly entertaining account of a beautiful adventure had by a man, woman and their dog.
It also shows the softer side of a man known for being hard.
His honesty is the cornerstone of his media career, and in an era of homogeneity he is not frightened of telling it as he sees it... even if people don’t like what he has to say.
‘Wallsy’ is great entertainer with an amazing insight into the AFL. Now, he can talk about snails and baguettes as well.
Robert travels from Melbourne.