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Brian 'Bomber' Peake inducted into AFL Hall of Fame

Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 2:37 AM

His 403-game career was spurred by being told he would not make it as a 14-year-old, and his famous seven-goal performance for WA against Victoria was driven by taunts that he was "past his Peake".

By Nathan Smith

Rated the No.1 footballer in the country for a period in the mid-1970s, Peake won five best and fairest awards for East Fremantle, a Sandover Medal and a Tassie Medal before he was recruited by Geelong to play in the VFL in 1981.

A brilliant half-forward or ruck rover, he arrived at his first training session at Kardinia Park in a helicopter and went on to captain the club in one of his three seasons, playing 66 games for the Cats.

Peake returned to Western Australia in 1985 and the following year he lined up for the Sandgropers in one of the greatest matches in State of Origin history.

Aged 32, he produced a magnificent seven-goal performance that led WA to a three-point win against Victoria at Subiaco Oval.

"Coming back to WA, what spurred me on was old Lou 'The Lip' Richards giving me a real spray about being past my peak," he said.

"He got into me, so I said to coach Ron Alexander, 'I'm playing at full-forward, that's all there is to it.

"He played me there and I kicked 7.2 or something, and I went up to Lou and I said, 'How's that mate?'

"If you ever give me motivation to do well, that's what I'll do. Not bad for a bloke who's past his peak."

Peake, who played 22 games for WA, finished his career with a sixth best and fairest with East Fremantle in 1987 and was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 1990 for his contribution to football.

He has been retired for 23 years, and for the past 10 he has constantly been asked when he would be inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.

To finally be inducted is not only a great honour, he says, but a great weight off his shoulders.

It's a magnificent career that might not have been celebrated at all were it not for the East Fremantle recruiter, 'Fisherman' Smith, who plucked him out of the surf after WAFL club Perth told him he wouldn't make it.

"It's funny how it panned out," Peake said.

"I went from Perth, who didn't want me, and ended up at Perth.

"It's a merry-go-round. It's just been a great journey."

To watch Brian's AFL Hall of Fame induction video click here