When one looks through the list of VFL/AFL players to kick 100 goals in a season, there are many well-known names that stand out. These goal kicking legends such as Tony Lockett, Jason Dunstall, Peter Hudson, John Coleman and Bob Pratt span from the national era, back through to the halcyon days of the VFL.
However, there definitely are some more obscure entries to this list than others. One such member of this exclusive club is former Bomber, Geoff Blethyn.
Born on October 28, 1950, Blethyn was unique as a footballer in that he wore glasses, and was just 17 upon his league debut in 1968. Notably, in just his third senior game, Blethyn kicked four goals in the Bombers narrow loss to Carlton in the 1968 Grand Final.
He played 16 games the following season, but only managed 12 goals, before the next season showed a sign of things to come for the bespectacled young forward.
The next year, 1971 saw an even more modest tally from Blethyn of 21 goals in 15 games, despite hauls of five in both Round 5 against Geelong and Round 9 versus the Tigers. At this stage of his time at Essendon, Blethyn had made 47 senior appearances in four seasons and kicked just 70 goals. So, its fair to say, Blethyn's goal kicking exhibition in the 1972 season would come as a surprise.
After finishing second last in 1971, the Bombers won their first four games of 1972, and the 21-year-old Blethyn was one of the players that indeed showed a marked improvement with hauls of 7.5, 4.3, 7.3 and 7.8. Despite Essendon dropping its next two games, Blethyn's goal kicking exploits continued with 7.1 against the Blues, and 5.2 against Melbourne, giving him a total of 37 goals in the first six rounds.
The rest of the year was more about consistency rather than large goal hauls, except for two weeks mid-season where he kicked 7.4 and 11.3 against Collingwood and Footscray in consecutive weeks.
Blethyn reached the milestone of kicking 100 goals for the season in Round 21 against Fitzroy, and though the Bombers made it into the finals, under the first year of the VFL's final five system, they lasted just the one week being eliminated by St.Kilda, with Blethyn contributing 2.2 in the 53-point loss to the Saints.
This proved to be Blethyn's last match in Essendon colours for a few years, as work opportunities saw him move to Perth, while continuing his footy with Claremont in the WAFL, where he topped the clubs goalkicking in both 1973 and 1974.
After a third season with Claremont in 1975, Blethyn returned to Windy Hill in 1976, kicking a creditable 39 goals in 14 games, and promptly left again, thus ensuring his VFL games tally would remain at just 84.
Port Adelaide became Blethyn's new home in 1977, and despite only appearing in 11 senior games, he was a member of the Magpies eight-point premiership triumph over Glenelg. This match ended his ten-year senior career across three states, despite a later attempt at a comeback with Glenelg.
It stands as a quirk that almost half of Blethyn's total of 216 goals in the VFL were kicked in just the one season. Notwithstanding, his status not just as a rare wearer of glasses on the field, but more importantly as a century goalkicker means that Geoff Blethyn's legacy in Australian Football will remain for some time to come.