Career : 1974 - 1975
Debut : Round 5, 1974 vs Collingwood, aged 21 years, 221 days
Carlton Player No. 844
Games : 60 (9 at Carlton)
Goals : 3 (2 at Carlton)
Last game : Round 11, 1975 vs Footscray, aged 22 years, 264 days
Guernsey No. 37
Height : 197 cm (6 ft. 5 in.)
Weight : 86 kg (13 stone, 8 lbs.)
DOB : 25 September, 1952
Graeme Lindsay Robertson was a tall, slender defensive ruckman from Kangaroo Flat in the Bendigo Football League. He was a steady player who was reliable and very mobile for his size. In 1971 he joined Carlton’s Under-19 squad, and three years later played his first senior game. On debut for Carlton against Collingwood at Victoria Park, he was photographed while being used as a step ladder by Bill Picken as he took a spectacular one handed mark. But the Navy Blues were rich in big men at that time, with John Nicholls, “Percy” Jones, David McKay and Eric Pascoe all vying for senior selection each week. Therefore, when Mike Fitzpatrick arrived from Western Australia in 1975, “Robbo” was squeezed out. The following year he transferred to Richmond, and gave the Tigers loyal and effective service in another 51 matches. Robertson was easily recognisable out on the field, not only because of his height (197cm), but also due to the fact he always sported a crew-cut.
A popular figure around the club, Robertson became only the eighth individual to wear Carlton’s number 37 guernsey in a senior match when he made his debut against Collingwood at Victoria Park in round 5, 1974. It was an auspicious day for the Blues, with the club’s first aboriginal star Syd Jackson playing his 100th game, and Tasmanian Greg Towns also making his first appearance. Unfortunately, Carlton lost by 18 points, but Robertson impressed with his 18 disposals and five marks. He brought up his first career goal (first two in fact) in a big loss to North Melbourne at Princes Park in round 14, and by the end of the year had racked up six matches – including a draw with Footscray in round 8.
In 1975, Fitzpatrick’s impact restricted “Robbo” to just three senior games – the last two as a reserve, and at the end of the year he requested a trade to Richmond. While he hadn’t been able to crack it for a regular senior berth with the Blues, his form with the seconds had been consistently good – reflected in his fifth placing in the voting for the Gardiner Medal for the competition’s best and fairest player. At Tigerland, Robertson found his niche in Richmond’s first ruck. Although he was absent throughout 1978 and 1980, he was more than handy in four of the next six seasons, including the Tigers’ 1977 finals campaign (the elimination final win against South Melbourne and the first semi-final loss to North Melbourne). The tall defender chalked up 51 senior games with Richmond, in two separate stints at the Club from 1976-81. Graeme spent four seasons with Richmond which was punctuated by one season with West Adelaide. He had a tough disposition and in a game against North Melbourne in the late 1970s he was legitimately shirt fronted and knocked out by former Channel 7 commentator Ross Glendenning. Graeme recovered and continued on without shirking the issue. After leaving Richmond, he spent three seasons with Port Adelaide before returning to Melbourne. Graeme now lives in the northern suburbs and works as a manager with an eastern suburbs printing company. He is the brother-in-law of Jimmy Jess.
Note: It was Robertson who back in 1979 kicked the ball deep into the Richmond forward line against the Hawks that allowed Michael Roach to soar high and take one of the all time great screamers.
Kangaroo Flat U/18 1967-68, Games 18 ;
Kangaroo Flat Seniors , Games 3 ;
Carlton Thirds 1971, Games 5, Goals 0 ;
Carlton Reserves 1971-75, Games 76, Goals 67 ;
Carlton Seniors 1974-75, Games 9, Goals 2.
SANFL / Victorian Country Football
West Adelaide 1978, Games 16, Goals 0 ;
Port Adelaide 1982-84, Games 25, Goals 1 ;
Diggers Rest 1987-88, Games 22, Goals 24.
Career Highlights1975 - 2nd Reserves Best & Fairest
1975 - 5th Reserves Best & Fairest - Gardiner Medal