Vale Doug Thomas

It is with great sadness that the Club wishes to inform Members and Supporters of the passing of Doug Thomas.

Doug passed away peacefully last night, after being cared for by long-time partner Raelene for a number of years.

Doug’s impact on the West Adelaide Football Club cannot be overstated with his playing and management career spanning nearly 60 years.

A premiership player in 1961, Doug’s career included 215 games before he moved into administration and management roles at WAFC. His career was recognised with Life Membership of WAFC and SANFL, as well as being inducted into the SANFL Hall of Fame in 2008.

CEO Ben Hopkins said, “Doug has left an incredible mark on the West Adelaide Football Club as both a player and administrator. His impact at the club is felt to this day with many club contacts still mentioning their ‘deals with Doug’. The club is no doubt in a much better better place because of the contribution Doug made over many years.”

Our thoughts are with Rae & Doug’s family & friends.

Sadly, due to the current situation an appropriate farewell for Doug will be difficult at this particular time. At the first opportunity a celebration of his life will be held at the West Adelaide football club.

Vale Douglas W Thomas

(13th September 1932 – 20th April 2020)

  • Member of West Adelaide premiership team 1961
  • 5 games for South Australia
  • West Adelaide Coach 1963 – 1964
  • West Adelaide General Manager 1977 – 2006
  • SANFL Match and Permit Committee 1987 – 2006
  • SANFL League Director 1977, 1991 – 1993
  • Proxy League Director 1978 – 1990, 1994 – 2006
  • SANFL Umpires Board 1989 – 1993
  • SANFL State Selector / State of Origin Selector 1990 – 1995
  • West Adelaide Life Member
  • SANFL Player Life Member 1966
  • SANFL League Life Member 1997
  •  Inaugural Member of the West Adelaide Hall of Fame 2005
  • Elevated to WAFC Hall of Fame Legend 2016

Doug played 215 games and kicked 110 goals for West Adelaide between 1951 and 1957 and from 1961 to 1965, spending the interim time as captain-coach of Wimmera Football League side Dimboola, whom he steered to a rare premiership success in 1959. He made his name as a dour, close-checking full back, but later put some of the knowledge gained to paradoxically good use as a full forward.
Doug captain-coached Westies in 1963 and 1964 and was skipper under Don Taylor’s coaching in 1965. He played five times for South Australia, kicking six goals. After his retirement as a player he embarked on a lifelong administrative and managerial career with the club.