236 x 310 x 17mm
Ted Whitten was the largest of the larger-than-life characters that have decorated Australian Rules football. Considered by many as the most complete footballer to play the game, he was also a rich mixture of headline grabbing talent – schoolboy prodigy, working-class battler, inspirational leader, knockabout clown, The King of Footscray and all points west who became a football icon for the whole of Victoria. In the mix were equal parts of kindness and charity, tough talk and lovable devilment.
He starred for Footscray and was variously captain, coach, selector, and mentor to a host of champions, an automatic state selection who later became the voice of Victorian football. Whatever was "on" in fund raising, presentations, publicity, TV, radio and promotion of anything and everything, especially football, Ted was up for it and putting his own stamp on it.
He was "EJ" and Teddy, and he revelled in his undisputed title of Mr Football, but in truth he wore the mantle lightly and was always in touch with his heartland of the western suburbs and the "real people".
And he had a private life, enriched by a wide family and old friends - a world of knockabout fun around the pool and the barbie and a few beers on a Saturday night. The pictures of that family life, as he went from grandson to grandfather, are a moving glance at changing times in Australia over seven decades.
The early passing of Ted Whitten caused real grief beyond the confines of those who knew him, going across the State and into the wider reaches of Australia. His funeral was a State occasion. As with football itself, rich and poor alike rubbed shoulders in witnessing his passing.