Australia’s goalkeeper in the 1974 World Cup, Jack Reilly, has today
become the latest in a long line of sports stars to try his hand at
politics.
Start-up party People Power this morning announced Reilly will be its lead candidate in
the reconstituted Victorian upper house at this year’s state election.

Reilly is now a professional director but was previously a Deputy
Secretary of the Victorian Treasury and also ran a listed money market
business before selling it for a tidy sum shortly before the 1987 stock
market crash.

We’ve never seen a prominent soccer figure try politics before but
we’ve also never seen such passion for the beautiful game in Australia
with the World Cup starting on 7 June, so it will be interesting to see
how Reilly’s political entry plays out.

Given Australia’s world leading obsession with sport, it is time
for Crikey to build up a comprehensive list of sports stars who tried
their hand at politics over the years, so here are 13 names to kick it
off:

Tony Benneworth: Former Tasmanian Sheffield Shield cricketer who
represented the Liberals in Tasmania and was the unsuccessful federal
candidate for Bass in 2001
Ron Clarke: Olympic running legend who is now independent Gold Coast mayor
Phil Cleary: working class VFA legend who won Bob Hawke’s seat of Wills as an independent in 1992
Damian Drum: the tough Geelong defender and Fremantle Dockers coach is now an upper house MP for the National Party in Victoria.
Pat Farmer: the ultra-marathon runner is the Federal Liberal member for Macarthur.
Dawn Fraser: Olympic swimming legend won the NSW state seat Balmain as an independent in 1988
Justin Madden:
Former Carlton premiership ruckman was the Victorian Labor Minister in charge of the Commonwealth Games
Russell Mark: the Olympic shooting gold medallist was
preselected as the star Liberal candidate for the Federal seat of Ballarat
in 2001 but then pulled out
Kirstie Marshall: Winter Olympics gold medallist and now the Labor MP for Forest Hill in the Victorian Parliament
Sir Hubert Oppenheimer: Cycling legend who went on to be Minister for Shipping, Transport and Immigration in the Menzies and Holt governments
Maurice Rioli: Norm Smith medallist for Richmond in the losing 1982 grand final and then in 1992 won Arafura for the ALP in the NT parliament
Nigel Smart: Adelaide Crows premiership player who unsuccessfully ran for the SA Libs in Norwood at this year’s state election
Bill Sykes: Former Fitzroy AFL footballer who won back Benalla for the National Party at the 2002 Victorian election

Send all corrections and additions to [email protected], although we doubt it will finish up as big as our journalists in parliament list.

Disclosure: Stephen Mayne is seriously considering running for
People Power at the Victorian election but could also go independent.

Peter Fray

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