Ted 'Square' Kilmurray. Picture: WAFL.com.au

TED 'SQUARE' Kilmurray's story is so enmeshed with Polly Farmer's story that it's almost impossible to tell one without the other.

Both were members of the Stolen Generation and their formative years were spent at Sister Kate's at Queens Park in Perth. These were happy years for Kilmurray, despite the fact he was aware of being removed. 

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Despite this, the mysterious power of football became his focus. Along with Farmer, Kilmurray would spend hours engaged in the process of trying to get the best out of themselves training and playing.

This came to a head in 1952 where the Western Australian policy at the time would generally see young men in institutional care identified to go into the districts to labour on farms and country towns. 

Like Farmer, Kilmurray resisted this government policy and, using his standing as a footballer for Perth suburban club Kenwick, garnered support to stay in Perth. His status as a popular teammate and spectacular player saw the sentiment override the state's powerful policy at the time. 


Playing at East Perth Football Club with Polly, Kilmurray became known as a player who could invent play or shut it down. Versatility and speed were his strengths and he used these to full effect.

The play he would become known for was the 'snap'. In the 1950s, this was a novelty that was hardly conceived of, let alone employed. It required the forward pocket to meet the ball at speed and once gathered top keep running away from the goal. The trick was for the player to then kick over the shoulder and score. For Kilmurray this was often a goal. 

Then in 1958 Kilmurray received the Sandover Medal for the best player in the WAFL competition and became a member of the winning premiership side with the Royals. 

It was through football and achieving success that Kilmurray, like Farmer, became known. In Kilmurray's words, "doors opened up where before they were closed. You'd say your name and people then just wanted to talk about footy." 

The 'Square' Kilmurray story is one of triumph over adversity and one where the limited opportunities he had offered to him, due to the policies of the day, were grabbed with both hands.  In doing this, Kilmurray, along with Farmer, gave the Western Australian football-going public an enduring and powerful legacy.