Port Adelaide mourning the loss of ‘misunderstood’ club great, David Granger, who has died aged 69

Port Adelaide are mourning the loss of controversial club great, David Granger, who died on Thursday at age 69 after a battle with cancer.

The two-time premiership key forward played 103 games for the then-Magpies between 1975 and 1982, during which time he also had a one-year VFL stint with St Kilda, in 1979, playing three games.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Port Adelaide mourning the loss of club great David Granger.

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Granger has a chequered past both on and off the field, remembered especially for effectively and infamously ending Neville Caldwell’s career with a coward punch in the 1981 SANFL grand final.

He was also convicted for trafficking 17kgs of cannabis in 2002, while more than $35,000 worth of the drug was later found at his home.

Granger most recently made the news in 2014, when he was accused of throwing a bucket of water on the speaker of South Australia’s state parliament, for which he was taken to court.

Brian Cunningham, who captained Granger’s 1981 premiership side, said: “He was misunderstood by others outside the club”.

“Sadly, I don’t think we ever saw the best of David’s raw talent consistently on the field,” Cunningham said.

“I will remember him as enormously talented and someone who played a key role in our premiership successes in the late 1970s and early 1980s.”

David Granger is a great of Port Adelaide. Credit: Port Adelaide FC

Power CEO Matthew Richardson told the club’s website that Granger had struggled with a number of health issues in recent years.

“The Port Adelaide Football Club extends its condolences to David’s daughter Carly and family,” he said.

“David had battled health issues in recent years and it’s sad to learn of his passing.

“David was an incredibly talented player during Port Adelaide’s reign in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

“He was a modern-day type player, 188 centimetres tall, athletic and strong. David was exceptionally talented and was instrumental in the club’s drought-breaking 1977 grand final victory.”

Cunningham added that Granger’s “football talent and enormous skills were often underplayed due to his notoriety”.

“David predominantly played as a strong centre half forward in an era when it was a very difficult position to play,” Cunningham said of his former teammate.

“He could reach high and take a powerful pack mark and possessed a beautiful, long kick.

“David played a crucial role in our premiership success in 1977 and 1981, establishing a formidable partnership with full forward, Tim Evans.

“He was a focal point for our game plan and if he didn’t mark the ball he would always bring the ball to ground and provide opportunities for others to benefit.”

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