Peter Mark Motley
Date of Birth
185 cm/82 kg
"Mots", "Peter Perfect"
Ruck Rover, Half back flank
2 (Sturt and Carlton)
SANFL: for Sturt, 1982.
VFL: for Carlton, 1986 round 2
SANFL: Sturt
VFL: Carlton

Peter Mark Motley (born 24 September 1964 in Semaphore, Adelaide) is a former footballer with the Sturt Football Club and Carlton Football Club. The son of Geof Motley, Peter played 92 games and kicked 104 goals with the Double Blues (Sturt) before moving to Victoria to play with the Blues (Carlton) before a car accident ended his career at the age of 22.

Football CareerEdit

Junior CareerEdit

Motley represented SA when he was in primary and secondary schooling. Motley grew up supporting Port Adelaide and the Magpies had the option of selecting him due to his connections with his father, but never received an invitation. Motley followed his school friends and started playing for the Sturt Football Club. Motley quickly rose to the ranks and made the senior side by 17 years if age.

League CareerEdit

Motley debuted for Sturt when he was just 17 years old in 1982[1]. When Motley played state of origin football, Peter tagged Gary Ablett in the 1985 state game. Motley gained 17 marks and effectively shut down Ablett and was awarded the Fos Williams Medal.

Motley soars above Chris Duthy in 1985

Motley soars above Chris Duthy in 1985

While in his four year career with the Double Blues, Motley was awarded Sturt’s best and fairest award in 1984 and 1985. He also gained selection of the 1983 and 1985 All-Australian and represented SA in state football six times. Motley also finished runner up in the 1985 Magarey Medal[2][3][4][5]. In 1985, Motley would call up Carlton coach Dave Parkin to talk about how Motley could improve his game. Parkin would later say that Motley was the only footballer who did this before arriving at Carlton.


After successful football in Motley’s home state, talks of Motley playing for a club in the VFL came about. According to Craig Bradley, he and Motley did not want to leave South Australia but they decided if they would play Victorian football they would do it together. This agreement was decided after David Rhys-Jones from the Sydney Swans travelled down to Adelaide would a number for Swans players to convince Motley to play in Sydney years before playing VFL footy. Motley decided to compete with his close friend Bradley with Carlton. Carlton would have arguably the best recruiting campaign in professional football after Ian Collins (Carlton Recruiting Manager) would secure Motley, Bradley, long time target Stephen Kernahan and Western Australian Jon Dorotich. Motley and Bradley would receive $300,000 a year as free agents. Carlton coach Dave Parkin was especially happy of the signing of Motley.

Motley markes while playing for Carlton

Motley while playing for Carlton

When Motley was asked about joining Carlton Motley stated “it is something I have to do”. Before Motley would start his first preseason training with his new club he injured his angle and damaged all his ligaments. He would show up to training in plaster but this never stopped from training and as soon as he got better, Motley made up for lost time and even trained on resting days.

Motley made his VFL debut on round two of the 1986 season despite receiving little training compared to his teammates. During his first matches, Motley was taken on and off the field before being settled on the half back flank but being groomed for his original position as an onballer. As the 1986 season went on, Motley started to play the standard of VFL football and playing very strongly. “Peter Perfect” was a nickname given to teammate David Rhys-Jones who now played for the Blues. Motley played in the 1986 grand final loss to Hawthorn. Motley with teammate Bradley were now pushing each other to compete more and in a practice match against Maryborough in country Victorian in 1987, Motley was moved into ruck rover. In his favourite position Motley dominated the match.

In the 1987 season, Motley is moved into the midfield rotation as Carlton have a 4-2 win/loss ratio behind Sydney. After a Thursday training session on May 7, Motley was in his car next to a teammate in a separate car on the interchange of Smith st and Queen pde. The light turned green and Motley was in front of his teammate Paul Meldrum where a car veered off the adjacent road and crashed into Motley’s car. The force of the veering car pushed Motley’s vehicle by 15 meters and then the other driver of the out of control car crashed into Meldrum’s vehicle. Meldrum’s car was written off as well as the car that crashed into Motley. Meldrum ran over to Motley’s vehicle with a doctor who was there as the time and assessed Motley. Motley was knocked unconscious. The doctor their constructed a neck brace from newspaper to hold Motley’s neck up and a head injury to Motley was down his skull and some six inches wide. Motley’s skull had to be physically held together until paramedics arrives. Meanwhile, Meldrum sought for a phone to call the Carlton football club after being notified that an ambulance was coming. Motley was given a slim chance of survival. Meldrum went into mild shock and adrenaline effected what he remembered that night. Some people believe that Meldrum held together Motley’s head but Paul Meldrum cannot remember doing this act. Bradley was about 20 cars behind the accident and could not see over a slope to see what was going on, instead he took a side street avoiding the collision. When he returned to the flat he was sharing with Motley, Bradley thought it was strange that Motley hadn’t been home not knowing of the drama unfolding.

Doctors were amazed that Motley had survived the accident.

The next day, Carlton were to face off against Geelong and the on field banner said:
C'mon Carlton, lets win this one for Mots, get well Peter. According to Stephen Kernahan the club room was very quiet, still shocked because of Motley's injury. Motley was still in a coma. Before running onto the field, the Carlton players formed a circle and gave a minutes silence. Carlton beat Geelong by over 50 points.

Later in the '87 season, teammate Des English was diagnosed with cancer.

Carlton would later play Hawthorn in the 1987 grand final after the Blues were minor premiers. When the Blues won the grand final Peter Dean said "'re f**king beautiful!".

Motley pushed his himself mentally and physically to try play football again however, he realized in the 1988 off season that he would never play again. This left Motley depressed and over the next decade would have severe panic attacks. Peter Motley couldn't leave his Glenelg home and could stay in transport.


The Sturt Football Club never forgot Motley’s contributions and great but short career with the club by naming him on the interchange in Sturt’s Team of the Century[6].

”Peter Motley Oval”Edit

It was announced on 12 January 2015 that Unley Oval (now named Envesta Park owing to sponsorship) will be named “Peter Motley Oval” for at least one year. The name came from Sturt’s sponsor Australian Gas Networks who said they wanted a community feel and the company’s name is too long for the oval. The organisation wanted Motley named in honour because AGN chief executive Des Petherick said Motley was a “shining example to the community of how you can rise above adversity”.

Permission to use Motley’s name was put forward after the go ahead from Sturt Football Club and the Unley Council. Motley was so moved he sought the opinion of his father before accepting. Peter said later that he was “humbled” and “speechless” and “I didn’t play football to have this. It’s unbelievable”[7]. Sturt Football Club General Manager – Business Sue Dewing said:
“Peter Motley is a much loved figure not only in Sturt circles, but across South Australia and nationally, so we’re pleased to name our beloved oval after him in conjunction with Australian Gas Networks,”[8].

Motley at Unley Oval in 2015

Motley at Unley in 2015

Although Motley played most of his Double Blue footy at Football Park or Adelaide Oval for home games, Stephen Kernahan said “(Motley was) strutting his stuff”[9].

Personal LifeEdit

Motley is the second of three children. His mother Gaynor represented Australia in netball and basketball and played state softball. His father Geof Motley won the 1964 Magarey Medal for Port Adelaide.

Motley is the number one ticket holder for Sturt and rarely misses a home game. Motley has a four year old daughter named Stella and his wife is Helen[10]. According to Craig Bradley, for Motley to keep up his fitness, Peter would eat raw potatoes. It was also reported by Bradley that Motley didn’t drink or smoke while playing footy.

Motley was also a fan of Phantom comics and even apart of a fan club.


  1. “Kym Morgan”. ‘The Advertiser’. January 12, 2015, accessed at [1]
  2. “Kym Morgan”. ‘The Advertiser’. January 12, 2015, accessed at: [2]
  3. ”Tony De Bolfo”, ‘’. January 13 2015, accessed at: [3]
  4. ”John Devaney”, ‘’. Accessed on 16/01/15 at: [4]
  5. ”Sturtfc” accessed on 16/01/15 at: [5]
  6. ”Sturtfc” accessed on 16/01/15 at: [6]
  7. “Kym Morgan”. ‘The Advertiser’. January 12, 2015, accessed at: [7]
  8. ”Tony De Bolfo”, ‘’. January 13 2015, accessed at: [8]
  9. ”Tony De Bolfo”, ‘’. January 13 2015, accessed at: [9]
  10. “Kym Morgan”. ‘The Advertiser’. January 12, 2015, accessed at: [10]