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Australian rules footballer
Died when: 63 years 287 days
Star Sign: Cancer
Denis "Dinny" Ryan (10 July 1916 – 22 April 1980) was an Australian rules footballer who played for Fitzroy in Victorian Football League (VFL) during the 1930s. Denis originally played with the and kicked three goals in their 1933 premiership win over in the Albury and District Football Association. Denis won the 1934 - Albury and District Football Association's best and fairest award, the Stanley Medal, playing for the Albury Rovers Football Club, before heading down to Melbourne to play with Fitzroy. Ryan debuted in the VFL in 1935 aged just 18 and started his career at centre half forward, topping Fitzroy's goalkicking in his debut season with 46 goals. He was moved to centre half back the following season as a result of his wayward kicking for goal and won the 1936 Brownlow Medal, making it the fifth Brownlow in the previous six years to have gone to a Fitzroy player. In 1939 after injuring his knee, Ryan joined the army and fought in World War II, as one of the "Rats of Tobruk" getting wounded at Tobruk, Libya and later served 18 months on the front line in New Guinea. , but he did serve four continuous years in the Army! He never played VFL football after the end of World War Two. In 1947, Denis was appointed playing coach of the in the Chiltern & District Football League.