The late great John ‘Bubba’ Tye’s career in football is best summed up by the words penned in the NTFL football record Insight where he was described as follows; ‘His inspirational play earned him the respect of all football followers. His fierce attack on the ball sent shudders through all his opponents. A brilliant mark and a superb kick, to watch Bubba play would often give all his supporters goose bumps’.
Widely acknowledged as one of the best NTFL players of all time, in 1990 a special NTFL panel chose John ‘Bubba’ Tye as the best NTFL player since Cyclone Tracy, a monumental honour.
His stellar career, in excess of 200 games, began at Darwin Buffaloes where he made his senior debut at 16. He won three premierships with the Buffs and won the prestigious Chaney Medal in the 1972/73. The brilliant 'Bubba' Tye also played at Nightcliff where he was part of the premiership team in 1973/74, once again winning the Chaney Medal and coming runner up in the Nichols Medal that season.
'Bubba' Tye captained the 1974 Northern Territory representative side and was a member of the Territory team, which played against the Australian Amateurs in 1979.
In 1979/80 Tye won the Nichols Medal and was also Nightcliff’s Best and Fairest winner. A natural leader and student of the game he went on to coach Nightcliff in the 1983/84 season.
There are not enough superlatives to describe 'Bubba' Tyes football ability and there is no doubt that had he so wished he could have played his trade in the VFL but fortunately for NT football he chose to remain playing in the NTFL, entertaining legions of fans every week.
Much loved, widely respected and sorely missed, we are honoured to name John 'Bubba' Tye in the AFLNT Team of the Century.