As a young ruckman, Bill Dempsey left Darwin for a career with West Perth where he played during the 1960s and ’70s. An uncompromising ruckman, he played a total of 343 games for the club, captaining them from 1973 to 1976, before retiring at the end of 1976.
He won the Club Best and Fairest in 1966, the Simpson Medal in 1969 and was a member of premiership teams in 1969, 1971 and 1975. Unsurprisingly for a man of his talents, Bill Dempsey was a part of three Buffalo premierships in 1958/59, 1959/60, 1967/68.
Bill Dempsey represented Western Australia 14 times. Dempsey was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in June 1976, for services to sport, inducted into the Northern Territory Government Hall of Champions in 1997 and in 2000 he was named in a back pocket in West Perth's Team of the Century. An inaugural inductee of the West Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2004, Dempsey was named as a back pocket in the AFL Indigenous Team of the Century in 2005 and in 2010 he was inducted as a Legend into the AFL Northern Territory Hall of Fame.
One of the entrance gates at Patersons Stadium is named after Dempsey, and a stand at Arena Joondalup, West Perth's home ground since 1994, is named the Whinnen–Dempsey Stand in honour of his contribution to the club. The team of invincibles being named would not be complete without the towering presence of one of the NT’s finest ever exports, the indomitable West Perth and AFLNT Hall of Fame legend, the great Bill Dempsey MBE. It is our honour to welcome this iconic footballer into the AFLNT Team of the Century.