What is the definition of a cult hero? According to the dictionary it is “A writer, musician, artist, or other public figure who is greatly admired by a relatively small audience or is influential despite limited commercial success”.
It may seem harsh based on the definition alone to put Clive Waterhouse in this category. After all, we are not talking about a one hit wonder with a single AFL game to his name who was never seen again.
The mercurial forward played 106 games for a return of 178 goals and spent the best part of a decade at the Dockers.
But overall Waterhouse did not quite live up to expectation after being drafted with the first pick in the 1995 draft.
Late arrival to the game of footy
The football journey of Clive Waterhouse was certainly an unconventional one to most footballers. Many kids grow up playing Australian Rules football and dreaming of becoming a star and gracing the MCG on the last day in September.
Not the case for Waterhouse who emigrated with his family from England and grew up playing soccer.
It was not until 17 years of age that Waterhouse picked up a footy for the first time when the school footy team was short of players and required fill in players.
Within four years Waterhouse had transitioned from playing local footy, under 19s at Port Magpies to senior SANFL football.
The high flying forward made his SANFL debut in 1995 and would go on to be a Port Adelaide premiership player before being drafted to the Dockers.
Clive Waterhouse: A character & entertainer
Fremantle did not enjoy much success in the early years, but Clive quickly became somewhat of a fan favourite.
The blonde flowing mullet, the explosive speed and the booming kick. The forward would often frustrate. Making the easy look hard and in the next passage of play making the hard look easy
Best game at AFL level? Must be that memorable 2000 demolition derby with Freo picking up a famous win over the Eagles. Clive the hero booting a career high seven goals.
Last year Waterhouse was selected in the Fremantle 25 since 95. Celebrating the top 25 players in the 25 year-history of the football club.
An ACL injury and persistent hamstring injuries restricted Waterhouse to 21 games in his last three seasons at the club. However, the enigmatic forward is still fondly remembered by the Dockers faithful and many other footy fans.