Today we look back on the incomparable Peter Bosustow. The Buzz would play 65 games and boot 146 goals in three unforgettable seasons, thus emulating his father Robert who played 20 games for the Blues.
After an impressive career for Perth, Bosustow made an immediate impact by being named best afield in his debut game v the reigning Premiers Richmond in Round 1 1981. One week later in front of the Carlton faithful his popularity rose even more when he laid a heavy bump on Robert Dipierdomenico which ended Dippers season with a broken sternum.
With his leap and goal sense, Bosustow won plenty of admirers in his debut season but it took Jack Dyer a lot more convincing. In the lead up to a game v Sydney, Dyer described Bosustow as a “good ordinary player”. Days later Bosustow responded with an 8 goal performance. In what turned out to be a Premiership year, Bosustow would continue to produce moments that will be forever etched in the chronicles of the Carlton Football Club. In the stands prior to the clash with Geelong at Princes Park, he would boldly declare he was going to take the mark of the year to teammate Mark Maclure. Sure enough in the last term he rose in the goalsquare at the Heatley Stand end over David McKay to fulfil his prophecy.
In the Second Semi Final against the Cats, he then added the goal of the year to his cv when he smothered a clearing kick off the boot of Ian Nankervis before picking the ball up a snapping over his right shoulder. He would be the clubs leading goalkicker in 1981 with 59 and finish a creditable 6th in the B&F.
In 1982 he continued to excel on the big stage and his second half in the 1982 Grand Final was telling in helping the side gain ascendancy, having started the game on the bench. Another 47 goals was invaluable as was his high quality pressure he brought within the forward line. David Parkin described him as the best defensive forward he coached. In one game he was credited with laying 17 tackles v Essendon.
In 1983 he continued to thrill crowds with his high marking and goal sense. A best afield effort v Collingwood in Rd 3 was arguably his most complete game for the club as he kicked 6 goals. By Round 20 he was again leading Carlton’s goalkicking but the Rd 21 clash v then ladder leaders North Melbourne would prove his last game for the club. In a fiery opening term, Bosustow was reported for striking John Law and the result was a 4 week suspension, which ruled him out of the finals. Bosustow’s tally of 40 goals was overtaken by Ken Hunter by seasons end. Bosustow would then shock the football world by announcing he was returning to Perth due to his father’s battle with leukemia.
However the Buzz story didn’t end there. As the June 30 deadline approached in 1984, Carlton who had fallen behind the likes of Hawthorn and Essendon were keen to bring him back. Bosustow on the back of some excellent form for Perth and WA was in fact selected in the Carlton side to play Footscray at VFL Park, but a dispute over the clearance fee saw the deal fall through. The figure was allegedly $5000.
Weeks later, Bosustow after being heckled by fans took his frustrations out on a shower screen which resulted in more than 160 stitches in his hand. In 1985, he had to undergo an ankle reconstruction but the Blues were still keen to entice one of their favourite sons back. Under Robert Walls, Bosustow would do the pre season in the lead up to the 1986 season. A forward line containing Bosustow, Johnston, Maclure and Kernahan had fans salivating. However fate struck towards the end of the pre season when Bosustow reinjured his ankle, thus ending his fairytale return.
In 2003, the Bosustow bloodline looked like it might once again don the Carlton jumper when his son Brent was offered a spot on the rookie list. Sadly he declined due to business commitments. The big question remains though. If Bosustow had survived the pre-season of 1986, who would’ve worn number 4?
Written by Andrew Lake