A 251-game Sandgate champion and long-serving club captain who is one of the Hawks’ alltime greats. Named on a half forward flank in the Queensland Team of the Century in 2003, he was a late developer, blossoming from an unlikely career beginning in which he was too small for football and instead played baseball in his youth. Dabbled in football with the Teachers club in 1966-67 and made his senior debut with the Hawks in ’68.
Predominantly a centreman, with a beautiful left-foot kick, he played in four premiership sides in 1970-71-74-79. Was the Hughson Medalist in 1973, which ironically was the only year from 1969-79 in which he didn’t play for Queensland. Was State captain seven times during his illustrious 24-game career for the Maroons, which included historic victories over the VFA in 1977-78. Also a very good A-Grade cricketer, he later umpired at community level.
Coach of Strathpine senior and Sandgate junior teams which included Brisbane Lions ace Jamie Charman, he played a key role in the introduction of Australian Football to one of Australia’s proudest rugby nurseries; Nudgee College. Coached their First XVIII to victories in the now prestigious Jason Dunstall Cup in 2006-07-08, defeating Ipswich Grammar by 20 goals in the ’08 grand final.
His father Jack played in the QANFL prior to World War II, was an administrator at Sandgate and as a fast bowler for Queensland once dismissed the great Don Bradman first ball for a duck. John’s son Sheldon is now a young administrator at the Hawks, spanning the family involvement to three generations.