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John Kennedy : 18-February-2012
John Kennedy : 18-February-2012

Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

The sculpture commemorates John "Kanga" Kennedy, Senior, a former Australian Rules footballer who played for the Hawthorn Football Club and coached Hawthorn and the North Melbourne Football Club in the Victorian Football League (VFL).   It was unveiled on his 80th birthday. 

In 1950, Kennedy joined the Hawthorn Football Club as a player. Over the next ten years, he played 169 games for Hawthorn, serving as captain from 1955 until his retirement, and winning the club's Best and Fairest award four times (in 1950, 51, 52 and 54).

Kennedy received a rushed introduction to coaching in 1957 when regular coach Jack Hale was involved in an automobile accident on the way to Glenferrie Oval and missed the Round 11 match. Kennedy at short notice addressed the players during the game breaks and Hawthorn stayed close to Collingwood for much of the game, eventually losing by 19 points.

For the 1960 season he took over permanently as Hawthorn coach, and led the team to their first premiership in 1961. Following a Grand Final thrashing in 1963, he stepped down as coach, but Hawthorn's poor on-field performance over the next few years saw him recalled to the role in 1967. He coached Hawthorn to subsequent premierships in 1971 and 1976, when he again stepped down from the role.

In 1985, Kennedy became the coach of the North Melbourne Football Club, and coached the club until 1989. In total he coached for 411 games, winning 236, losing 170 and drawing five. In all, Kennedy coached Hawthorn to five Grand Finals with three Premiership wins.



Address:Stadium Circuit, Waverley Park, Mulgrave, 3170
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.925039
Long: 145.187986
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People
Artist:Louis Laumen


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Monday 28th April, 2008
Front Inscription

John Kennedy

John "Kanga" Kennedy played 164 games for the Hawthorn Football Club in 1950-59, including its first ever finals appearance in 1957.  In 1960 aged just 31 Kennedy became coach and transformed Hawthorn and led the club to its first three premierships in 1961, 1971 and 1976.

Kennedy's Hawthorn teams became known as "Kennedy's Commandos".  Wearing his trademark overcoat; his booming voice and stirring words inspired generations of Hawthorn players, taking them from easy beats to the most respected and revered clubs in the League.

He epitomised and taught all the values and attitudes that the Club cherishes today.  These were overwhelmingly a sense of team, total discipline, total integrity, and will to win.  

They are now core values, part of the Club`s character and as we compete in the 21st century this legacy as defined by John Kennedy must never be forgotten.

Don`t think.. Do.

A gift to all Hawthorn supporters donated by Geoff and Susan Harris - 28 April 2008

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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