NSW’s inaugural Hall of Fame announced at historic day 

The AFL has today announced it will host a gala dinner celebrating the inaugural NSW Australian Football Hall of Fame on Friday, 3 May. 

Head of AFL NSW/ACT, Tiffany Robertson, made the surprise announcement to guests attending a plaque unveiling commemorating the first ever Australian football match in Sydney, which occurred in 1881 at the SCG.

“In this historic week, where the AFL hosts its first Opening Round, at this historic event, where we mark Sydney’s first ever football match on this hallowed SCG, the time is now to put our flag in the ground and formally celebrate the 140-plus years of football in this state and all the people who have contributed so much to make this game great,” Ms Robertson said. 

“I am humbled to be the person who gets to announce the NSW Australian Football Hall of Fame will be celebrated in May 2024, and we will induct 100 members and 10 legends in the inaugural intake.” 

The AFL’s CEO, Andrew Dillon, proudly supported the NSW Hall of Fame. “Australian football in NSW has a deeper history than many realise,” he said. “Congratulations to the Hall of Fame inductees, each has played a significant role bettering footy in NSW. I look forward to learning more about these many greats and hearing their stories over the months and years to come, as footy culture continues to permeate throughout NSW.” 

The gala dinner will be held at the SCG, with all inducted Hall of Famers invited to attend along with other football luminaries.

Established by a committee of seven people, and taking more than four years to complete, the inaugural NSW Australian Football Hall of Fame intake acknowledges many of the state’s pioneers of the game. One quarter of the list were champions of our game pre-1950.

Of the 100 NSW Hall of Famers, there are 76 players and coaches, 11 administrators, nine umpires, and four media personalities. Thirty-one inductees were involved in the elite game, with the remaining 69 part of community football clubs and leagues across NSW. There are 10 women among the inductees. Thirty-eight of the 100 inductees have passed away.  

The 10 Legends will be named during the gala dinner on 3 May.

The geographical breakdown of the 100 inductees is as follows:  

  • – Sydney – 37  
  • – Riverina – 24
  • – Hume – 8 
  • – Hunter Central Coast – 7  
  • – Murray – 7  
  • – Northern Riverina – 7  
  • – North Coast/North West/Central West – 4  
  • – Broken Hill – 3  
  • – South Coast/Sapphire Coast – 3  

Congratulations to the following 100 people who have been selected in the inaugural intake of the NSW Australian Football Hall of Fame:

100 inaugural NSW Australian Football Hall of Fame inductees
Name Category Era Region  
George Crisp Player/Admin 1880-1892Sydney 
Phillip Sheridan Admin 1880-1892Sydney 
Jim Phelan Player/Admin 1880-1925Sydney 
Harry J Hedger, MBE Player/Admin 1881-1910 1903-12Sydney 
Ralph Robertson Player 1903-14Sydney 
Chris Lethbridge Player/Coach 1913-22Sydney 
Stan Milton Player 1919-1940Sydney 
Sir Doug Nicholls Player 1922-1947Murray  
W R “Billy” McKoy Player 1924-35Sydney 
Frank Dixon Player/Coach 1926-62Sydney 
Jimmy Stiff Player 1929-1935Sydney 
Stan Powditch Player 1929-1943Sydney 
Wilbur (Bill) Mohr Player 1929-41Riverina 
Gordon Strang Player 1931-36; 1938Murray  
Haydn Bunton Player 1931-37; 1942Murray  
Jack Williamson Player 1932-1941Sydney 
Ken Ferguson Admin 1934-1969Sydney 
Syd Felstead Player/Admin 1938-1974Sydney 
Bill Elliott Admin 1940-1950HCC 
Jack Armstrong Player/Coach/Umpire 1944-1978Sydney 
Jack Dean Player/Coach/Admin 1945-1980Sydney 
Ray Tunbridge Player/Coach/Admin 1945-1990South Coast 
Garry O’Connell Player/Coach/Admin 1945-2000Hume 
Jim & Edna Daniher Player/Coach/Admin 1946-2006Northern Riverina 
Bill Hart Administrator 1946-78 Riverina 
Jack Luhrs Media 1948-1990 Riverina 
Harry Gardiner Player/Coach/Admin 1949-1970 Hume 
Bert Schmidt Media 1950-1980s Riverina 
John Yates Admin 1950-2004Riverina 
Ossie Grose Player 1950-60s Sydney 
Bill Barton Player/Coach 1952-1978 Hume 
Stan Hague Player/Coach/Admin 1952-2005 Northern Riverina 
Mervyn Wegener Player/Admin 1953-2009 Hume 
Ellis Noack Player 1953-80 Sydney 
Peter Carroll Player/Coach/Admin 1954-2005 Hume 
Lindsay Norman Player/Admin 1954-2007 Hume 
Brian Lenton Player/Coach/Admin 1956-2019 North West 
Allan Jeans Player/Coach 1961-1976 Murray  
Tom Carroll Player 1961-63 Riverina 
Ian Granland OAM Admin 1962-current HCC 
Sid Robins Player 1963 – 1980 Riverina 
Ross Elwin Player/Coach 1963 – 1997 Riverina 
Lionel Johnston Admin 1964-2013 Broken Hill 
Ted Ray Admin 1965-2005 Sydney 
Doug Priest Player/Coach/Admin 1965-75 Riverina 
Keith & Paula Rees Player/Coach/Admin/Umpire 1966-2019 Northern Riverina 
Rick Quade Player 1967 –  Riverina 
Bert Haynes Player/Coach 1967-1993 Riverina 
Laurie Pendrick Player 1970 – 1990Riverina 
Greg Harris Player/Coach 1970-1997Sydney 
Greg Verdon Player/Admin 1970-2009Riverina 
John Sullivan Umpire 1970-2019HCC 
Ross HenshawPlayer1921-1983Hume
Mark Rendell Umpire 1973-2003Sydney 
Rod Gillett Admin 1974-2019North Coast 
Mark Maclure Player 1974-86 Sydney 
Rod Carter Player 1974-90 Sydney 
Kevin Taylor Media 1975-1995 Sydney 
Wayne Walker Player/Coach 1975-2002 Broken Hill 
Peter Johns Player/Admin 1975-92 Broken Hill 
Terry Daniher Player/Coach 1976-95 Northern Riverina 
Neale Daniher Player/Coach 1978-2007 Riverina 
Neil Cordy Player/Media 1979-93 Sydney 
Rod Podbury Player 1980-93 Sydney 
Anthony Daniher Player 1981-1997 Northern Riverina 
Chris Daniher Player/Coach 1981-2018 Northern Riverina 
Dennis Carroll Player 1981-93 Riverina 
Alan Simpson Admin/Umpire 1983-2019 Sapphire Coast Football League 
Greg Wollaston Player/Admin 1983-2019 Sapphire Coast Football League 
Tony Lockett Player 1983-99 & 2002 Sydney 
Geoff Day Player/Admin 1984-2018 Central West 
David Murphy Player/Coach 1984-2020 Murray  
Shane Lenon Player/Coach 1985- Riverina 
Craig Davis Player/Admin 1986-2007 Sydney 
Tim Beard Umpire 1987-2016 Riverina 
David Boulton Umpire 1987-present Sapphire Coast Football League 
Jim & Jill Woodlock Admin 1987-today North Coast 
John Longmire Player/Coach 1988-95; 1997-99 Hume 
Wayne Carey Player 1989-2001 Riverina 
Paul Kelly Player 1990-2002 Riverina 
Maurice Goolagong Player 1990-2005 HCC 
Christine Burrows Umpire/Coach   1997-present HCC 
Frank Kalayzich Admin/Umpire 1990-presSydney 
Patrick O’Donoghue Umpire 1990-presRiverina 
Richard Colless Admin 1993-pres Sydney 
Brad Aiken Player 1994-current Riverina 
Leo Barry Player 1995-2009 Murray  
Gerry Griffiths Admin/Umpire 1997-2016 North West 
Yvette Andrews Player/Coach/Admin 1999 – current Sydney 
Brett Kirk Player 1999-2010 Murray  
Mark McVeigh Player/Coach 1999-2012 HCC 
Lenny Hayes Player 1999-2014 Sydney 
Michaela Freckman Player/Coach 2000 – 2020 Sydney 
Melinda Hyland Player/Coach/Admin 2000-2019 Riverina 
Leanne Imrie Administrator2001- Riverina 
Tracey Kick Player/Coach 2002-2018 Sydney 
Jarrad McVeigh Player 2004-17 HCC 
Jemma Still Player/Coach/Admin 2005-current Sydney 
Kieren Jack Player 2007-17 Sydney 
Amanda Farrugia Player 2011-2019 Sydney 

About the NSW Australian Football Hall of Fame 

AFL NSW/ACT publicly announced the concept of a NSW Australian Football Hall of Fame in May 2019, with the launch originally slated for 2020 to coincide with the 140th year of football in NSW. The work was interrupted due to COVID-19 and completed in December 2023.

A Charter was written for the NSW Hall of Fame in 2019, with section 4.1 outlining the primary role of the Hall of Fame:  

The primary role of the Hall of Fame is to recognise and enshrine players, coaches, umpires, administrators, volunteers and media representatives who have made a most significant contribution to the game of Australian Football in NSW since its inception in 1880. 

Section 5.1 of the Charter empowers the Hall of Fame committee to elect up to 10 inductees each year and Section 5.2 provides the following basic criteria for selection:  

The Committee shall consider a candidate’s outstanding service and overall contribution to the game of Australian Football in determining a candidate’s eligibility for induction into the Hall of Fame. 

In years following the inaugural intake, the Committee may induct up to 10 inductees any given year, provided there is at least one inductee selected from the category of administrator, umpire or media every two years.

The NSW Australian Football Hall of Fame Charter is available here

NSW Australian Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee as at work completion 

  • – Head of AFL NSW/ACT (Tiffany Robertson)
  • – Officer of AFL NSW/ACT (Simon Wilson)
  • Ian Granland (Historian and Regional Representative – NSW Australian Football History Society President, former Black Diamond AFL Board member, former AFL NSW/ACT CEO) 
  • Dr Rodney Gillet (Regional Representative – former NSW AFL President & Commissioner, former Country AFL President, former Convenor of Northern NSW, NSW Australian Football History Society) 
  • Christine Burrows (Regional Representative – AFL Hunter Central Coast Head Umpires Coach, former BDAFL Head Coach, former Development Coach Sydney AFL, Established Western Sydney Umpire Training Base, Accredited High Performance Umpire Coach) 
  • Greg Verdon (Regional Representative – former Murrumbidgee Valley Australia Football Association Chair, former Southern Regional AFL Board Chair, former Farrer FL President) 
  • Yvette Andrews (Inner West Magpies Vice President, Founding member of the Sydney Women’s AFL, former National Women’s AFL Advisory Committee, former GWS Women’s Advisory Committee, 5 x NSW Representative, Premiership Winning Player and Coach)