Johnny Leonard training, c. 1926
|Full name||John Leonard|
|Date of birth||June 8, 1903|
|Date of death||3 May 1995(aged 91)|
|Height/Weight||173 cm / 68 kg|
1 Playing statistics correct to end of 1932 season.
3 Coaching statistics correct as of 1940.
John "Johnny" Leonard (8 June 1903 – 3 May 1995) was a player and coach of Australian rules football in the West Australian Football League (WAFL) and the Victorian Football League (later renamed to Australian Football League) in the period 1922 to 1946.
He was born in England.
A slightly built (173 cm, 68 kg) and very quick rover with brilliant skills, Leonard played in Subiaco Football Club's 1924 premiership side. He was Subiaco's Best and Fairest player five times. He played 158 senior club games and represented his State 25 times.
He won the Sandover Medal in 1926 (the first English-born player to do so) and was awarded a retrospective medal for the 1929 season after finishing second on a countback. Prior to 1930 only one vote per game was given by the umpire, and a countback was not possible; the WAFL president would cast a deciding vote to decide the winner. Both Leonard and William (Billy) Thomas of East Perth Football Club polled the umpire's vote in five matches.
With the Great Depression limiting employment options, Leonard moved to Victoria in 1931, coaching Maryborough in the Ballarat Football League, then in 1932 being appointed as Captain-Coach of South Melbourne.
Playing career highlights:
- 158 games (146 Subiaco, 12 South Melbourne)
- Subiaco captain 1930
- Subiaco fairest and best 1926 to 1930
- Subiaco premiership player 1924
- Sandover medal 1926 and 1929 (retrospective)
- 25 state games for Western Australia
Leonard coached over only nine seasons but with a great deal of success, securing 5 WANFL premierships. He coached South Melbourne for the 1932 season, taking it to its first finals campaign in almost a decade. He is credited with laying the groundwork for the 'foreign legion' team which won the 1933 VFL premiership. He recruited leading WANFL players such as his Subiaco team mates Brighton Diggins and Bill Faul.
Returning to Perth in 1933 for employment, he embarked on a further successful coaching period. He steered West Perth Football Club to successive premierships in 1934 and 1935. He coached Claremont Football Club to three premierships, including the club's first ever premiership in 1938.
- West Perth coach 1934, 1935 and 1937
- Premierships with West Perth 1934 and 1935
- Claremont coach 1938 to 1941 and 1946
- Premierships with Claremont 1938, 1939 and 1940
Leonard was inducted to the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 1996.
- AFL Statistics:Johnny Leonard
- Ross, John (1999). The Australian Football Hall of Fame. Australia: HarperCollinsPublishers. p. 89. ISBN 0-7322-6426-X.
- AFL Hall of Fame
- Full Points Footy bio