|Full name||Desmond Vincent Tuddenham|
|Date of birth||29 January 1943|
|Place of birth||Ross Creek, Victoria|
|Original team(s)||Ballarat YCW|
|Height / weight||180 cm / 84 kg|
|Representative team honours|
|1978||South Melbourne||22 (9–13–0)|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1977.
3 Coaching statistics correct as of 1978.
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
Early Years and Football Career
Tuddenham was born and raised in Ross Creek, a country town near Ballarat. He and his twin brother, Basil, were two of a large family consisting of nine children (seven boys and two girls) to parents William and Anne Tuddenham.
Tuddenham's upbringing was typical of country footballers who came from farming families. Before and after school and during weekends, he had to help with various farm chores. Sport, usually football or cricket, was played on Saturday, and the family attended church on Sundays. The daily grind of farm work helped to strengthen Tuddenham's shoulders and arms, and a fanatical attitude to fitness hardened his body.
Tuddenham played cricket with five of his brothers for Ross Creek, and football for the Young Christian Worker's club in Ballarat. In the space of three seasons he went from the Under-14s to the Under-19s side, and won the league's best and fairest trophy at 16.
He soon attracted the attention of several VFL clubs. Tuddenham made his VFL debut in 1962 against North Melbourne at Arden Street Oval. His brand of football was fearless and tough, with a habit of grasping the football to his chest with his elbows sticking out dangerously.
In recognition of his toughness and skills, Tuddenham was appointed Collingwood captain in 1966. In the semi-final against St Kilda, he kicked seven goals on Daryl Griffiths in a tense 10-point win to advance to the Grand Final. But St Kilda reversed the result two weeks later to take out the 1966 VFL Grand Final by one point, winning their first premiership.
Collingwood were eliminated from the 1967 finals by eventual runner-up Geelong in the First Semi-final. The Magpies trailed by one point at three-quarter time, but the Cats kicked six goals to one in the final quarter to win by 30 points. To make matters worse, Tuddenham was reported for striking Geelong defender Geoff Ainsworth on the head with his forearm in the last quarter by field umpire Jeff Crouch. He was found guilty and suspended for four matches.
In February 1970, Tuddenham and his deputy Len Thompson were involved in a pay dispute after they learned that Collingwood had recruited its first interstate player, Peter Eakins from Western Australian club Subiaco, for a sign-on fee of A$5,000 and A$5,000 a season for three years. That was A$2,000 more than Tuddenham was getting as captain. Tuddenham asked for A$8,000 over three seasons, and Thompson A$30,000 over five seasons, threatening to walk out if their demands were not met. Three weeks later, during which time there had been no negotiations, both players returned. Although their demands had not been met, they did obtain a slightly improved salary; under the clubs terms, Tuddenham would receive A$125 per match plus VFL provident fund payments, and Thompson would earn A$105 per match.
Although Tuddenham was confident the little episode would not affect his chances of retaining the captaincy, the Magpies committee announced Terry Waters as captain for the 1970 VFL season. Ever the team player, Tuddenham accepted the decision. Collingwood finished on top of the ladder with 18 wins, and defeated arch-rivals Carlton in the semi-final by ten points to advance to the Grand Final. However, as had happened four years earlier against St Kilda, Carlton would reverse the result in the classic 1970 VFL Grand Final, coming from 44 points down at half-time to overrun Collingwood in the second half. It is scant consolation that Tuddenham was regarded among Collingwood's best players on the day. He did his team no favours, however, by accidentally flooring teammate Peter McKenna in the second quarter with a hip-and-shoulder meant for a Carlton player. McKenna had kicked five goals up to that stage of the game, and would only add one more for the rest of the match.
In an interview forty years later, Tuddenham cited a lack of fitness, as well as inaccurate kicking for goal, as the main reason Collingwood lost:
I suggested to (coach) Bob Rose after we lost the 1966 Grand Final to St Kilda by a point that he do the coaching and I look after the fitness along with my friend John Toleman. The idea was that I would be an assistant coach, and I'll tell you what, I would have got the buggers fit.
In 1971 Tuddenham became the first player to be named captain of the VFL representative team whilst not captain of his own club. When asked about this, state coach Tom Hafey replied bluntly: "We are not here to talk about Collingwood's mistakes."
He stayed with the club for a further season before moving to Essendon as captain-coach.
He played four seasons for the Bombers before returning to Collingwood for his final two seasons.
In 1978 he was the senior coach of South Melbourne for a season, replaced by Ian Stewart when he failed to take the club to the finals. He coached VFA second division club Werribee to the finals in 1988, but left after he and the club concluded a playing coach would be better suited to the club's needs.
Tuddenham ran a plastics manufacturing business, which he sold in 1979. He later worked as a scrap-metal dealer.
Since retirement, Tuddenham has been in trouble with the law on several occasions.
- In December 1980, Tuddenham was found guilty by a County Court jury of having received stolen tyres valued at $30,000, and was remanded in custody.
- In June 1989, Tuddenham pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiring to defraud the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce of $13,000. He told the magistrate that he was "guilty on the grounds I was helping out a friend in trouble."
- In July 2004, it was reported that Tuddenham had received a two-month sentence suspended for two years for his third drink-driving offence. He was ordered to pay a A$500 fine and had his driving licence cancelled for 30 months.
Tuddenham was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2008.
- Rule, Andrew (24 June 1995). "Still keen on a scrap". The Sunday Age. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
- Hobbs, Greg (6 September 1967). "Tuddenham Suspended for Four Weeks: Crowd Hoots Field Umpire". The Age.
- Reed, Ron (22 September 2007). "Pie misery didn't stop with siren". Herald Sun.
- Carter, Ron (11 March 1970). "MAGPIES GO HOME--MINUS CONTRACTS". The Age. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
- Anderson, Jon (14 September 2010). "The 1970 premiership that got away from Collingwood". Herald Sun.
- Linda Pearce (18 October 1988). "Martin quits Box Hill". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne, VIC. p. 72.
- "Tuddenham found guilty of receiving tyres". The Age. 18 December 1980. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
- Halliwell, Bill (8 June 1989). "Tuddenham to be tried on fraud charge". The Age. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
- Butcher, Steve (15 July 2004). "Jail the next step, Tuddenham told". The Age.
- The Australian, 22 September 2009, retrieved 2009-09-22