Gerry Donnelly

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Gerry Donnelly
G Donnelly 1919.jpg
Personal information
Full name Gerald Vincent Donnelly
Date of birth (1903-08-07)7 August 1903
Place of birth West Melbourne
Date of death 4 September 1937(1937-09-04) (aged 34)
Place of death Melbourne
Original team(s) St Patrick's (Albury)
Height 183 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 80 kg (176 lb)
Position(s) Wingman
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1924 Sturt 13 (16)
1925 Melbourne 12 (4)
1926, 1930 North Melbourne 14 (5)
1930 Essendon 03 (0)
Total 27 (9)
Coaching career
Years Club Games (W–L–D)
1926 North Melbourne 14 (0–13–1)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1930.
Sources: AFL Tables,

Gerald 'Gerry' Donnelly (7 August 1903 – 4 September 1937) was an Australian rules footballer who played for Melbourne, North Melbourne and Essendon in the Victorian Football League (VFL).

Donnelly, nicknamed Gerry, grew up in West Melbourne, Victoria, the second son of Andrew and Mary Donnelly,[1] and had two brothers and four sisters. He began his education at St Mary's Primary School, West Melbourne before going on to St. Joseph's Christian Brothers' College, North Melbourne where he stayed until 1919. During his teenage years he performed in a number of local concerts as he had a fine singing voice. While at school he also became a very good athlete and in 1919 was part of the St. Joseph's senior football squad along with Ray Brew.[2]

After leaving school Donnelly trained with Essendon Juniors before going to South Australia where he played with the senior squad of Sturt Football Club. In 1925 he returned to Victoria and his career in a senior league came to prominence at Melbourne Football Club where he played as wingman. That same year he was chosen to represent the Victorian interstate team.[3] Towards the end of the 1925 season he had his playing permit cancelled after it was decided by the League Investigations Committee that he was residentially bound to North Melbourne.[4]

Donnelly crossed to North Melbourne Football Club in 1926 and captain-coached the club for 14 games that year.[5] Although he failed to register a win he did lead North Melbourne to a controversial draw with Hawthorn Football Club in Round 13. Hawthorn were leading by a point when the bell sounded but Donnelly, who was running with the ball at the time, kicked a behind to level the scores. As the umpires had not heard the bell the point stood.

On 4 September 1937, Donnelly died at St. Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne at the relatively young age of 34 from illness, and was interred on 6 September at Coburg Cemetery.[1][6] He married Mollie 'Marie' Corcoran who survived him.[1]


  1. ^ a b c The Age (Melbourne) 6 September 1937, p. 1
  2. ^ Concerning The Christian Brothers' College, St. Joseph's North Melbourne. 1919 Annual. p24
  3. ^ LEAGUE FOOTBALL. (8 July 1926). Table Talk (Melbourne, Vic. : 1885 - 1939), p. 35. Retrieved 14 March 2015, from
  4. ^ Atkinson, Graeme (1989). 3AW Book of Footy Records. South Melbourne,: Magistra Publishing Company Pty Ltd. p. 278. ISBN 1863210091. .
  5. ^ Holmesby, Russell; Main, Jim (2007). The Encyclopedia Of AFL Footballers. BAS Publishing. ISBN 9781920910785. 
  6. ^ "DEATH OF GERALD DONNELLY". Albury Banner and Wodonga Express (NSW : 1896 - 1938). NSW: National Library of Australia. 10 September 1937. p. 12. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 

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