Jack McKenzie (footballer)
|Full name||Jack Joseph McKenzie|
|Date of birth||12 November 1882|
|Date of death||21 March 1946(aged 63)|
|Height / weight||178 cm / 76 kg|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1915.
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
McKenzie originally played for Brunswick in the Victorian Football Association (VFA) and joined Essendon in 1901, winning a premiership in his first season. He played for Essendon in 1901 and 1902. He then moved to Western Australia and spent a year playing in the Western Australian Goldfields Football Association with the White Feather Football Club. In 1904 he returned to Essendon and by 1906 he was the captain. For his efforts during the 1906 season he was Essendon's best and fairest winner in his last season for the Bombers. He finished his career with Essendon having played 81 games and kicking 90 goals playing as a ruckman.
In 1907 season he became captain-coach of Essendon Association in the VFA before taking on the same role at his original club Brunswick from 1908 to 1914. He led the Brunswick to a premiership in his second season, 1909. During the last month or so of that season, The Argus newspaper conducted a public vote on which players were considered a champion in both the VFL and the VFA. McKenzie won the Association poll with a tally of near 18,000 votes, a figure which outstripped that of the League winner Bill Busbridge. As captain, McKenzie was offered £150 to throw the 1911 Grand Final against Essendon Association; McKenzie refused and immediately reported the offer to the Association.
He returned to the VFL for just one season in 1915, playing this time with Melbourne. As captain-coach he helped them reach the finals for the first time in fifteen years, becoming one of a select few players to captain two different clubs in finals. McKenzie fell on hard times in 1918 when his wife died, leaving him with out of work and with six children to look after. A fund was set up by the VFL to give him financial support, with many clubs donating money. He was appointed coach at Hawthorn in 1919 while the club was still in the VFA.
He gained his nickname from his favourite player as a youth, Alex "Dookie" McKenzie, a Carlton and Melbourne player of the 1880s, and 1890s.
- "FOOTBALL CHAMPION. RESULT OF PLEBISCITE.". The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956). Melbourne, Vic.: National Library of Australia. 27 September 1909. p. 7. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
- "Melbourne football scandal". Singleton Argus. 14 October 1911. p. 1.
- Ross, John (1996). 100 Years of Australian Football. Ringwood, Australia: Viking Books. p. 382. ISBN 9781854714343.
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