Mike Patterson (footballer)

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Mike Patterson
Personal information
Date of birth (1941-01-07)7 January 1941
Date of death 16 April 2002(2002-04-16) (aged 61)
Original team(s) Mirboo North
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1959–1969 Richmond 152 (73)
Coaching career
Years Club Games (W–L–D)
1970–1977 North Adelaide (SANFL)
1978–1980 St Kilda 46 (14–31–1)
1981–1983 Frankston (VFA)
1984 Richmond 22 (10–12–0)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1984.
Career highlights
  • Richmond Premiership Player 1967
  • Richmond Reserves Best & Fairest 1966, 1969
  • Interstate Games:- 1
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Michael 'Mike' Patterson was an Australian rules footballer and coach. Affectionately known as the "Swamp Fox", Patterson was a premiership ruckman with the Richmond Football Club in 1967, and also captain/coach of the 1972 Australian Champions, the North Adelaide Football Club.


Patterson played for the Richmond Football Club between 1959 and 1969. When first choice ruck Neville Crowe was suspended for the 1967 grand final Patterson stepped up brilliantly to compete with legendary ruckman Polly Farmer and made a major contribution to Richmond's 9-point victory.[1]

North Adelaide[edit]

In 1970 Patterson joined the North Adelaide Football Club as captain/coach with great success, hardening a champion side and leading the Roosters to SANFL premierships in 1971 and 1972. In 1972 he also led North Adelaide to national triumph in the Australian Championship, sealed with a 1-point victory over the Carlton Football Club.

After 1973 he retired as a player after a career of 18 years but remained as North Adelaide's coach until 1977.

St Kilda[edit]

He returned to the VFL as coach of St Kilda from 1978 until Round 2 of 1980. St Kilda collected the wooden spoon for the third time in three years in 1979. Former player and trucking millionaire Lindsay Fox had been brought into the club, as president, in 1979. One of his actions was to facilitate the signing of high-profile Alex Jesaulenko as an on-field player only. However this placed great pressure on Patterson's position as Jesaulenko had an established record as a captain-coach, having the year previously led Carlton to premiership victory.

During the Round 2 match two St Kilda players, in an attempt to win the ball, comically bumped into each other. Fox declared this indicated a lack of discipline that could no longer be tolerated. Patterson was sacked immediately for Jesaulenko. [1]


Patterson went on to coach the Frankston in the VFA from 1981 to 1983.


Patterson returned home to Punt Road Oval in his final position as senior VFL coach of the Richmond Football Club for the 1984 season.


In 2001, shortly before his premature death, Mike Patterson, the first Victorian to steer an SANFL club to a premiership, was selected as coach of North Adelaide's official 'Team of the Twentieth Century'.[2]


External links[edit]

  • Hogan P: The Tigers Of Old, Richmond FC, Melbourne 1996