Tommy Lahiff

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Tommy Lahiff
Tommy Lahiff.jpg
Personal information
Full name Thomas Lahiff
Date of birth 31 July 1910
Date of death 8 December 1996(1996-12-08) (aged 86)
Original team(s) Port Melbourne (VFA)
Debut Round 1, 1935, Essendon
vs. Melbourne, at MCG
Height 168 cm (5 ft 6 in)
Weight 68 kg (150 lb)
Position(s) Rover
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1935–1937 Essendon 49 0(67)
1942 South Melbourne 06 0(10)
1942–1944 Hawthorn 19 0(23)
Total 74 (100)
Coaching career
Years Club Games (W–L–D)
1944 Hawthorn 18 (2–15–1)
1965 South Melbourne 01 0(0–1–0)
Total 19 (2–16–1)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1944.
Sources: AFL Tables,

Thomas 'Tommy' Lahiff (31 July 1910 – 8 December 1996) was an Australian rules footballer who played with Essendon, South Melbourne and Hawthorn in the Victorian Football League (VFL) and for Port Melbourne in the Victorian Football Association (VFA), before becoming a successful coach and radio commentator.

Lahiff, a small rover who could play forward, started his career at Brighton before moving to Port Melbourne. He finished second in the Recorder Cup voting in 1931.[1] He was recruited to Essendon in 1935 and kicked 32 goals in his debut season. In 1938 he returned to Port Melbourne and captain-coached them to the 1941 VFA premiership.

The VFA competition was suspended during the war so Lahiff had another spell in the VFL, joining South Melbourne. He had a memorable debut match for his new club when he kicked five goals, against Collingwood at Princes Park. His teammate Lindsay White, also making his debut with his second club, kicked seven. After just six games he crossed to Hawthorn mid season and in 1944 was appointed coach of the Hawks for the year but could only register two wins.

The rover finished up at Port Melbourne in 1945 and retired, having played 178 games from his VFA debut in 1930. He had won 'Best and fairests' in 1934 and 1940. In 2003 he was named as a forward pocket in Port Melbourne's official 'Team of the Century'.

He continued to coach in the 1960s, firstly at Port Melbourne in 1962 and then as caretaker coach of South Melbourne during the 1965 VFL season.

Lahiff also used to broadcast football games on radio. At 3KZ he teamed up again with Harry Beitzel to form a much–loved combination. "Are you there, Tommy?" Beitzel would ask, to which Lahiff would invariably reply from the dressing room: "Can you hear me, Harry?" First at 3KZ, then at 3AW, 3AK and finally 3WRB, their on air partnership lasted more than three decades.[2]


  1. ^ Onlooker (7 September 1931). "Association – first semi-final". The Argus. Melbourne, VIC. p. 12. 
  2. ^
  • Tommy Lahiff's statistics from AFL Tables
  • Holmesby, Russell and Main, Jim (2007). The Encyclopedia of AFL Footballers. 7th ed. Melbourne: Bas Publishing.