As a boy, Kevin Sheedy barracked for the Bombers, but lived close to the Richmond ground. He joined the Richmond Tigers without a clearance from his prior VFA club, Prahran, as they would not grant him one. This was a big decision for a young player, because if he failed as a player in the VFL (now AFL) then he would be banned from playing competition football anywhere in Australia for 5 years.
Kevin Sheedy’s dubet season in 1967 was not the greatest. His prefered playing position was center, though this was held by Tiger star and fan favourite Billy Barot. After Barot was injured in the third game of the season Sheedy got his chance. He played poorly for six games and found himself back in reserves for the remainder of the season.
The following year saw Kevin Sheedy back in the team due to his sheer determination, and fearlessness when attacking the ball. Coach Tom Hafey put Sheedy in the back pocket where he grew to become a key defender for the Tigers. In 1969, his 3rd season for Richmond, Sheedy not only recieved runner up fairest and best for the club, he earned a Victorian State gournsey and played in the Tigers premership team.
Sheedy went on to play in the 1973 and 1974 premiership sides, won the clubs best and fairest in 1976 and captained the side in 1978. It was not his skills on the football field that made him stand out as a player, it was his on-field riling and phsycologial aggrivation he used on his opponents and the opposition fans. The fact that he was never once reported in his career suprises everyone that ever watched him play a game of afl football.
Born 24th December 1947
Height – 180cm
Weight – 81kg
Played for – Richmond (as #10)
Games Played – 251 (1967-1979)
Goals Kicked – 91
In 1981 the Essendon Bombers appointed Kevin Sheedy as their head coach where he stayed in charge for 27 seasons. During that time, he led the Bombers to 4 premiership flags – 1984, 1985, 1993 and 2000. He was a great inovator and took every advantage he could over other teams, including tying down the windsock at Windy Hill to confuse the opposition afl players.
At the end of the 2007 season, Essendon drew the curtain on his career with a staggering record of 635 games as head coach. Kevin Sheedy’s last home game as coach was in round 21 against his old side the Richmond Tigers. 88,468 people turned out to farewell the great man along with one of the Essendon greats also retiring, James Hird. Sheedy received a standing ovation as he left the field for the last time.
KEVIN SHEEDY QUOTES
“You never fight a war the same way you won the previous one – not if you are smart”
“I would like to invent or radically change a sport” (Kevin developed the backspin handball)