Jack Oatey AM Elevated to Legend

Jack Oatey (front left) watches on while coaching West Adelaide in the 1958 SANFL Grand Final.


SANFL is celebrating Jack Oatey’s richly-deserved elevation to Legend status in the Australian Football Hall of Fame on Tuesday night.

An inaugural inductee as a coach in 1996, Oatey became the third South Australian to be bestowed the game’s highest honour.

Joining Magarey Medallists Barrie Robran and Malcolm Blight as Legends in the Australian Football Hall of Fame, Oatey remains as SANFL’s longest-serving coach having guided Norwood, West Adelaide and Sturt for a total of 786 games across 38 years.

In that period, Oatey piloted his teams to 10 premierships, seven with the Double Blues where he revolutionised the way the game was played, chiefly through the use of slick, and skillful handball.

”SANFL congratulates the late Jack Oatey and his family on his elevation to Legend status in the Australian Football Hall of Fame,” SA Football Commission Chairman Rob Kerin said.

”Jack is widely-regarded as a visionary for the game in South Australia and his legacy lives on with the Jack Oatey Medal and Jack Oatey Stand being named in his honour.

”It is only fitting he has now been recognised on the national stage in this fashion.”

Since 1981, the Jack Oatey Medal has been awarded to the player adjudged best afield in the SANFL Grand Final while since 2014, Oatey’s name is featured among SA’s football greats on the eastern grandstand of Adelaide Oval.

An inaugural inductee to the South Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2002, Oatey was also an accomplished player while lining up in 181 games for the Redlegs between 1940 and 1952.

Featuring in five premierships with Norwood (three as a player-coach), the Yorke Peninusla-raised goal-kicking rover won four best-and-fairests whilst also captaining the club from 1945 to 1952.

Booting a total of 233 goals, Oatey is held in such high esteem that he is a member of Norwood and Sturt’s Team of the Century.

Oatey also thrived while representing South Australia on seven occasions, acting as captain-coach in 1949 and 1950 and coach in 1959.

Jack Oatey AM - Elevated to Legend Status

  • 29/8/1920 – 26/2/1994
  • 162 games for Norwood, 1940-1941 and 1945-1952, 218 goals
  • 19 games for Norwood-North (wartime league), 1942-1944, 15 goals
  • Five games for South Melbourne 1944, four goals
  • Seven games for SA, Captain in 1949 and 1950, coach in 1949, 1950 and 1959
  • Five-time Premiership player 1941 (player), 1943 (player), 1946 (player-coach,) 1948 (player-coach), 1950 (player-coach)
  • Four-time Best and Fairest winner 1940, 1941, 1942, 1945
  • Captain, 1945-52
  • Coached Norwood 1945-1956, 229 games for 148 wins, 80 losses, one draw and three Premierships 1946 1948 1950
  • Coached West Adelaide 1957-1960, 87 games for 59 wins, 28 losses
  • Coached Sturt 1962-1982, 470 games for 314 wins, 152 losses, four draws and seven Premierships 1966-1970, 1974 and 1976
  • 12-time Premiership player overall with ten premierships total as coach in 1946, 1948, 1950, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1974, 1976
  • Captain / Coach / First Rover, Norwood Team of the Century
  • Coach, Sturt Team of the Century
  • Inaugural South Australian Football Hall of Fame inductee
  • SANFL Grand Final Best on Ground Medal has been named in his honour, the Jack Oatey Medal
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