Kennedy becomes 29th Hall of Fame legend

Two more heroes will be inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame on Tuesday following Hawthorn coaching icon John Kennedy Snr’s elevation to legend status.

The man known as ‘Kanga’ on Monday became the 29th legend, with former St Kilda warrior Lenny Hayes the first inductee of 2020.

Kennedy was an inaugural Hall of Fame member in 1996, but it took another 24 years for the most important figure in Hawthorn’s history to receive the highest honour.

He won four best-and-fairests during his 164-match playing career for the Hawks between 1950 and 1959, but it was off the field where Kennedy created his mark as one of the game’s most brilliant individuals.

Following years as a struggling club after entering the VFL in 1925, Hawthorn emerged as a genuine powerhouse under Kennedy’s tutelage.

He led Hawthorn in 299 games, guiding the club to its first three premierships, and is renowned for his famous ‘Don’t think, do’ quote.

Kennedy later went onto coach North Melbourne 113 times between 1985 and 1989.

After his coaching career finished, Kennedy was AFL commissioner for four years from 1993.

Earlier, Hayes became the Saints’ 19th Hall of Fame player, joining club legends Trevor Barker, Tony Lockett and Darrel Baldock.

Hayes grew up outside of AFL heartland in NSW, but cemented himself as one of the game’s most popular players for his courage and fierce determination during 297 games between 1999 and 2014.

Now an assistant coach at GWS, the 40-year-old was a four-time All-Australian, took out the Saints’ best-and-fairest in 2003, 2010 and 2012, and famously won the Norm Smith Medal in the 2010 drawn grand final.

Six more members will be inducted into the Hall of Fame from June 2 to 4 with the newest additions to be announced on Fox Footy.





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