Hawthorn’s and Water Safety Vietnam’s John Kilpatrick wins AFL Coaches’ Support Staff Leadership Award
Posted by Vietnam Swans on October 10, 2012
In the week prior to this year’s AFL Grand Final, the AFL coaches voted Richmond’s Trent Cotchin the Wingman Champion Player of the Year and Sydney’s John Longmire as the Allan Jeans Senior Coach of the Year.
Another award presented on the night was the Support Staff Leadership Award which is presented in conjunction “with Bushnell in recognition of service to the game and to his/her club, having regard for longevity, outstanding contribution, innovation, initiative in carrying out his / her duties.”
This award was won by Hawthorn’s John Kilpatrick.
John is also a Board member of Water Safety Vietnam and a friend of Vietnam Football League (VFL – the League that was played during the Vietnam War from 1966-1971 in Vung Tau) historian, Stan Middleton.
Afterwards, Stan wrote to John:
“Congratulations on your award from the AFL Coaches’ Association.
“From what I have heard, it is well and truly deserved. John Haward (Vietnam Vet) and former trainer with the Hawks has often told me of your contribution to the Hawthorn Football Club over many years. Must admit to enjoying the video clip of Dermot Brereton being treated by you on the ground during the 1989 Hawthorn v Geelong Grand Final!
“You are a true gentleman, John and a person that gives his time to others freely and without asking for anything in return.
“I well remember as a child growing up and barracking for Irymple (and later playing for them in all grades) in the Sunraysia Football League and how you were a member of the “baby” Irymple Senior team that was made up of 16, 17 and 18 yo’s under the famous Carlton Full Back Ollie Grieve. That team made a Grand Final against Mildura Imperials against the odds! Also, how you returned to coach Irymple after playing for St Kilda when I was in the Under 16 or 18 team.
“All those years ago, I didn’t expect that we would become involved in such a worthwhile project as Water Safety Vietnam.”
The Vietnam Swans also extend a very big congratulations to John. A magnificent achievement.
- Pam O’Rielly, from Water Safety Vietnam’s Committee says that “it is my hope to get John and Neil Roberts over to Vietnam one day for a fundraiser”. We watch this space.
- John Corrall is also a Water Safety Vietnam Board Member. John’s son, Adam, just happens to be a Swannie based in Saigon.
- Trevor Grant wrote an article in the Herald Sun about the 1989 VFL Grand Final titled, Lords of War.
Grant writes that just after Brereton was felled, “Trainers, doctors and the runner, George Stone, race to the scene. Physiotherapist Barry Gavin heads the contingent. Gavin recounts later, ‘The thing that really struck me was how bad he (Brereton) was when I got there. He’d lost all the colour in his face and was vomiting. He’d dragged himself back on his feet by this stage. But he was doubled over, dry-reaching and his color was grey. There was no way he could stay out there.
“I remember looking up at (Coach Allan) Jeansy in the box and starting to try to get him off. Dermot said, ‘No, no. Just get me down to the pocket’.”
” ‘Terry Gay (team doctor) came out. He was more worried than me. He recognised the gravity of it.’”They helped him down to the forward pocket at the Punt Rd end. On the way, Brereton vomits over trainer John Kilpatrick.
” ‘He stood in front of me. It was the worst spot,’ Brereton says later.”
For Grant’s full article, click here. To see a replay of the opening moments of the 1989 VFL Grand Final at which Brereton is felled, see the video clip below.