HALL OF FAME - Wynne, John

John Wynne

(1970 - 1982)

The strongest link

John Francis Wynne was born on September 24, 1947. He began his senior career as a 17 year-old with West Perth in 1966, playing 85 League games between 1966 and 1969.

Playing as a key forward in the 1969 finals series, he was a major factor in West Perth winning that year's premiership, under coach Graham "Polly" Farmer. He also represented Western Australia in the 1969 State Carnival held in Adelaide.

The previous year he had represented his country in a Gaelic tour, which included games played in the United Kingdom and the USA. Consisting of star players from the different state leagues, the teamed dubbed the "Galahs", went through undefeated.

Wynne transferred to Norwood in 1970 when he planned to have just one season in the SANFL before moving on to the VFL. Fortunately for Norwood and its supporters, "two-eight" decided to make the Parade his home for the rest of his playing career.
One of Norwood's all time favourite players, Wynne was versatile enough to play in most positions. Strong, vigorous and skilful, he served Norwood with great distinction from 1970 to 1982.

Wynne's first Norwood coach, Robert Oatey played him predominantly as a ruck-rover or centre half forward. He represented South Australia in the 1972 Australian Football Carnival held in Perth. A regular interstate footballer from 1971, Wynne again represented South Australia in 1973 and 1974. 

In 1973, he was third in the club's best and fairest and in 1974 was appointed Norwood vice-captain by new coach Bob Hammond. Wynne was awarded a five year service award, at the end of the 1974 season.

At his best when the going was tough, Wynne was the ultimate team man, protecting and creating openings for his team-mates, and offering exceptional leadership.

In 1975 he was named club captain. It was fitting that Norwood should break its 25 year premiership drought with "Wynney" as the on-field leader. Named as ruck-rover in the 1975 grand final against Glenelg, he was very high in Norwood's best players. He had a stellar season, also playing his 100th game, and winning the E.A. Johnson Award for his services to the club.
In 1977 he captained the side to a win in the Ardath Cup grand final (NFL Championships). He decided not to seek re-appointment as captain in 1978, due to persistent knee and ankle injuries.

Forced to manage his injuries, Wynne only played nine league games in 1978. However that total included the unforgettable one point grand final win over Sturt in the Norwood Football Club's centenary year. Playing out of a forward pocket, Wynne kicked a critical goal to give Norwood the lead for the first time in the last quarter. The game will be remembered for the heart-stopping finish, but also for an incident when Wynne, during a scrimmage on the boundary line, ended up in the Sturt coaches' box, resulting in a brief altercation with opposition staff and players. Whether or not this had an unsettling effect on the Sturt coaching staff will always be a matter of conjecture.
Wynne qualified for SANFL and Norwood player life memberships in 1979.

In 1980, under rookie coach Neil Balme and with Wynne playing at centre half forward, the Redlegs almost snared the grand final, against arch rivals Port Adelaide.

Wynne's last game of league football was early in the 1982 season. However, he continued to give Balme valuable assistance in his role on the match committee as well as providing specialist coaching to the Under 17's. He returned to Western Australia and coached West Perth in 1985 and 1986. 

In 2001 John Wynne was selected in Norwood's Team of the Century and in 2006 he was inducted into the club's Hall of Fame.

His achievements in the Western Australian Football League were recognised in 2015 when he was inducted into the WAFL Hall of Fame.

John' son Chase, played a season of Reserves football for Norwood in 2007.

R Cialini July 2015

Games: 193 Goals: 110
Premierships: 1975, 1978
Premiership captain: 1975 Captain: 1975-77
Further honours: WAFL Hall of Fame, Norwood Player Life Member, Norwood Team of the Century, NFL Champions of
Australia Night Competition 1977, SA games 8

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