HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE

John WYNNE

Year Inducted 2015
Date of Birth 24th September 1947

Player 1966-1982 (West Perth 1966-1969, Norwood 1970-1982)

Games 290 (West Perth 85, Norwood 193, WA 4, SA 8)

Goals 192 (West Perth 79, Norwood 110, WA 3)

Honours: West Perth Premiership Player 1969; Norwood Premiership Player 1975 (Captain), 1978;  West Perth League Coach 1985-1987; Norwood Captain 1975-1977 Australian Representative “Galahs”1968 Australian Football World Tour; Norwood Life Member; Norwood Team of the Century

Some of the greatest products of West Australian football have performed their finest deeds away from their home state. John Wynne was one such champion but his impact for West Perth and WA in his first 4 seasons was outstanding and reconciles well with a superb career in South Australia which took his tally of senior games to 290 in 17 seasons and made him a triple premiership player and a member of the Norwood Football Club Hall of Fame .

John Francis Wynne was born at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Subiaco but he was a West Perth district local growing up in Howe St, Osborne Park and attending the Mt Hawthorn State and Tuart Hill High Schools. John was a precocious footballer and joined the West Perth Under 18 team in the district council when he was 16 and captured the club fairest and best award. The following season (1965) he graduated to the West Perth (WANFL) Thirds team and again won the fairest and best award for the season. At a lean 189 cm (6ft 2.5”) and 79.4 kg (12 stone 7 pounds) he was tall enough to fill a number of key roles including ruck, full forward and centre half forward and was selected for the league team in the opening round of the 1966 season at full forward. This was an exciting time for the club which possessed an excellent crop of young talent and John quickly established himself as a star in the making in a finals bound team. He was reported in the Budget as a winner at full forward after Round 3 and to be “playing with a maturity that belies his youth” as a  ruckman/forward after Round 4. Wynne played all 23 games for West Perth in his debut season including 2 finals and then only missed 1 game in 1967, continuing to display exceptional maturity and consistency in a variety of roles.

By 1968, John Wynne had become a key member of a strong West Perth team under Graham Farmer. In that season he was played mostly in the difficult centre half forward position. Although lightly built he was a deceptively tough 20 year old who could take a strong contested mark and turn and kick accurately on both sides. For his size he was amazingly agile and had an uncanny ability to break away from packs and tackles. His stamina allowed Wynne to cover a lot of ground and create opportunities for his team mates. His versatility allowed him to take a turn in the ruck as required and he could also be switched to centre half back to nullify the key player in the opposing team.

The 1968 and 1969 seasons were very good ones for West Perth and John Wynne. The club finished at the top of the ladder at the end of the 1968 home and away season and won the premiership in 1969. Wynne made his state debut against South Australia in 1968 and the following year played all 3 games in the Australian Carnival held in Adelaide. He was stationed at centre half forward or on the half forward flank and was named in WA’s best in the game against Victoria. He was at centre half forward in the crushing 1969 grand final win by West Perth over East Perth and finished fourth in his clubs fairest and best award in both seasons.

Perhaps believing he had reached the pinnacle in WA football, John Wynne set off for Victoria via South Australia in 1970. He intended to play one season at Norwood but instead stayed for 13 after falling in love with the Red Legs. By this time his big frame had filled out considerably and Wynne became renowned as one of the most powerful footballers of his time. The Norwood Hall of Fame describes him as possibly the strongest man ever to wear the red and blue and a team mate said “having him out there was like playing in a wind tunnel - no one could touch you while John was nearby. If you weren’t on his side, the opposite applied, completely.  John was as tough mentally as he was hard at the body; be it injury, opponent or circumstance nothing could stop him at his peak”. As captain in 1975 Wynne led Norwood to an emotional drought breaking premiership and again in 1978, the centenary of the club, he was again a key player in a flag winning team. In his final few seasons at Norwood John played under the difficulty of a chronic knee complaint and he finished just short of 200 league games for the club. He had represented his adopted state 8 times and never did reach the VFL despite approaches by 11 of the 12 clubs.

After retiring as a player John Wynne returned to Western Australia and was appointed senior coach of his old club for 2 seasons. He had a rebuilding task and was well respected by the players for his exceptional knowledge and skills based approach. In his first season (1985) Wynne took the club into a rare 1980’s finals campaign and finished his tenure with a creditable 21 wins and a draw from 43 games.

John Wynne remains a West Perth favourite despite a relatively brief period of playing service. His exceptional career might but have received greater recognition at the time had he continued on to Victoria and his exploits been beamed to his home state via the “Winners”. His overall achievements in the game are nevertheless exceptional and he joins the West Australian Football Hall of Fame as one of the greatest products of the West Australian football system.