John Herbert TODD

Year Inducted 2004
Date of Birth 21st May 1938

PLAYER-COACH: 1955-2001

GAMES: 145: South Fremantle 132; WA 13

PREMIERSHIP: Coach East Fremantle 1974, Swan Districts 1982-84, 90, South Fremantle 1997.

HONOURS: Sandover Medal 1955; south Fremantle fairest and best 1955, 58. 61; All-Australian 1961; WA coach 1975, 1983-85, 87, 89, 95, 98; West coast coach 1988-89; All Australian coach 1983-84; Advance Australia award 1985; Order of Australia 1986; John Leonard Medal 1990; WAFL life member 1991; West Australian Sporting Hall of Fame 1997; AFL Hall of Fame 2003.

Before the 1954 grand final, fans got a sneak preview of two men who shaped football in WA.  Running around for the South Fremantle reserves were 16 year old high flying forward John Gerovich and left footed 16 year old John Todd, who kicked seven goals on debut.  Almost 50 years on, Todd ranks alongside Graham Farmer and Bill Walker as the biggest names in WA football.  A year after playing in the reserves grand final, he was a 17 year old Sandover medalist, polling 25 votes to beat Farmer (then 20) by four votes.

Todd seriously injured his right knee in his second season of senior football and played most of his football wearing a primitive knee brace imported from America.  He still became one of the great players and rates alongside jerry Dolan, John Leonard and Phil Matson as WA’s great coaches.  It is mind-boggling that he won All Australian selection in the 1961 national carnival in Brisbane, and three club fairest and bests while on one good leg.  But, his greatest impact has been as a coach.  In 1959 he became the youngest coach in the history of the WAFL when appointed captain-coach of South Fremantle at age 20.  By the time he retired at Swan Districts at the end of the 2001 season, he had coached three clubs to six premierships.  He also led WA to victory in national football titles in 1983-84, was the second coach of West Coast and the first to take the fledgling club into the VFL finals in 1988.