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Hall Of Fame: Bob Hammond
The South Australian has contributed over 55 years of distinguished service as a player, coach, administrator and commissioner
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IF YOU were to nominate the great moments in South Australian football in the last 60 years, many would involve Bob Hammond.

In 1963, South Australia came to the MCG and beat Victoria for the first time in 37 years. Hammond played at full-back for a team that was feted by 10,000 delirious supporters when it arrived back in Adelaide the following day.

In 1972, North Adelaide was crowned champions of Australia after beating the VFL premier, Carlton, at Adelaide Oval. Hammond, the North Adelaide stalwart was full-back that afternoon, as he was the following year when the Roosters lost to Glenelg in the last – and greatest - SANFL Grand Final at Adelaide Oval, before the move to Football Park the following year.

Nominate the great moments in SA football and many will involve Bob Hammond (r). Picture: AFL Media

By 1975 he was coaching Norwood – the sleeping giant of the South Australian competition – and led the Redlegs to their drought-breaking flag - the first in 25 years.

Who was tapped on the shoulder to become the first chairman of Adelaide Football Club when it was hastily created at the end of 1990? Hammond. It was a divisive time as South Australia finally decided to embrace the national competition and he was seen as a healing figure – and someone who could make the hard and quick decisions as the fledgling club got off the ground.

Who was at the helm when the Crows won back-to-back flags in 1997 and 1998? Hammond, still.

And when it was decided that the AFL Commission needed an infusion of fresh blood and the views of someone from outside Victoria, with perspective from the club environment? Hammond, once again.

Player, coach, chairman, administrator: Hammond served football with distinction. Picture: AFL Media

And let’s not forget his cameo appearance as coach of the Sydney Swans in the last few games of 1984 – his first exposure to the VFL - where he presented a high-flying full-forward named Warwick Capper with his debut.

Now, you don't earn a gig in the Australian Football Hall of Fame for introducing the 'Wiz', but you do for more than 50 years of distinguished service to football in South Australia, where he is a giant of the game and an iconic figure at three football clubs – North Adelaide, Norwood and Adelaide. Indeed, the Crows players’ race at Adelaide Oval bears his name.

Forever grateful: Bob Hammond joins the AFL Hall of Fame. Picture: AFL Media

His body of work over 55 years would suggest his induction is a touch overdue. But as far as Hammond is concerned, he will be forever grateful for the opportunity football provided from the time he was a young boy in the under-11s in the hardscrabble Adelaide suburb of Kilburn.

To that point, he channeled former United States President John F. Kennedy: It wasn't about what he had had done for football, rather what football had done for him. It opened doors otherwise inconceivable for someone who finished school in year 10, and helped him build a successful career in the supermarket business.

"Football has had a huge influence and fashioned my life because of the team spirit and effort involved and the highs and the lows, and that continued through life," he said.

"I had no formal education so I guess football has been my greatest tutor." 

FACTFILE: BOB HAMMOND
Clubs North Adelaide, Norwood
Born February 16, 1942
Recruited from Kilburn (SA)
Playing career 1960-75 (NA 1960-73; Nor 1974-75)
Games 248 (NA 234; Nor 14)
Goals 68 (NA 68; Nor 0)
Player/administration honours NA captain 1973; Nor captain 1974; NA premierships 1960, 1971, 1972; NA Team of the Century; State representative (SA 7 games); SANFL life member; AFL life member; SA Football Hall of Fame; Adelaide Hall of Fame; Adelaide chairman 1991-2000; AFL Commissioner 2001-11
Coaching record Norwood 1974-79 (141 games, 89 wins, 52 losses, premiership 1975, 1978); Sydney 1984 (8 games, 3 wins, 5 losses); South Australia 1983 (2 games, 1 win, 1 loss)

Who is in the Australian Football Hall of Fame? Find out more about the Hall of Fame legends, players, coaches, umpires, administrators and media personalities

- Ashley Browne