THERE will be a 32-year first unfold at Marvel Stadium this Saturday evening, when North Melbourne coach David Noble is forced to plot against his own son – Collingwood defender John Noble.

The pair are set to become just the third father-son duo to compete on opposing sides in the history of AFL/VFL football, with this weekend's clash to mark the first time it has happened since 1989.

And, remarkably, both the Kangaroos and the Magpies will have been involved in every father-son meeting so far.

The first time this occurred was when Collingwood coach Bob Rose went against his son, Robert Rose of Footscray, in 1972. North Melbourne coach John Kennedy snr then squared up against his son, John Kennedy jnr of Hawthorn, eight times throughout the 1980s.

Former Collingwood coach Bob Rose during the summer of 1985. Picture: Getty Images

The omens favour John and the Magpies on Saturday, though, with a father yet to beat his son in the nine meetings where it has happened so far.

Robert's Footscray accounted for Bob's Collingwood in 1972, while John Kennedy jnr's Hawthorn beat John Kennedy snr's North Melbourne seven times in their eight meetings in the '80s. Their first contest against each other finished as a draw in 1985.

History would also suggest that John might run rampant off a half-back flank this weekend. John Kennedy jnr was often prolific against his dad's team, averaging 22 disposals and kicking 20 goals from his eight games against them.

John Kennedy snr talks to his North Melbourne players in 1985. Picture: AFL Photos

John Noble has been one of the few positives for Collingwood this season, averaging 18.7 disposals from the backline in a Magpies outfit that currently has a 1-6 record following a disappointing start to the campaign.

David Noble is yet to record his first victory as an AFL coach, with his rebuilding North Melbourne side currently 0-7 to start the year. However, the Kangaroos showed plenty of promise in a brave performance against the unbeaten Demons last week.

So, will David become the first father to record a victory over his son in the history of AFL/VFL football on Saturday evening? Or will John continue the legacy of the sons taking home the points?

Bragging rights at the next family dinner could depend on it.


1972: Bob Rose (Coach, Collingwood) v Robert Rose (Player, Footscray)

1985-89: John Kennedy snr (Coach, North Melbourne) v John Kennedy jnr (Player, Hawthorn)

1972 (Rd 8): Son by 24 points

1985 (Rd 11): Draw

1985 (Rd 22): Son by 64 points

1986 (Rd 2): Son by 3 points

1986 (Rd 13): Son by 60 points

1987 (Rd 11): Son by 22 points

1988 (Rd 22): Son by 95 points

1989 (Rd 2): Son by 69 points

1989 (Rd 17): Son by 76 points