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Syd Coventry Snr

Syd Coventry Snr

1922-1934
6
Other Guernsey Nos.
4, 7, 8, 9

227CFC Games Played

62CFC Goals

Date of Birth
13 June 1899
Date of Death
10 November 1976
Recruited From
Diamond Creek
Collingwood Debut
Round 1, 1922
Height:
182cm
Weight:
86kg

Biography

Collingwood has many, many reasons to be thankful that legendary full-forward Gordon Coventry played in the black-and-white jumper. And chief among them is the fact that his presence at Victoria Park pretty much ensured that his brother, Syd, would come too.

Syd was actually two years older than Gordon, but had decided to spend some time working in the mines in Tasmania (both he and Gordon had earlier worked in the mines around their home town of Diamond Creek) rather than pursuing a VFL career.

The Coventry clan were well known around Diamond Creek, and up to six of the boys had played together with the Creek team at the same time (including Norman, who both Gordon and Syd say was the best of the bunch, but who was killed in the First World War). So even disappearing to Tasmania didn’t take Syd off the radar of VFL clubs, and he actually signed with St Kilda to play with them on his return.

But when he came back to Melbourne ahead of the 1921 season, Syd reneged on his contract with the Saints. Gordon had been at Collingwood for a year and, though not yet established as a senior footballer, was loving it. Plus St Kilda was a long way from Diamond Creek.

So Syd turned his back on the Saints, and they in turn forced him to stand out of football for a year as punishment. So when he finally started at Victoria Park in 1922, Syd Coventry was a man on a mission.

He played in the opening round that year, did not miss a game for the season and became one of the first names picked every week for the next 12 years. He quickly established himself as one of the best ruckmen and followers in the game.

Syd was a magnificently proportioned footballer. He stood around 180cm and 86kg, was immensely strong and wonderfully fit. He was fearless, and threw himself into the crushes with abandon. Those qualities were particularly useful in the ruck, where he spent most of his career (combined with spells in defence).

“He provides the strong, rugged work with a vengeance,” wrote the Sporting Globe in 1927. “Syd seems to be electrical in his movements and a mass of energy, unsparingly throwing himself into the vigorous ruck work. Those strong shoulders of his are never idle, and he literally forges his way through anything. He takes some terribly hard knocks, but gives them back equally hard.”

Syd was a strong mark, with a good spring and splendid anticipation. He was also a thumping drop or punt kick and was described as having “the kicking power of a healthy horse”. One of his main strengths lay in his reading of the game. He mastered the art of playing a kick behind the play, gathering many possessions by hanging back and judging precisely where the ball would be coming, then sending it back deep into the Collingwood attack.

So outstanding a player did Syd become that he won the Brownlow Medal in 1927, the first Collingwood player to claim the award. But his value to the team could never be measured solely in awards or statistics. Because his inspiring leadership, which is almost impossible to quantify, was undoubtedly one of his most valuable qualities.

His brother, Gordon, once said that Syd seemed “born to lead”, so naturally did it come to him. No man did more as a player and a leader to inspire those record-breaking Collingwood teams of the late 1920s. The Magpies won Premierships in each of his first four seasons as captain. Victoria also fared well, not losing any of the interstate matches for which he was in charge.

“A few words from him, if we were not shaping like winners, usually had the desired effect,” said one former teammate. “He shepherded our small men in a manner that won him reverence and loyalty from all members of the team.”

Despite his love of the club, Syd tried to leave several times – either to better paying jobs in the country or to join other VFL teams. The Pies refused each time, but eventually allowed him to coach Footscray for a couple of years after he retired in 1934. But Syd was always going to make his way ‘home’ again, and he duly reappeared at Victoria Park in the late 1930s for stints as vice-President and President, where he excelled.

Syd Coventry made an extraordinary contribution to the Collingwood Football Club – first as a player, then as President and throughout as a man. He is a Collingwood icon.

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Statistics

CFC Career Stats

Season played Games Goals Finals Win %
1922-1934 227 62 21 73%

CFC Season by Season Stats

Season GP GL B K H T D Guernsey No.
1922 18 14 6, 9

1922 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Richmond L 6 View match >
Round 2 Sydney L 2 6 View match >
Round 3 Carlton W 6 View match >
Round 5 St Kilda W 2 6 View match >
Round 6 Geelong W 6 View match >
Round 7 Fitzroy W 1 6 View match >
Round 8 Melbourne L 6 View match >
Round 9 Essendon W 1 6 View match >
Round 10 Richmond W 1 6 View match >
Round 11 Sydney W 1 6 View match >
Round 12 Carlton L 6 View match >
Round 14 St Kilda W 6 View match >
Round 15 Geelong W 1 6 View match >
Round 16 Fitzroy W 1 6 View match >
Round 17 Melbourne W 1 6 View match >
Round 18 Essendon W 1 6 View match >
Semi Final Fitzroy L 9 View match >
Grand Final Fitzroy L 2 6 View match >
Legend
  • # Guernsey
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • D Disposals
  • M Marks
  • T Tackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1923 14 6 6

1923 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Sydney W 2 6 View match >
Round 2 Essendon L 6 View match >
Round 3 St Kilda L 6 View match >
Round 4 Geelong W 1 6 View match >
Round 5 Richmond W 1 6 View match >
Round 7 Carlton W 6 View match >
Round 8 Fitzroy L 6 View match >
Round 9 Melbourne W 2 6 View match >
Round 10 Sydney L 6 View match >
Round 11 Essendon L 6 View match >
Round 12 St Kilda W 6 View match >
Round 13 Geelong L 6 View match >
Round 16 Carlton D 6 View match >
Round 17 Fitzroy W 6 View match >
Legend
  • # Guernsey
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • D Disposals
  • M Marks
  • T Tackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1924 14 2 7

1924 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Essendon W 7 View match >
Round 2 St Kilda W 7 View match >
Round 3 Melbourne W 7 View match >
Round 5 Carlton W 7 View match >
Round 6 Sydney L 7 View match >
Round 7 Geelong L 7 View match >
Round 8 Richmond L 7 View match >
Round 9 Fitzroy L 7 View match >
Round 12 Melbourne W 7 View match >
Round 14 Carlton W 7 View match >
Round 15 Sydney W 7 View match >
Round 16 Geelong L 7 View match >
Round 17 Richmond L 1 7 View match >
Round 18 Fitzroy W 1 7 View match >
Legend
  • # Guernsey
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • D Disposals
  • M Marks
  • T Tackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1925 19 4 0 7

1925 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 2 Melbourne W 7 View match >
Round 3 Hawthorn W 7 View match >
Round 4 Geelong L 7 View match >
Round 5 Fitzroy W 7 View match >
Round 6 Sydney W 7 View match >
Round 7 St Kilda L 1 7 View match >
Round 8 Carlton W 7 View match >
Round 9 Richmond W 7 View match >
Round 10 Western Bulldogs W 7 View match >
Round 11 North Melbourne W 7 View match >
Round 12 Essendon W 1 7 View match >
Round 13 Melbourne W 1 7 View match >
Round 14 Hawthorn W 7 View match >
Round 15 Geelong L 7 View match >
Round 16 Fitzroy L 7 View match >
Round 17 Sydney W 7 View match >
Semi Final Essendon W 1 7 View match >
Preliminary Final Melbourne W 7 View match >
Grand Final Geelong L 0 0 7 View match >
Legend
  • # Guernsey
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • D Disposals
  • M Marks
  • T Tackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1926 18 10 9

1926 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 3 Hawthorn W 9 View match >
Round 4 Melbourne W 1 9 View match >
Round 5 Geelong W 9 View match >
Round 6 Sydney W 9 View match >
Round 7 St Kilda W 9 View match >
Round 8 Western Bulldogs W 1 9 View match >
Round 9 Carlton L 9 View match >
Round 10 North Melbourne W 9 View match >
Round 11 Richmond W 1 9 View match >
Round 12 Fitzroy W 9 View match >
Round 13 Essendon W 9 View match >
Round 14 Hawthorn W 2 9 View match >
Round 15 Melbourne W 1 9 View match >
Round 16 Geelong L 1 9 View match >
Round 17 Sydney W 9 View match >
Round 18 Carlton W 3 9 View match >
Semi Final Melbourne L 9 View match >
Grand Final Melbourne L 9 View match >
Legend
  • # Guernsey
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • D Disposals
  • M Marks
  • T Tackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1927 20 3 0 8

1927 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Geelong W 8 View match >
Round 2 Hawthorn W 8 View match >
Round 3 Richmond L 8 View match >
Round 4 Sydney W 8 View match >
Round 5 Fitzroy W 0 0 8 View match >
Round 6 Essendon W 8 View match >
Round 7 St Kilda W 8 View match >
Round 8 Western Bulldogs W 8 View match >
Round 9 Carlton L 1 8 View match >
Round 10 North Melbourne W 8 View match >
Round 11 Melbourne W 8 View match >
Round 12 Geelong W 8 View match >
Round 13 Hawthorn W 1 8 View match >
Round 14 Richmond W 1 8 View match >
Round 15 Sydney W 8 View match >
Round 16 Fitzroy L 8 View match >
Round 17 Essendon W 8 View match >
Round 18 North Melbourne W 8 View match >
Semi Final Geelong W 8 View match >
Grand Final Richmond W 8 View match >
Legend
  • # Guernsey
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • D Disposals
  • M Marks
  • T Tackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1928 19 2 8

1928 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Geelong W 8 View match >
Round 2 Fitzroy W 8 View match >
Round 3 Richmond L 8 View match >
Round 4 Hawthorn W 8 View match >
Round 5 St Kilda W 1 8 View match >
Round 6 North Melbourne W 8 View match >
Round 8 Sydney W 8 View match >
Round 9 Melbourne W 8 View match >
Round 10 Western Bulldogs W 8 View match >
Round 11 Essendon W 8 View match >
Round 12 Geelong L 8 View match >
Round 13 Fitzroy W 1 8 View match >
Round 14 Richmond W 8 View match >
Round 16 St Kilda W 8 View match >
Round 17 North Melbourne W 8 View match >
Round 18 Carlton L 8 View match >
Semi Final Melbourne D 8 View match >
Semi Final Melbourne W 8 View match >
Grand Final Richmond W 8 View match >
Legend
  • # Guernsey
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • D Disposals
  • M Marks
  • T Tackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1929 20 4 0 8

1929 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Richmond W 8 View match >
Round 2 Hawthorn W 8 View match >
Round 3 Sydney W 0 0 8 View match >
Round 4 Geelong W 8 View match >
Round 5 Fitzroy W 8 View match >
Round 6 North Melbourne W 8 View match >
Round 7 Melbourne W 8 View match >
Round 8 St Kilda W 8 View match >
Round 9 Western Bulldogs W 8 View match >
Round 10 Carlton W 8 View match >
Round 11 Essendon W 8 View match >
Round 12 Richmond W 8 View match >
Round 13 Hawthorn W 2 0 8 View match >
Round 14 Sydney W 8 View match >
Round 15 Geelong W 8 View match >
Round 16 Fitzroy W 2 8 View match >
Round 17 North Melbourne W 8 View match >
Round 18 Melbourne W 8 View match >
Semi Final Richmond L 8 View match >
Grand Final Richmond W 8 View match >
Legend
  • # Guernsey
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • D Disposals
  • M Marks
  • T Tackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1930 21 2 0 9

1930 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Richmond W 9 View match >
Round 2 Hawthorn W 9 View match >
Round 3 Sydney W 9 View match >
Round 4 Geelong L 9 View match >
Round 5 Fitzroy L 9 View match >
Round 6 North Melbourne W 9 View match >
Round 7 Melbourne W 9 View match >
Round 8 St Kilda W 9 View match >
Round 9 Western Bulldogs W 9 View match >
Round 10 Carlton L 9 View match >
Round 11 Essendon W 9 View match >
Round 12 Fitzroy W 0 0 9 View match >
Round 13 North Melbourne W 1 9 View match >
Round 14 Melbourne W 9 View match >
Round 15 St Kilda W 9 View match >
Round 16 Western Bulldogs W 9 View match >
Round 17 Carlton W 9 View match >
Round 18 Essendon W 1 9 View match >
Semi Final Richmond W 9 View match >
Preliminary Final Geelong L 9 View match >
Grand Final Geelong W 9 View match >
Legend
  • # Guernsey
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • D Disposals
  • M Marks
  • T Tackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1931 14 2 0 9

1931 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Geelong W 9 View match >
Round 2 Hawthorn W 9 View match >
Round 3 Sydney W 9 View match >
Round 4 Richmond L 9 View match >
Round 5 Carlton L 9 View match >
Round 6 St Kilda W 9 View match >
Round 7 Melbourne W 9 View match >
Round 8 North Melbourne W 1 9 View match >
Round 9 Western Bulldogs W 1 9 View match >
Round 15 Richmond L 9 View match >
Round 16 Carlton W 0 0 9 View match >
Round 17 St Kilda L 0 0 9 View match >
Round 18 Melbourne W 9 View match >
Semi Final Carlton L 9 View match >
Legend
  • # Guernsey
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • D Disposals
  • M Marks
  • T Tackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1932 20 4 0 6

1932 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Hawthorn W 6 View match >
Round 2 Geelong L 6 View match >
Round 3 Essendon W 0 0 6 View match >
Round 4 Fitzroy W 6 View match >
Round 5 Carlton L 6 View match >
Round 6 Western Bulldogs W 6 View match >
Round 7 Melbourne W 6 View match >
Round 8 St Kilda W 1 6 View match >
Round 9 North Melbourne W 1 0 6 View match >
Round 10 Richmond W 6 View match >
Round 11 Sydney W 6 View match >
Round 12 Hawthorn W 6 View match >
Round 13 Geelong L 6 View match >
Round 14 Essendon W 6 View match >
Round 15 Fitzroy W 1 6 View match >
Round 16 Carlton L 1 6 View match >
Round 17 Western Bulldogs W 6 View match >
Round 18 Melbourne W 6 View match >
Semi Final Sydney W 6 View match >
Preliminary Final Carlton L 6 View match >
Legend
  • # Guernsey
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • D Disposals
  • M Marks
  • T Tackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1933 17 4 0 6

1933 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Geelong W 0 0 6 View match >
Round 2 Fitzroy L 6 View match >
Round 3 Sydney W 6 View match >
Round 4 Richmond L 1 6 View match >
Round 5 Carlton W 1 0 6 View match >
Round 6 North Melbourne L 6 View match >
Round 7 Melbourne W 0 0 6 View match >
Round 8 St Kilda W 6 View match >
Round 9 Western Bulldogs L 6 View match >
Round 10 Hawthorn W 0 0 6 View match >
Round 11 Essendon W 0 0 6 View match >
Round 12 Geelong L 6 View match >
Round 13 Fitzroy L 1 6 View match >
Round 14 Sydney L 6 View match >
Round 16 Carlton W 0 0 6 View match >
Round 17 North Melbourne W 0 0 6 View match >
Round 18 Melbourne W 1 6 View match >
Legend
  • # Guernsey
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • D Disposals
  • M Marks
  • T Tackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1934 13 5 0 4

1934 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Sydney L 1 0 4 View match >
Round 2 Essendon W 4 View match >
Round 3 Hawthorn W 4 View match >
Round 4 Richmond W 2 4 View match >
Round 5 Geelong D 1 4 View match >
Round 8 St Kilda W 4 View match >
Round 9 Melbourne W 4 View match >
Round 10 Carlton W 4 View match >
Round 14 Hawthorn W 0 0 4 View match >
Round 16 Geelong L 1 4 View match >
Round 17 Fitzroy W 4 View match >
Round 18 North Melbourne W 4 View match >
Semi Final Sydney L 4 View match >
Legend
  • # Guernsey
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • D Disposals
  • M Marks
  • T Tackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
Totals 227 62 0
Avg/Game   0.27 0.00
Legend
  • GP Games Played
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • T Tackles
  • D Disposals

Key Facts

CFC Debut Number

258

Total AFL Games
227
Total AFL Goals
62
CFC Debut
Round 1, 1922
CFC Last Game
Semi Final, 1934
Recruited From
Diamond Creek
Full Name
Syd Coventry Snr

Awards

  • AFL Hall of Fame
    1996
  • x2
    Champion of the Colony
    1927, 1929
  • Brownlow Medallists
    1927
  • Life Members
    1934
  • Austral Cup
    1925
  • Best Finals Player (Bob Rose Award)
    1932
  • CFC Hall of Fame
    2004
  • CFC Team of the Century
  • x2
    E.W. Copeland Trophy (Best and Fairest)
    1927, 1932
  • x8
    Team Captain
    1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934
  • x4
    Premiership
    1927, 1928, 1929, 1930
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