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The complete history of the Mighty Magpies

John Mahon

John Mahon

1961-1965
8
Other Guernsey Nos.
2, 42

60 CFC Games Played

1 CFC Goals

Date of Birth
12 February 1940
Date of Death
23 November 2014
Recruited From
Xavier College
Collingwood Debut
Round 1, 1961
Height:
180cm
Weight:
84kg

Biography

Former Magpie skipper Gordon Hocking was once known as footy’s “smallest big man”, for his outstanding ability to successfully take on much taller opponents. Johnny Mahon, a strong and solid defender from the 1960s, was seemingly cut from similar cloth.

Although he stood only 180cm tall (5’11” in the old language), Mahon most frequently played in one of the two key defensive posts during his 60-game League career. And that meant coming up against many of the best key forwards of his day – most of whom were significantly taller. It says much for Mahon’s physical strength, judgement and reading of the game that he rarely lowered his colours.

John Mahon underwent a long apprenticeship to make it to the top. He was playing with Xavier College in 1956 when the coach suggested he try out with Collingwood. John had a few training runs that year but didn’t seriously have a crack until he joined up with our under-19s in 1957, playing 16 games for the year. He split his time between the thirds and seconds in 1958, but for the next two seasons spent his time entirely with the reserves.

All of which meant he’d amassed 68 games in the lower grades by the time he finally made his senior debut against Geelong in the opening round of the 1961 season (by the time he retired he would have 84 in total).

That’s a healthy grounding in anyone’s language, and it showed in the rapid way Mahon adjusted to life at senior level. He’d won the reserves best and fairest in 1960, as well as representing the VFL Seconds against South Australia the same year. And all that experience proved invaluable as he played 16 games in his debut campaign, and won the Collingwood Rotary Club award for best first year player.

“Supporters have come to know John’s rugged style of play, and his strength is a constant steadying factor on Collingwood’s back-line,” wrote Footy Fan magazine in 1964. “Speed is rated by John as one of his biggest assets – his quickness to position himself, placing long driving kicks well into attack, as well as providing fans with plenty to roar approval about! [He is] a sturdy, robust, hard bumping player who uses his pace to full advantage, an excellent mark and kick, and that makes him an ideal defender”. He just keeps boring in for the ball and no opponent gets an easy kick when he is about,” added The Sun newspaper.

Mahon missed almost all of 1963 with a serious ankle injury but returned to enjoy a career-best season in 1964, culminating in a Grand Final appearance at centre half-back. But he played only eight more games the following year before his Collingwood days ended, after which he went to Prahran in the VFA.

John Mahon had always been a part of the Collingwood fabric, and not just because of his football. His family owned the Yarra Hotel on Johnston Street for many years, and a venue that was already indelibly linked with Magpie history became further embedded with the club when John was playing in the 1960s, with players and fans alike regularly drinking there. It is said that his father, Jack, was a robust publican. Equally, John was a robust key defender – and Collingwood through and through.

Statistics

CFC Career Stats

Season played Games Goals Finals Win %
1961-1965 60 1 4 48%

CFC Season by Season Stats

Season GP GL B K H T D Guernsey No.
1961 16 0 36

1961 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Geelong L 0 36 View match >
Round 2 Richmond L 0 36 View match >
Round 3 North Melbourne W 0 36 View match >
Round 4 Western Bulldogs L 0 36 View match >
Round 5 Fitzroy L 0 36 View match >
Round 6 Carlton L 0 36 View match >
Round 7 Essendon W 0 36 View match >
Round 8 Melbourne L 0 36 View match >
Round 9 St Kilda W 0 36 View match >
Round 10 Sydney W 0 36 View match >
Round 11 Hawthorn L 0 36 View match >
Round 12 Geelong L 0 36 View match >
Round 15 Western Bulldogs L 0 36 View match >
Round 16 Fitzroy L 0 36 View match >
Round 17 Carlton L 0 36 View match >
Round 18 Essendon D 0 36 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1962 14 0 8

1962 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 St Kilda L 0 8 View match >
Round 3 Sydney W 0 8 View match >
Round 4 Melbourne L 0 8 View match >
Round 5 Geelong W 0 8 View match >
Round 6 Carlton W 0 8 View match >
Round 7 Western Bulldogs L 0 8 View match >
Round 11 Essendon L 0 8 View match >
Round 12 St Kilda L 0 8 View match >
Round 13 Hawthorn W 0 8 View match >
Round 14 Sydney W 0 8 View match >
Round 15 Melbourne L 0 8 View match >
Round 16 Geelong L 0 8 View match >
Round 17 Carlton L 0 8 View match >
Round 18 Western Bulldogs W 0 8 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1963 1 0 8

1963 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Richmond W 0 8 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1964 21 1 0 0 8

1964 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Fitzroy W 0 8 View match >
Round 2 Geelong L 0 8 View match >
Round 3 Western Bulldogs W 0 8 View match >
Round 4 Sydney W 0 8 View match >
Round 5 Carlton W 0 8 View match >
Round 6 Essendon L 0 8 View match >
Round 7 North Melbourne W 0 8 View match >
Round 8 Richmond W 0 8 View match >
Round 9 Melbourne L 0 8 View match >
Round 10 Hawthorn L 0 8 View match >
Round 11 St Kilda W 0 8 View match >
Round 12 Fitzroy W 0 8 View match >
Round 13 Geelong W 0 8 View match >
Round 14 Western Bulldogs W 0 8 View match >
Round 15 Sydney W 0 8 View match >
Round 16 Carlton D 1 0 8 View match >
Round 17 Essendon W 0 8 View match >
Round 18 North Melbourne W 0 8 View match >
Semi Final Melbourne L 0 8 View match >
Preliminary Final Geelong W 0 8 View match >
Grand Final Melbourne L 0 0 0 8 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1965 8 92 5 97 8

1965 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 St Kilda L 11 11 8 View match >
Round 2 Richmond W 11 11 8 View match >
Round 4 Geelong L 13 13 8 View match >
Round 5 Carlton L 14 2 16 8 View match >
Round 9 Essendon W 11 11 8 View match >
Round 11 Fitzroy W 15 3 18 8 View match >
Round 13 Richmond W 2 2 8 View match >
Preliminary Final Essendon L 15 15 8 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
Totals 60 1 0 92 5 97
Avg/Game   0.02 0.00 1.53 0.08 1.62
Legend
  • GPGames Played
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • TTackles
  • DDisposals

Key Facts

CFC Debut Number

628

Total AFL Games
60
Total AFL Goals
1
CFC Debut
Round 1, 1961
CFC Last Game
Preliminary Final, 1965
Recruited From
Xavier College
Full Name
John Mahon

Awards

  • Reserves/VFL Best and Fairest
    1960
  • Best First Year Player (Harry Collier Trophy)
    1961
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