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The complete history of the Mighty Magpies

Rod Oborne

Rod Oborne

1972-1976, 1978-1979
8

87 CFC Games Played

85 CFC Goals

Date of Birth
6 September 1953
Recruited From
Marist Brothers College, Burnie
Collingwood Debut
Round 1, 1972
Height:
183cm
Weight:
76kg

Biography

Rod Oborne didn’t quite reach the heights his early promise forecast at Collingwood, but the stylish half forward/utility still managed to make a real impression across six-and-a-half senior seasons.

A winner of the Magpies’ best first-year player, a runner-up to Peter McKenna in the club’s goalkicking award in only his second season, and one of those rare footballers capable of averaging a goal per game, Oborne was a fixture at Victoria Park throughout the 1970s.

The talented left-footer represented Collingwood in 87 games and kicked 85 goals, punctuated by a season playing with Claremont in the WAFL. He also represented Richmond.

Wherever he went, Oborne had an uncanny knack of finding the goals, and was so often compelling viewing.

A crafty player, he was nicknamed ‘Swoop’ by his teammates for his capacity to seemingly appear from nowhere and hoover the ball off the deck in one clean, smooth motion.

He arrived at Victoria Park in 1971 from Riana in northern Tasmania, having been recruited from Marist Brothers College in Burnie. He played the entire season in the reserves that year, impressing the club’s long-time seconds coach Neil Mann. So it was little surprise that when Mann inherited the senior job from Bob Rose for the 1972 season that Oborne formed a part of the new coach’s plan for a rejuvenated playing group.

A strong preseason saw the half-forward – wearing the No.8 jumper – chosen for the first round of the season in the Easter Monday clash with Richmond at the MCG. The Agenoted: “Newly appointed Magpie coach Neil Mann has not wasted any time in giving the 1972 Collingwood side a new look.”

Oborne was the youngest Magpie that day – at 18 years and 210 days. It wasn’t quite the start he’d been hoping for, having only six disposals and kicking one behind, but things got better thereafter and he ended up playing 19 senior games for the year, including an outstanding 3.4 against Fitzroy in Round 18.

His form saw him adjudged the club’s best first-year player that season, with The Football Recordsaying he “displayed outstanding form … (as a) dashing player who uses speed and anticipation to win kicks. Excellent kick cannot be left unguarded on flank. Has improved as the year has gone on.”

In many ways, Oborne was the classic half-forward flanker, Elusive, fast, classy, dangerous around goals but prone to inconsistency in what was known as ‘the footballing graveyard’. But he was a dangerous player who opposition teams left unguarded at their peril. He was also a fine mark for his size, and always looked like one of those players who could change the course of a game in a matter of moments.

He started the 1973 season in fine form, kicking 10 goals in the first three weeks and 31 in the first 14 rounds, before ending the year with 39, second only to Peter McKenna. The Age said: “Rod Oborne has become an integral part of the Collingwood set-up. [He is] one of the most dangerous players in the Magpies’ line-up, if let loose for a moment.” He had “great anticipation and football sense as he literally does swoop goalwards.”

Famously, he was pictured in one memorable photo of the time. Oborne was captured almost upside down with the optical illusion of the ball looking as if it was attached to his shoulders in place of his head.

He started 1974 with a four-goal bang against Richmond but the rest of his year was interrupted by injury. The same was true in both ’75 and ’76. After three frustrating seasons, and with the Magpies looking to a different era under new coach Tom Hafey ahead of the 1977 season, Oborne transferred to Claremont in the WAFL, paving the way for Kevin Worthington to join the Magpies.

Oborne played 19 games and kicked 57 goals in his sole season in the WAFL, which made him Claremont’s leading goalkicker.

Given that sort of form, the Magpies wanted him back.

He returned to Collingwood in 1978, managing 15 games and kicking 13 goals. Oborne played three of the first five games with Collingwood in the 1979 season, but finished it with Richmond. A mid-year transfer saw him kick four goals in his first game in yellow and black.

He spent three seasons with Richmond, but only managed five games in that time, including a single game in the club’s 1980 premiership season (in Round 1) – the same year as his son Brad was born.

That wasn’t the end of his time in football, nor his family’s connection to Collingwood.

Oborne would go on to captain-coach Williamstown in the VFA before taking on Ainslie in Canberra where he led them to the 1984 flag. His son would be recruited to Collingwood under the father-son rule in 1998, having graduated from Montmorency and Preston under 18s. Brad played five games for Collingwood – four under Tony Shaw in 1999 and one under Mick Malthouse in 2000 – before being delisted. Like his father, he was a left-footer and knew where the goals were, as evidenced by his three goals against Brisbane in 1999.

Rod Oborne was one of those players who always looked like he might be about to have a breakout season and become a fully-fledged star. And while he never quite reached those heights, a career tally nearing 100 games – and a decent highlights reel – is still plenty to be proud of.

– Glenn McFarlane

Statistics

CFC Career Stats

Season played Games Goals Finals Win %
1972-1976, 1978-1979 87 85 6 58%

CFC Season by Season Stats

Season GP GL B K H T D Guernsey No.
1972 19 7 17 213 37 250 8

1972 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Richmond L 1 5 1 6 8 View match >
Round 2 Carlton D 4 4 8 View match >
Round 5 North Melbourne W 14 3 17 8 View match >
Round 6 Hawthorn L 2 11 3 14 8 View match >
Round 7 Fitzroy W 13 1 14 8 View match >
Round 8 Western Bulldogs L 1 17 3 20 8 View match >
Round 9 Geelong W 2 14 3 17 8 View match >
Round 10 Sydney W 1 15 4 19 8 View match >
Round 11 Essendon W 17 2 19 8 View match >
Round 12 Richmond W 2 13 4 17 8 View match >
Round 13 Carlton L 12 2 14 8 View match >
Round 17 Hawthorn W 1 1 13 1 14 8 View match >
Round 18 Fitzroy W 3 4 14 3 17 8 View match >
Round 19 Western Bulldogs W 6 1 7 8 View match >
Round 20 Geelong L 2 1 12 1 13 8 View match >
Round 21 Sydney W 1 1 15 2 17 8 View match >
Round 22 Essendon L 9 1 10 8 View match >
Qualifying Final Richmond L 1 8 2 10 8 View match >
Semi Final St Kilda L 1 1 8 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1973 24 39 36 306 76 382 8

1973 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Sydney W 4 3 13 2 15 8 View match >
Round 2 Western Bulldogs W 2 2 11 2 13 8 View match >
Round 3 Geelong W 4 3 15 4 19 8 View match >
Round 4 St Kilda W 1 4 16 3 19 8 View match >
Round 5 North Melbourne W 3 2 13 2 15 8 View match >
Round 6 Melbourne W 2 17 2 19 8 View match >
Round 7 Carlton L 1 5 3 8 8 View match >
Round 8 Fitzroy W 3 3 10 3 13 8 View match >
Round 9 Richmond W 2 1 17 2 19 8 View match >
Round 10 Hawthorn W 1 4 12 5 17 8 View match >
Round 11 Essendon W 3 13 7 20 8 View match >
Round 12 Sydney W 1 10 3 13 8 View match >
Round 13 Western Bulldogs W 1 1 14 2 16 8 View match >
Round 14 St Kilda W 3 3 12 2 14 8 View match >
Round 15 Geelong W 18 4 22 8 View match >
Round 16 North Melbourne L 1 9 2 11 8 View match >
Round 17 Melbourne W 1 2 11 7 18 8 View match >
Round 18 Carlton W 2 3 17 2 19 8 View match >
Round 19 Fitzroy W 2 15 5 20 8 View match >
Round 20 Richmond L 1 12 2 14 8 View match >
Round 21 Hawthorn W 2 9 2 11 8 View match >
Round 22 Essendon W 2 11 4 15 8 View match >
Semi Final Carlton L 1 1 15 4 19 8 View match >
Preliminary Final Richmond L 11 2 13 8 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1974 13 15 13 106 14 120 8

1974 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Essendon W 4 17 17 8 View match >
Round 2 Hawthorn W 1 2 10 10 8 View match >
Round 3 Western Bulldogs W 2 11 3 14 8 View match >
Round 4 Fitzroy L 3 1 7 7 8 View match >
Round 6 Melbourne W 1 6 2 8 8 View match >
Round 7 St Kilda W 1 7 2 9 8 View match >
Round 8 Geelong L 1 6 2 8 8 View match >
Round 13 Hawthorn W 1 6 6 8 View match >
Round 14 Fitzroy W 2 9 1 10 8 View match >
Round 16 Carlton L 1 1 6 2 8 8 View match >
Round 18 St Kilda L 1 2 9 1 10 8 View match >
Round 21 North Melbourne L 2 2 9 1 10 8 View match >
Round 22 Sydney L 3 3 8 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1975 3 1 5 26 6 32 8

1975 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Sydney W 3 11 1 12 8 View match >
Round 2 Carlton L 1 2 10 5 15 8 View match >
Round 5 Western Bulldogs L 5 5 8 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1976 10 10 14 77 20 97 8

1976 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 5 St Kilda L 0 8 View match >
Round 7 North Melbourne W 2 19 19 8 View match >
Round 8 Fitzroy W 4 1 10 4 14 8 View match >
Round 9 Western Bulldogs L 1 3 8 3 11 8 View match >
Round 10 Essendon L 1 4 7 1 8 8 View match >
Round 11 Melbourne W 3 9 2 11 8 View match >
Round 12 Carlton W 9 3 12 8 View match >
Round 13 Sydney L 2 1 8 4 12 8 View match >
Round 14 Richmond L 2 5 1 6 8 View match >
Round 19 Fitzroy L 2 2 4 8 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1978 15 13 10 124 21 145 8

1978 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Geelong W 2 1 13 2 15 8 View match >
Round 2 Essendon W 4 1 9 9 8 View match >
Round 3 Sydney L 2 1 6 1 7 8 View match >
Round 4 Hawthorn L 1 5 2 7 8 View match >
Round 5 North Melbourne L 2 1 6 1 7 8 View match >
Round 6 Fitzroy W 1 1 4 4 8 View match >
Round 7 Carlton L 0 8 View match >
Round 9 Richmond W 2 2 8 View match >
Round 11 Melbourne W 1 3 13 1 14 8 View match >
Round 12 Geelong L 1 8 1 9 8 View match >
Round 16 North Melbourne L 1 3 3 8 View match >
Round 21 St Kilda W 17 6 23 8 View match >
Round 22 Melbourne W 12 4 16 8 View match >
Semi Final Carlton W 11 2 13 8 View match >
Preliminary Final North Melbourne L 15 1 16 8 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1979 3 20 6 26 8

1979 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 2 Hawthorn W 9 2 11 8 View match >
Round 5 Western Bulldogs W 9 4 13 8 View match >
Round 6 Essendon L 2 2 8 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
Totals 87 85 95 872 180 1052
Avg/Game   0.98 1.09 10.02 2.07 12.09
Legend
  • GPGames Played
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • TTackles
  • DDisposals

Key Facts

CFC Debut Number

725

Total AFL Games
92
Total AFL Goals
92
CFC Debut
Round 1, 1972
CFC Last Game
Round 6, 1979
Recruited From
Marist Brothers College, Burnie
Full Name
Rod Oborne

Awards

  • Best First Year Player (Harry Collier Trophy)
    1972
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