313. Athol Hodgetts


Cooee/North Melbourne/Wynyard/Coburg/Essendon/Carlton/VFA, Player/ Administrator, 1967-1999

Around 85 games for Cooee, 1967-70, 1973 hodgetts
9 games, 15 goals for North Melbourne, 1971-72
Around 20 games, 69 goals for Wynyard, 1974
52 games, 178 goals for Coburg (VFA), 1975-78
Cooee NWFU premiership 1973
Coburg Best and Fairest 1975
NWFU Leading Goalkicker 1973 (73), 1974 (69)
Represented Tasmania vs WA (1970)
President, Coburg Football Club (1979-80)
Marketing Manager, Essendon Football Club (1981-87)
Executive Director, Victorian Football Association (1987-92)
Marketing Director, Carlton Football Club (1992-99)

Born in 1951, Athol Hodgetts made his senior debut with Cooee in 1967. A talented key forward, Hodgetts played for Tasmania as a teenager, kicking three goals in the famous win against Western Australia in 1970.

In 1971 Hodgetts joined VFL club North Melbourne, however injury restricted him to just 9 games in two seasons, and in 1973 he returned to Cooee.

Upon his return Hodgetts established himself as the leading spearhead in coastal football, topping the NWFU goal-kicking table (73 goals) and featuring prominently in Cooee’s premiership team.

In 1974, Hodgetts moved up the coast to Wynyard, again winning the Union goal-kicking with 69, and booting four last-quarter goals while injured in the 1st Semi Final, a performance described by coach ‘Tiger’ Dowling as the best individual quarter of footy he had seen. Family commitments saw Hodgetts return to Victoria in 1975, and he ended his career with four seasons at Coburg in the VFA before retiring due to illness aged just 27.

Hodgetts’ administration career began as president of Coburg in 1979, becoming the youngest-ever VFA club president. His two-year tenure was enormously successful, with the club winning their first premiership in 51 years in 1979. In 1981, Hodgetts joined Essendon as Marketing Manager for seven years, during which time he attracted new and lucrative sponsorships and increased the club’s membership numbers.

In 1987 he returned to the VFA as Executive Director, his five-year tenure seeing the return of VFA football to television, a successful campaign to clean up the Association’s violent image and the reunification of the Association into a single Division competition. These measures saw a noticeable increase in standard and attendances, and the strength of the competition overall. His last major role came as Marketing Director with Carlton, his most enduring achievement being a $250,000 sponsorship from Mars secured through the now infamous ‘M&M Blues’ match in 1997.