The VAFA and our wider community are saddened to hear that VAFA Life Member and former Uni Blacks 1974 A Grade Premiership coach Peter O’Donohue died peacefully on Sunday, 4 November aged 89.
Peter was made a Life Member of the VAFA in 2002 for his services to the the Association as coach of both University Blacks and La Trobe University then as the representative coach of the Big V on many occasions.
Prior to the the VAFA, Peter played over 100 games for Hawthorn, interrupted by his time in the Air Force during World War II.
Peter later coached the Hawthorn seniors before joining University Blacks in 1970 where he coached the seniors for seven seasons.
The 1974 A Grade Premiership was a highlight of Peter’s career, as was being named the coach of the MUFC VAFA Team of the Modern Era.
Peter was also a legend of the Latrobe Uni Football Club where he coached for many seasons.
Peter later returned to University Blacks to assist Michael O’Donnell in 1984 and was always willing to lend his substantial experience to the cause.
Peter also coached the VAFA Big V side from 1976-1979 winning the AAFC Carnival as the champion team in 1979.
Peter was immensely respected by his players who fondly recall his direct approach, such as Peter’s message on handball: “The first is good, the second is risky, the third is suicide.”
Here is a summation of Peter’s football life:
- Former Hawthorn (VFL) captain 1950-52
- Hawthorn Reserve Coach 1965-66
- Hawthorn Chairman of Selectors 1967
- Melbourne University Blacks coach 1970-76 (A Section premiership ’74)
- La Trobe University Coach 1986-90 (Premiership Coach in Div 3 in 1988 and Div 2 in 1989)
- VAFA representative coach 1977-79
- AAFC Coach 1979
- VAFA Selector 1980-81
- Also coached at Old Melburnians, Marcellin OC
- VAFA sub-committees – Independent Tribunal & Permit Committee
- Life Membership of Melbourne and La Trobe University Football Clubs
The VAFA extends its condolences to Peter’s son Sean, his wife Sue and their two daughters Kate and Sarah.
Peter is also survived by brothers Joseph, Mal and Conrad.
The funeral will be held on Wednesday 21 November at St Mary’s Catholic Church, Main St Bairnsdale at 11.30am.
More can be read on Peter’s time at University Blacks here.