John Edward O’Connell is a former Australian Rules Footballer who played with Claremont in the (WANFL) and Geelong in the VFL.
President Claremont Football Club 1992 – 1997
Born 8th March 1932,
height 193 cm, weight 89 Kg,
Played Claremont 1950 – 54, 1961 – 63, 156 Games
Played Geelong 1955 – 60, 81 games and 65 goals
O’Connell was a ruckman, who could also play as a key position player, mostly up forward. He played for Claremont during the early 1950s and then moved to Melbourne in 1955 due to his employment. Geelong secured his services, as their defender John Hyde wished to join Claremont and they needed something in return.
He kicked four goals on his VFL debut, in the opening round of the1955 season against South Melbourne at Kardinya Park. The following year he kicked 29 goals for the season to finish second in the Geelong goal-kicking.
When he returned to Claremont in 1961, O’Connell was appointed assistant playing coach. He played until 1963, retiring just one year before Claremont ended their premiership drought. He finished with 156 WANFL games and had also represented the Western Australian interstate team on 10 occasions.
O’Connell remained involved in football as both a radio commentator and administrator. He served as General Manager of the WAFL from 1987 to 1991 and was then appointed Claremont club president, a position he held for six years.
Two of his sons, David and Michael O’Connell, played for the west Coast Eagles
He was inducted into the Western Australian Hall of Fame in 2012.