John Edward O’Connell
Born 8 March 1932
Senior clubs Claremont and Geelong
Recruited from Claremont 1955 and Geelong 1961
Family links (Sons)Michael and David O’Connell
Claremont 1950 – 1954 1961 – 1963 156 games for 126 Goals scored
Geelong 1955 – 1960 Played 81 Games for 65 Goals
John O’Connell was a tall (193cm), powerful ruckman and key position player who was capable of the odd burst of brilliance. He marked well around the ground and was hard to beat at ruck contests. Mobile, energetic and intelligent, made his league debut with Claremont in 1950 and after five seasons there moved to Geelong where he added 81 VFL games over the next six years. Returning to Claremont in 1961 he took his final tally of WANFL games to 156 before retiring in 1963. Sadly for O’Connell, that was the season before the perennially under-achieving Tigers were to break through for a long overdue flag.
Despite the presence during O’Connell’s time in Western Australia of great ruckmen such as Farmer, McIntosh, Foley and Clarke he was still chosen to represent the state on 10 occasions. He also played once for the VFL.
Author – John Devaney