DOB: 21 January 1922
Died: 13 May 2009
Debut: Semi Final 1941 against Carlton at MCG
Last Game: Semi Final 1950 against Geelong at Melbourne
From: Melbourne Grammar/University Blacks
Number: 21 (1941-1950)
Premiership Player - 1941, 1948
Captain - 1948 - 1949
Grand Final team - 1946
Best First Year Player - 1942
Best and Fairest - 1943
Brownlow Medal - 1946
Team of the Century member
MFC Hall of Fame - 2001
MFC Hall of Fame legend - 2008
Life Member - 1950
Victorian state representative - 1946, 1948 (c), 1949
150 Heroes selection
The brother of Denis, John and Ted split his early footballing days between playing for the University and studying medicine. Having played the season in an undefeated University under 19's team, Melbourne called him up for his debut in the 1941 Semi Final against Carlton. It was a wise decision, because in his second match Cordner won a premiership.
12 games in 1942 were followed by 15 the next year, and in 1943 he won the first Best and Fairest award to be named after the recently deceased Keith "Bluey" Truscott.
Playing as an amateur throughout his career he featured in 144 consecutive games from 1942 to 1950 despite medical service in the Navy during World War II, and in that time added the 1946 Brownlow Medal to his earlier best and fairest award. He was the only amateur ever to win the award, and later admitted to only having been able to train three times that year because of his medical commitments. Jack Mueller beat him to the Demons Best and Fairest in his Brownlow year.
Renowned as one of the best followers and defenders in the game. He was named as Ruck/Rover in 1947 and back pocket in the 1949 Sporting Life "Team of the Year". In that time he played 140 consecutive games, ending only after Round 4, 1950 when he suffered a back injury. In 1949 a Brownlow Medal vote was received that failed to distinguish between Don and Denis Cordner, so neither player got the votes.
Retiring as captain before the 1950 season because of the demands of his medical practice, Cordner continued to practice and play football until an emergency situation led to him being exhausted during a finals game. He had been presiding over the birth of a baby in Diamond Creek, and only arrived at the MCG after the baby came at 1pm. He had not had anything to eat and was exhausted by the end of the game. He vowed that he would never do it again and retired. Cordner denied that his retirement had anything to do with an operation to remove a knee cartilage. The club tried to convince him to return for 1951 but he declined.
Cordner was named in the back pocket of the Demons Team of the Century.
After his retirement Cordner served on the club committee in 1957 and 1958, then again from 1964 to 1971. He was also a member of the VFL Tribunal from 1962 to 1964.
He also served as President of the MCC from 1985 to 1992 and was made a life member of both the cricket and football clubs. In his later years Cordner acted as a guide at the MCG. Also served as President of the Diamond Valley League for 20 years.
In 1999 he was named in the Melbourne Grammar Team of the Century.
100 Plus Consecutive Games
Argus - 26/02/1943
Australasian - 24/06/1944
Argus - 05/09/1946
Argus - 01/04/1950
Age - 01/04/1950
Age - 01/09/1949
Advertiser - 16/03/1951
Argus - 06/04/1951
Inside Football - 23/06/1973
Boyles Football Photos
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