Kevin Sheedy

Legendary AFL Player & Coach, Author & Keynote Speaker

Kevin Sheedy is a legend of the Australian Football League. A player and coach for over five decades, he has an unsurpassed record of involvement in 1,000 games including eight premierships. In high demand as a keynote speaker, Kevin relates well with men and women from all walks of life. Drawing on his experiences, he delivers entertaining, relevant and valuable insights into building talented teams.

During 1967 and 1979 Kevin played 251 games at Richmond Football Club (RFC), where he played in Premiership teams in 1969, 1973 and 1974. He was skills coach when RFC won the 1980 Premiership.

In 1981 he was appointed Senior Coach at Essendon Football Club(EFC) where he coached for a record 635 matches during 27 years of continuous coaching. During that time EFC competed in 19 final series and won premierships in 1984, 85, 93 and 2000. The club also won six night grand finals. In 2015 Kevin returned to EFC as General Manager, Commercial Development and Innovation.

Kevin was the ‘All Australian” coach in 1984, 1985, 1993 and 2000. He was the State of Origin Coach in 1984 and 1985 and a successful Coach of the International Rules teams in 2005 and 2006.

In 1996, in an effort to highlight the sacrifices made by our service personnel, Kevin initiated the ANZAC Day Match between the Essendon and Collingwood AFL Clubs. He felt that as the years past, the younger generation were losing sight of the history attached to this solemn day. Together with assistance of the Collingwood Club and the Victorian RSL, the match was approved and is now seen as second only to the Grand Final on the AFL yearly calendar with an average 90,000 spectators.

In 2005, Kevin introduced the “Dreamtime” match between the Essendon and Richmond clubs. This match, which salutes our Indigenous players and population, attracts an average 90,000 spectators.

Kevin was the inaugural Coach (2011 – 2013) then Director of the GWS Giants, a period he describes as one of the most personally rewarding chapters of his career. In 2016, the AFL approved another initiative by Kevin and the first “Country Match” was scheduled between the Essendon and Geelong clubs, bringing attention to the plight of farming communities across Australia, and in particular the high rate of depression and suicide in these areas.

Kevin is a member of the AFL Hall of Fame a Life Member of AFL, Richmond, Essendon Clubs, and the first ever Life Member at Greater Western Sydney Football Club (GWS FC). The GWS B & F Medal is named after him. He was awarded an Advance Australia Award and in 1998 he was admitted as a Member of the Order of Australia. in 2022 Kevin was elevated to Immortal status of Essendon Football Club. He has Honorary Doctorates from Australian Catholic University and University of Western Sydney.

Kevin is the author or co-author of nine books, his lastest being Icons of Footy – the greatest players and coaches of my time. The magnum opus The 500 Club, regarded as one of the best books ever written about Australian sport, and his best-selling memoir, Stand Your Ground, published by Pan MacMillan in 2008.

Kevin is equally inspirational beyond the boundaries of sport, helping major corporations with team-building and entertaining as an after-dinner speaker at sports nights.

More About Kevin Sheedy

As a player, coach and ambassador, Kevin Sheedy has had one of the most successful careers in Australian sporting history.

But there is more to Kevin Sheedy than football. He is a marketer, a thinker, an innovator, the holder of awards for community service and an inspirational speaker, capable of talking about
subjects way beyond the boundaries of sport.

Kevin Sheedy is a man for all seasons, and for all reasons.

He established AFL SportReady, a national not-for-profit company that has facilitated employment and education opportunities for more than 14,000 young Australians, including 2,000 Aboriginal and Torres Street Islanders.

He is an Ambassador for the Bravery Trust which provides financial support to veterans, current and former members of the Australian Defence Force, and their families, who have
suffered injury or illness as a result of their service and are experiencing financial hardship.

A qualified plumber Kevin is an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador for the Australian Government.

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