|Competition||Total Games||Total Goals|
Younger brother to Don, Theo "Hank" Lindner will never be forgotten for both his on-field and off-field exploits. He played 133 games for the Club between 1959 and 1967, primarily in defensive roles, and kicked 6 goals.
Convinced by Don to come down from the Riverland in 1959, Hank made an immediate impact. For a debutant to League football he had a great season, playing all 18 matches and polling the highest number of Magarey Medal votes in the team. He was described in the Annual Report as “A strong, resourceful, and cheerful player, with a very bright future”.
He had another great season in 1960, this time making the State team and playing well and forming a very strong link in defence which was integral to the Club winning the 1960 premiership. He played every game apart from the one he missed due to State duties and won the trophy for Best Placed Man. Despite his prowess on the football field, Hank was something of a larrikan on the other side of the fence. After North's 1960 flag, Hank got together with Norwood's Phil Stephens and they went on a “bender”. The newspaper had a picture of his car outside the pub covered in parking stickers.
Another excellent season followed in 1961, recognised b his third placing in the Club's Fairest and Most Brilliant Award and selection for the State. For the third consecutive season, he played every game apart from the one he missed playing for South Australia in the Brisbane Carnival.
Hank had another good season in 1962, winning the award for Most Consistent and being selected in the State squad. For the first time in his career, he missed two games due to injury.
Another very consistent season followed in 1963, and it was not surprising that he was rewarded again with the Most Consistent Player award. He played the first 12 matches of the season but then sustained a serious back injury which affected his legs. He had been troubled by his back for a couple of seasons and was thought to have aggravated the injury lifting heavy weights. He received medical advice that he would need a heavy brace and that he might never play football again. Another opinion suggested that if he kept away from football for the rest of the season and received treatment during the summer he might ‘fluke’ another season. But after several weeks off he felt great and was able to play a Reserves game and then the final match of the season before the finals. His Doctor was a leading osteopath and after declaring him fit to play remarked that Hank was the finest physical specimen he had ever treated
His effort in the final series that year was superb. In the First Semi Final against West Adelaide he tagged and subdued Neil Kerley and his steadiness and strength in defence was one of the keys to North’s win. In the Preliminary Final against West Torrens he had 25 kicks and took 10 marks (more than any other player on the ground except Torrens’ Bob Shearman with 26 and 11) and was named North’s second-best player. In the Grand Final he gave a lion-hearted performance and was named as North’s best in all 3 newspapers. In fact, he was named best on the ground by all 4 Sunday Mail experts.
He was described in the Annual Report as “an inspiration to our team. Tough, fearless, strong and very fair, he is a good mark and strong kick. The games he played in the major round of matches were invaluable”.
For the fourth time in his first six seasons, Hank did not miss a game in 1964 and won the trophy for Most Consistent Follower.
Hank missed the entire 1965 season and the first 3 rounds of the following year but was then able to string together 15 consecutive games, including two finals. He won the trophy for Best Team Player in 1966.
He managed 3 of the first 4 games in 1967 but his back injury forced his retirement, thus ending a wonderful career.
A colourful figure both on-field and off, there are many anecdotes about Hank. Here are just a few:
He arrived rather late for one game and hurried into the changerooms. When he took his boot off, his sock was soaked with blood. He explained that a jack had broken and fallen on his foot! When he removed the sock, his big toe nail came with it. The Doctor bandaged him up as best he could and out he went to play – he was third best player.
While playing in a State game against Victoria, Ron Barassi remonstrated with Hank for knocking over a small man. Hank immediately added Barassi to the list of those “bowled over”.
After a match at Prospect Oval, Polly McCarthy had a flat tyre in his small car. He didn't have a jack, so Hank lifted the car high enough for the tyre to be changed.
One day after a very muddy match Hank was having trouble undoing his boot laces. Folklore has it that he grabbed his boot flaps and tore the laces apart.
After football Hank concentrated on business for the House of Lindner. He could often be seen at the airport dressed in a three-piece suit. On one such occasion a friend found that he was on his way to Russia to buy used machinery.
Hank passed away in 2019 at 82 years of age after a long illness
Hank – you were a legend in every sense!
|31/03/1960||Advertiser Cup||1||South Adelaide||Lost||0||0|
|13/06/1960||State||Victorian Football League||Lost||0||0|
|28/03/1961||Advertiser Cup||1||West Torrens||Won||0||0|
|05/04/1961||Advertiser Cup||2||West Adelaide||Lost||0||0|
|15/07/1961||State||Victorian Football League||Lost||0||0|
|27/03/1962||Advertiser Cup||1||South Adelaide||Won||0||0|