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McKay, Ian Lawson

Preferred Name: Ian
Born: 9 March 1923
Deceased: 3 April 2010
Competition Total Games Total Goals
League 164 45
Other 1 0
State 14 0
Total 179 45

After being educated at North Adelaide Primary School and Prince Alfred College, Ian enlisted in the army where he served as a gunner in an anti-aircraft regiment and saw active service in New Guinea, at Morotai and in the assault on Tarakan.

Because of his war service, Ian’s league career didn’t commence until he was 23 years of age in 1946.  He was an immediate sensation and in his first season he won the O’Halloran trophy for the best South Australian player in the interstate match against Victoria.

He injured a knee requiring surgery in 1947, but his career blossomed in 1948 when he was chosen to be North’s captain.  Ian remained captain for the rest of his career and still holds the club record of 8 consecutive years as captain.

After leading North to a premiership in 1949, Ian reached the pinnacle of his career individually when he won the 1950 Magarey Medal, the first full back to do so.  Ian also represented the state in the Brisbane Carnival of that year and was awarded North’s Best and Fairest trophy, a feat he was to repeat in 1954. Additionally Ian won “The News” trophy in 1950, beating Fos Williams on a countback.

In 1951 Ian captained North to a Grand Final, losing a close encounter by 11 points to Port Adelaide.  Such was the respect the opposition paid to Ian that Port’s full forward was told to lead Ian out of the play as much as possible.  These tactics may have worked in 1951, but when North played Port in another close encounter in the 1952 Second Semi Final, Ian went into the ruck when the game was in the balance and in the last minutes of the game he snapped a goal from a boundary throw in to give North a three point lead, which they maintained until the final siren.  North went on to win the Grand Final by 108 points, a record margin that stood until 2004.  Ian is remembered by many for the famous photo taken of him during this final, marking over Pat Hall – probably the most famous SANFL photo ever taken.  To cap a memorable year, Ian was third in the Magarey Medal and won North’s trophy for most outstanding performance.

Ian continued playing in an outstanding manner until he injured his knee again in 1955.  Even though he was in great discomfort he saw the season out, managing to play only because of his great courage and his love of his club.

In an era when many full backs were negative, dour types, Ian was a brilliant all-round champion.  He was a great mark, a strong kick with a bullet like pass and a fast aggressive ground player.

In 1977 respected Advertiser journalist, and footballing adversary, Merv Agars, was asked to name his best team to celebrate the centenary of league football in South Australia.  Merv selected Ian McKay as the best full back to play in South Australia in the first 100 years of football.

After retirement Ian was Chairman of Selectors at North for four years and also served on the Management Committee, but first business commitments and then the lure of the golf course saw Ian lessen his involvement at the club.  However, he never lost his passion for North Adelaide.

Many champions have donned the red and white, but in the year 2000 when the North Adelaide Football Club asked noted football luminaries such as Jeff Pash, Gordon Schwartz, Barrie Robran and Colin Walsh to select a North Adelaide team of the century, Ian was not only named at Full Back, but he also was named as captain. To be named captain of a team that included Robran, Farmer, Leahy, the Jarman brothers and Lindner must be the ultimate accolade for a North Adelaide footballer.

Ian is survived by his wife, Mary, and three children, Heather, Andrew and David.  For as long as football is played in South Australia, Ian McKay will be remembered because of that famous mark, but the North Adelaide Football Club and the football fraternity know that Ian was famous for much more than that and they mourn the loss of a true champion of the game.

The North Adelaide Football Club acknowledges the passing of Ian McKay on 3 April 2010, aged 87.  Ian was one of our Club’s greatest champions and was our longest serving captain.  He was awarded Captaincy of our Team of the Century and was the finest full back the SANFL competition has seen. 

Ian McKay  passed away on 3 April 2010, aged 87.  Ian was one of our Club’s greatest champions and was our longest serving captain.  He was awarded Captaincy of our Team of the Century and is univerally recognised as the finest full back the SANFL competition has seen. 

Games (Select a game to view)

Date Opponent Result Goals
27/04/1946 Norwood Lost 0
04/05/1946 Port Adelaide Lost 0
11/05/1946 West Torrens Lost 0
18/05/1946 Glenelg Won 0
25/05/1946 South Adelaide Won 0
01/06/1946 West Adelaide Lost 0
08/06/1946 Sturt Lost 0
17/06/1946 Port Adelaide Won 0
22/06/1946 Norwood Lost 0
06/07/1946 South Adelaide Lost 1
13/07/1946 Glenelg Won 0
20/07/1946 West Torrens Lost 0
27/07/1946 Victorian Football League Lost 0
03/08/1946 West Adelaide Lost 0
10/08/1946 Sturt Lost 0
07/09/1946 West Adelaide Won 4
26/04/1947 West Torrens Lost 0
17/05/1947 Port Adelaide Won 0
31/05/1947 Sturt Lost 0
07/06/1947 West Adelaide Won 0
14/06/1947 Glenelg Won 0
21/06/1947 West Torrens Lost 0
28/06/1947 South Adelaide Won 0
05/07/1947 Port Adelaide Lost 0
19/07/1947 Norwood Lost 0
26/07/1947 Sturt Lost 0
16/08/1947 West Adelaide Lost 0
23/08/1947 Glenelg Lost 1
30/08/1947 Port Adelaide Lost 0
24/04/1948 West Torrens Lost 0
01/05/1948 Glenelg Lost 0
08/05/1948 West Adelaide Lost 2
15/05/1948 Norwood Lost 1
22/05/1948 Sturt Lost 1
29/05/1948 Port Adelaide Won 2
12/06/1948 South Adelaide Won 0
19/06/1948 West Torrens Lost 1
03/07/1948 Norwood Lost 2
14/08/1948 Norwood Lost 0
21/08/1948 Port Adelaide Won 1
28/08/1948 South Adelaide Won 1
04/09/1948 Sturt Won 0
23/04/1949 Port Adelaide Won 0
30/04/1949 Glenelg Won 0
07/05/1949 South Adelaide Won 0
14/05/1949 Norwood Lost 0
21/05/1949 West Torrens Lost 1
28/05/1949 West Adelaide Won 0
04/06/1949 Sturt Won 0
11/06/1949 Port Adelaide Won 0
18/06/1949 Glenelg Lost 0
25/06/1949 South Adelaide Won 0
02/07/1949 Western Australia Won 0
09/07/1949 Norwood Won 0
16/07/1949 West Torrens Lost 1
23/07/1949 Victorian Football League Lost 0
30/07/1949 West Adelaide Won 1
06/08/1949 Sturt Won 0
13/08/1949 Western Australia Lost 0
20/08/1949 Port Adelaide Won 0
27/08/1949 Norwood Won 0
03/09/1949 West Adelaide Lost 0
17/09/1949 Norwood Won 0
01/10/1949 West Torrens Won 0
22/04/1950 West Torrens Lost 1
29/04/1950 Norwood Lost 0
06/05/1950 West Adelaide Lost 0
13/05/1950 Glenelg Won 0
20/05/1950 Port Adelaide Lost 0
27/05/1950 South Adelaide Won 0
03/06/1950 Sturt Won 0
12/06/1950 Norwood Lost 0
17/06/1950 West Torrens Won 0
01/07/1950 West Adelaide Won 0
08/07/1950 Glenelg Lost 0
15/07/1950 Port Adelaide Lost 0
20/07/1950 Western Australia Won 0
22/07/1950 Tasmania Won 0
24/07/1950 Victorian Football Association Lost 0
29/07/1950 Victorian Football League Lost 0
05/08/1950 South Adelaide Won 1
12/08/1950 Sturt Won 2
19/08/1950 Norwood Won 0
26/08/1950 Glenelg Lost 0
02/09/1950 South Adelaide Won 5
21/04/1951 South Adelaide Won 0
28/04/1951 Sturt Won 0
05/05/1951 Norwood Won 0
09/05/1951 Victorian Football Association Won 0
12/05/1951 West Adelaide Won 1
19/05/1951 Glenelg Won 0
26/05/1951 Victorian Football League Lost 0
02/06/1951 Port Adelaide Lost 0
09/06/1951 Sturt Won 3
16/06/1951 West Torrens Won 1
23/06/1951 West Adelaide Won 0
30/06/1951 Port Adelaide Lost 0
07/07/1951 Victorian Football League Won 0
14/07/1951 Port Adelaide Lost 0
21/07/1951 South Adelaide Won 0
28/07/1951 Norwood Lost 0
04/08/1951 Glenelg Lost 0
11/08/1951 West Torrens Won 0
18/08/1951 Sturt Won 0
25/08/1951 Norwood Won 0
01/09/1951 West Adelaide Won 0
15/09/1951 Port Adelaide Lost 0
22/09/1951 Glenelg Won 0
29/09/1951 Port Adelaide Lost 0
26/04/1952 West Torrens Lost 0
10/05/1952 Glenelg Won 0
17/05/1952 West Adelaide Won 0
24/05/1952 Norwood Won 0
31/05/1952 South Adelaide Won 1
09/06/1952 West Torrens Lost 0
14/06/1952 Sturt Won 0
21/06/1952 Western Australia Won 0
28/06/1952 Port Adelaide Won 0
05/07/1952 Glenelg Won 0
12/07/1952 West Adelaide Won 0
19/07/1952 Victorian Football League Won 0
26/07/1952 Norwood Won 0
02/08/1952 South Adelaide Won 0
09/08/1952 Sturt Won 0
16/08/1952 Western Australia Lost 0
23/08/1952 West Torrens Won 0
30/08/1952 West Adelaide Won 0
06/09/1952 South Adelaide Won 2
20/09/1952 Port Adelaide Won 1
04/10/1952 Norwood Won 1
25/04/1953 Port Adelaide Lost 0
02/05/1953 Norwood Lost 0
09/05/1953 West Torrens Lost 0
06/06/1953 Sturt Won 0
13/06/1953 Norwood Won 0
20/06/1953 Port Adelaide Lost 0
27/06/1953 Norwood Won 0
04/07/1953 West Torrens Lost 0
25/07/1953 Glenelg Won 0
01/08/1953 West Adelaide Won 0
08/08/1953 South Adelaide Lost 0
15/08/1953 Sturt Won 0
22/08/1953 Port Adelaide Lost 0
29/08/1953 South Adelaide Won 2
05/09/1953 Glenelg Lost 2
24/04/1954 West Adelaide Lost 0
01/05/1954 Norwood Won 0
08/05/1954 Port Adelaide Lost 0
15/05/1954 Sturt Lost 0
22/05/1954 West Torrens Won 0
29/05/1954 Glenelg Won 0
05/06/1954 South Adelaide Won 0
12/06/1954 West Adelaide Lost 0
26/06/1954 Glenelg Lost 0
03/07/1954 Sturt Won 0
10/07/1954 Port Adelaide Lost 0
17/07/1954 West Torrens Lost 0
31/07/1954 Sturt Won 0
07/08/1954 South Adelaide Won 1
14/08/1954 West Adelaide Lost 0
21/08/1954 Glenelg Won 0
28/08/1954 West Torrens Lost 0
04/09/1954 Norwood Lost 0
10/09/1954 South Adelaide Lost 0
23/04/1955 South Adelaide Won 0
30/04/1955 Sturt Lost 0
07/05/1955 Glenelg Lost 1
14/05/1955 Port Adelaide Lost 0
04/06/1955 Norwood Lost 0
11/06/1955 South Adelaide Lost 0
18/06/1955 Sturt Won 0
02/07/1955 Glenelg Won 0
09/07/1955 Port Adelaide Lost 0
23/07/1955 West Adelaide Lost 0
30/07/1955 West Torrens Won 0
06/08/1955 Norwood Won 0
20/08/1955 South Adelaide Won 0
27/08/1955 Port Adelaide Won 0
03/09/1955 West Torrens Won 0

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