|Competition||Total Games||Total Goals|
Recruited from Kilburn, Bob spent four years with North Adelaide’s junior sides before making his league debut in the first game of the 1960 league season at the tender age of 18 years and 2 months. He immediately made a great impression as a full back and was a key member of North Adelaide’s premiership side in his first year of league football. He was high in North’s best players in the Grand Final and astute commentator Tom Warhurst Snr. commented at the time that Hammond was the best first year full back he had ever seen. Bob won the Club’s Best First Year Player award in 1960.
Bob Hammond, Don Gilbourne and Hank Lindner formed an impenetrable last line of defence in the 1960 Grand Final but all three sadly passed away withinin 9 months in 2019-2020.
North suffered a premiership hangover in 1961 but Bob certainly didn’t suffer any second-year blues. He polled the most Magarey Medal votes for the Club and was also awarded the Most Unselfish Player trophy.
In 1962, Bob played predominantly at centre half back as the man he referred to as his closest friend, Adrian Sutter, debuted at full back. The move didn’t affect Bob’s form though. He won North’s Most Inspiring Player Award.
The following year was outstanding for North and the State and Bob was a key player for both teams. He made his interstate debut in the famous South Australian victory over Victoria at the MCG, having a great duel with famous Geelong full forward, Doug Wade. Bob also played a fine game in the return match at Adelaide Oval which Victoria won by 12 points. He won the Best Backman award for North that year in a very young team that reached the Grand Final only to lose to a finals hardened Port Adelaide.
Bob continued his outstanding form in 1964, representing the State a further 3 times and winning the Most Effective Player award for North Adelaide. He started 1965 in a new role as a ruck rover, before soon returning to centre half back but his year was sabotaged by a serious ankle injury which saw him miss 7 league games and quite probably cost North a finals berth. Despite the injury he was still awarded the Best Backman trophy.
Bob was then transferred to Port Pirie for two years with his employment and was appointed Captain-coach of Port Pirie in the very strong Spencer Gulf League. In a sign of things to come, Bob steered Port to premierships in both 1966 and 1967. He still managed to play two games for North in 1966 and also the opening game of 1967 when Barrie Robran made his debut and North defeated reigning premier, Sturt.
Bob returned to North as a full time player in 1968, initially playing as a ruck rover and even as a centre half forward. It was in that position that Bob was the main instigator in turning a 6 goal deficit into a 20 point win in an Adelaide Oval clash with Glenelg on the holiday Monday of the June long weekend. With powerful marking and long kicking, he scored 5 goals in the last quarter in a herculean display. But with the early retirement of his friend, Adrian Sutter, Bob soon returned to the position to which he was best suited, full back. He was fourth in North’s Best and Fairest in 1968 and then in 1969 was awarded the Best Team and Club Man award.
1970 saw North appoint Richmond ruckman and premiership player, Mike Patterson, as Coach and Bob’s form under the new Coach was of an even higher standard than usual if that was possible. In 1970 Bob was third in North’s Best and Fairest award and for the first time in six years he represented South Australia.
That was just the beginning of Bob’s “Indian summer”. He was appointed Vice-captain of the Club in 1971 and 11 years after his first taste of ultimate success he played in his second premiership, playing a fine game in North’s 20 point victory over Port Adelaide. The following week, North put up a very courageous display against VFL premier Hawthorn in the Championship of Australia series. Standing AFL Hall of Fame legend, Peter Hudson, Bob was one of North’s best players. He kept Hudson to 2 goals and after the game Hudson commented that he had never had a full back play him as closely as Bob did. To cap off a wonderful year Bob again won the Best Team and Club Man Award.
In 1972 Bob again was officially Vice-captain, but he was acting Captain of the team when North triumphed again over Port Adelaide in the Grand Final, this time with a 56 point victory. Two weeks later North had a famous one-point victory over Carlton and Bob, as acting Captain, held the trophy aloft to signify that North Adelaide were Champions of Australia. The Club gave Bob a special trophy to signify his achievements in this history making year.
Bob was appointed Captain of the Club for the 1973 season and such was his form that he was chosen to represent the State against Western Australia in Perth 10 years after his interstate debut. He made South Australia’s best players in this game.
North struggled much more in 1973 than they had in the previous two years, but they started to find form in the finals. North made it to the Grand Final to face the seemingly invincible Glenelg which had lost only one match for the year, ironically to North at Prospect. Glenelg were red hot favourites and eventually prevailed by 7 points in what is often mentioned as the greatest Grand Final ever. Universally considered best man on the ground in a losing side, was Bob Hammond. He kept Glenelg Magarey Medallist, Fred Phillis, goalless in a team that scored 21 goals and Bob continually attacked from defence.
The 1973 Grand Final was Bob’s last game for North Adelaide; he retired to pursue a job as an export manager for a furniture company. He was one of only 5 players to have played in 3 premierships for North Adelaide and he and his first Captain and fellow defender, Don Gilbourne, remain the only two North players to have played in 3 premierships since the First World War.
Bob was able to match the strong full forwards like Hudson and Phillis because he was such a powerful man through the hips and thighs but for a man of his build he had great pace off the mark, wonderful anticipation, strength in the air and was the most decisive and powerful spoiler.
Bob never started his new job - he was approached by the Norwood Football Club and ultimately appointed playing Coach of that club in 1974. A drought of 25 years without a premiership finally ended for Norwood when Bob guided them to a win over Glenelg in the 1975 Grand Final. He coached Norwood to another flag, in their centenary year, when they defeated Sturt by a point in the 1978 Grand Final. A Norwood stalwart of those two flags has stated that Bob coached as he played. Little wonder that they were successful in his stint as coach.
He retired from coaching at the end of 1979 but this was far from the end of Bob’s contribution to the game of Australian Rules Football.
He dabbled in some television commentary on the game before being invited to coach the South Australian state side in 1983. Unsurprisingly, he had success with South Australia defeating Victoria by 56 points. Then in 1984 the VFL Swans (who had recently relocated from South Melbourne to Sydney) sent out an SOS to Bob to coach them for the last six games of the season. Sydney were not a strong side at the time but won Bob’s first game as their Coach and later in the season he coached them to a 56 point win over eventual premier Essendon.
Despite overtures from Sydney, Bob declined to coach them in 1985 and it seemed his involvement in football was declining. But this was far from the case. When the Adelaide Crows were hastily formed in 1990, Bob was chosen to be the Adelaide Football Club’s inaugural Chairman. Under his stewardship, the Crows won the 1997 and 1998 AFL premierships and he remained as Chairman of the Club until 2000.
Bob was then appointed as an AFL Commissioner from 2001 until 2011.
Bob was an inaugural member of North Adelaide’s Hall of Fame and he was named in the back pocket in North Adelaide’s Team of the Twentieth Century. He had been made a Life Member of the Club in 1972.
At SANFL level he was a Life Member of the League and an inaugural member of the SANFL Hall of Fame.
At AFL level, he became a member of both the Adelaide Football Club Hall of Fame and the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2015. The players race from which the Adelaide Crows enter the arena has been named the Bob Hammond Race.
North Adelaide Football Club salutes one of its favourite sons, who performed magnificently for the club on the field but then served the game for a further 40 years in a manner rarely, if ever, exceeded.
|31/03/1960||Advertiser Cup||1||South Adelaide||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|
|27/03/1962||Advertiser Cup||1||South Adelaide||Won||0||0|
|15/06/1963||State||Victorian Football League||Won||0||0|
|06/07/1963||State||Victorian Football League||Lost||0||0|
|06/06/1964||State||Victorian Football League||Lost||0||0|
|02/10/1971||Champions Of Australia||Hawthorn||Lost||0||0|
|09/10/1971||Rothmans Channel 7 Cup||1||Claremont||Lost||0||0|
|10/10/1971||Rothmans Channel 7 Cup||2||Richmond||Lost||0||0|
|11/10/1971||Rothmans Channel 7 Cup||3||East Perth||Lost||1||0|
|14/10/1972||Champions Of Australia||City-South||Won||0||0|
|15/10/1972||Champions Of Australia||Carlton||Won||0||0|