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Lindner, Donald

Preferred Name: Don
Born: 16 February 1935
Deceased: 31 December 2008
Competition Total Games Total Goals
League 280 267
Other 10 6
State 15 13
Total 305 286

League Coach 1963-1966

Don epitomised everything great about the NAFC, SANFL and Australian Rules football - a man who played consistently high level football for 17 years, represented the State, coached and captained his club, was a Premiership player and the receiver of numerous individual awards and accolades. 

Don Lindner learnt Australian Rules football in Renmark and harvested the ability obvious to those watching him, even at such a young age. After playing for clubs including Immanuel College and Renmark A Grade (playing in follower positions prior to his growth spurt in his late teens), North invited him to train with the Roosters. Ironically, in his first trial game, Lindner was lined up at full forward opposed to the great Ian McKay – his first Captain.

Lindner’s debut into League ranks came in Round 3, 1954 against Port at Alberton at the age of 19.  It would have been impossible to imagine that it was the start of a successful League career that would continue for 17 seasons, ending in 1970 after 289 matches – a club record at the time.

It wasn’t long before Lindner was renowned for his characteristic, tremendous leaping qualities, and spent much of his early career either at full forward or centre half-forward. Already a crowd-puller, Lindner presented them with an incredible array of sensational marking not seen in the game before - at least not as regularly as ‘The Don’ produced.   During this period he found himself being the only focal point up forward when the team was struggling for a winning score, winning the first of three Best and Fairest awards in 1958.   He also won four “Best Forward” awards between 1957 and 1961.

In 1959, despite the team finishing a disappointing seventh, Lindner had the privilege of having his brother Theo join him in League ranks, and together they were integral players in North’s resurgence in 1960, both part of the club’s Grand Final victory.

Accolades continued to follow Don Lindner.   By now his name was well-known to all associated with football, and he was certainly a highly respected player not only in South Australian football but also in other States due to his exploits in many interstate matches.  He was named All Australian Centre Half Forward in the 1961 Carnival and dominated after coming off the bench in South Australia’s famous victory over Victoria in 1963.  He wore the South Australian jumper on 16 occasions.

In 1963 Lindner extended his relationship with North Adelaide by becoming the Club’s Captain-Coach and taking the team to the Grand Final in which he was clearly North’s best player. He would continue to hold both positions for four seasons, passing the coaching position with dignity to Geoff Motley in 1967 whilst maintaining the role of Captain for a further 3 years.

Individual honours continued for Don during the late 1960’s, including Best Team Man and Most Constructive Player, and in 1967 he was to win the club’s Best and Fairest award for the third time. He had played at centre half forward for over ten years but began a stint as part of North’s midfield brigade. That year he tied for the Magarey Medal with Trevor Obst but was beaten on a countback. Personal recognition reached its peak in 1996 when the SANFL awarded Magarey Medals to those beaten in countbacks and Lindner was recognised as the joint winner for 1967. A young champion called Robran won the Medal in 1968 and he made no secret of the fact that it was because of Lindner that the young Whyalla colt chose to play for North.

In 1970 Lindner retired from League Football, despite showing no signs on the ground that his fitness, flair, consistency and input into the team had diminished. In fact throughout his career Don missed only 36 matches due to injury, showing his ability to retain form and agility over an incredible period of time.  He had amassed 289 games and kicked 267 goals.

It has now been over 38 years since Don Lindner last ran onto Prospect Oval for a League game with the Roosters.  But little slowed him down since that last match.  He continued playing for five years in the Barossa Valley as playing coach for Tanunda, and maintained an amazing fitness level that would be the envy of many younger men.  He continued to work in the “House of Lindner” and kept himself active playing tennis and the occasional exhibition game of football.  His achievements were acknowledged in December 2000 when he received the Sports Medal 2000 award for his services to football.  Don continued his support of our Club throughout this time and was frequently seen mixing with his adoring fans.  He was affectionately called “Sir Donald” in recognition of his standing within the Club.

Don Lindner was recognised for his devotion, unique achievement and leadership to the North Adelaide Football Club by being named Vice-Captain of the club’s Team of the Century in 2000.  He was an inaugural inductee to the South Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2002 and he was further honoured by being chosen as one of the “Fabulous Forwards” in the exhibition of that name that the Club ran in 2005 at the State Library.

The state as a whole when Don passed away on New Year Eve, 2008. He was still an apparently very fit man who was still playing tennis competitively. Tributes were paid to him in all facets of the media and even in Federal Parliament.

We salute Don as one of our greatest.  He and his wonderful wife Jan who passed away in 2018 are both sadly missed around the Club where Don was seen so often sharing a beer with members. He will be remembered and revered forever as a true legend and larger-than-life member of the North Adelaide Football Club.

Games (Select a game to view)

Date Opponent Result Goals
08/05/1954 Port Adelaide Lost 0
22/05/1954 West Torrens 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 1
04/09/1954 Norwood Lost 4
10/09/1954 South Adelaide Lost 2
23/04/1955 South Adelaide Won 7
30/04/1955 Sturt Lost 2
07/05/1955 Glenelg Lost 1
14/05/1955 Port Adelaide Lost 0
21/05/1955 West Adelaide Won 9
28/05/1955 West Torrens Lost 1
04/06/1955 Norwood Lost 2
11/06/1955 South Adelaide Lost 0
18/06/1955 Sturt Won 0
02/07/1955 Glenelg Won 4
09/07/1955 Port Adelaide Lost 0
23/07/1955 West Adelaide Lost 2
30/07/1955 West Torrens Won 1
06/08/1955 Norwood Won 2
13/08/1955 Western Australia Lost 0
16/08/1955 Western Australia Won 1
20/08/1955 South Adelaide Won 1
27/08/1955 Port Adelaide Won 2
03/09/1955 West Torrens Won 2
09/09/1955 South Adelaide Lost 0
21/04/1956 West Adelaide Lost 3
28/04/1956 Glenelg Won 3
05/05/1956 South Adelaide Won 4
12/05/1956 Port Adelaide Lost 2
19/05/1956 Norwood Lost 2
26/05/1956 Sturt Won 0
02/06/1956 Glenelg Won 1
15/06/1956 Victorian Football Association Won 1
16/06/1956 Western Australia Lost 1
07/07/1956 West Adelaide Lost 0
14/07/1956 South Adelaide Won 1
21/07/1956 Port Adelaide Lost 0
28/07/1956 Sturt Won 2
04/08/1956 West Torrens Won 1
11/08/1956 Glenelg Won 0
18/08/1956 West Adelaide Lost 1
25/08/1956 Sturt Won 0
01/09/1956 Port Adelaide Lost 0
08/09/1956 Norwood Won 3
22/09/1956 West Adelaide Lost 1
20/04/1957 South Adelaide Won 0
25/04/1957 Port Adelaide Lost 1
04/05/1957 West Adelaide Won 1
11/05/1957 Glenelg Won 0
25/05/1957 West Torrens Lost 2
01/06/1957 Sturt Won 1
08/06/1957 Norwood Lost 3
15/06/1957 Port Adelaide Lost 0
29/06/1957 West Adelaide Lost 0
06/07/1957 Sturt Lost 1
13/07/1957 South Adelaide Lost 0
27/07/1957 Norwood Lost 1
03/08/1957 Glenelg Won 2
10/08/1957 Port Adelaide Lost 0
17/08/1957 West Torrens Lost 1
24/08/1957 West Adelaide Lost 0
31/08/1957 Norwood Lost 0
26/04/1958 Sturt Won 2
03/05/1958 South Adelaide Won 5
10/05/1958 Glenelg Won 3
17/05/1958 West Adelaide Won 0
24/05/1958 Port Adelaide Lost 1
31/05/1958 West Torrens Won 0
07/06/1958 Norwood Won 0
14/06/1958 Sturt Won 2
21/06/1958 Port Adelaide Won 1
28/06/1958 South Adelaide Won 0
02/07/1958 Western Australia Lost 0
11/07/1958 Victorian Football Association Won 0
19/07/1958 Norwood Won 0
26/07/1958 West Torrens Won 1
02/08/1958 Glenelg Won 3
09/08/1958 Sturt Won 5
16/08/1958 South Adelaide Won 1
23/08/1958 Norwood Lost 1
13/09/1958 West Adelaide Lost 0
20/09/1958 Port Adelaide Lost 0
31/03/1959 Norwood Won 0
07/04/1959 Glenelg Lost 0
25/04/1959 Norwood Won 0
02/05/1959 West Adelaide Lost 0
09/05/1959 Port Adelaide Lost 2
01/08/1959 Glenelg Lost 2
08/08/1959 Norwood Won 3
15/08/1959 West Adelaide Won 6
22/08/1959 Port Adelaide Lost 3
29/08/1959 South Adelaide Won 3
05/09/1959 Glenelg Lost 6
31/03/1960 South Adelaide Lost 0
23/04/1960 South Adelaide Won 0
30/04/1960 West Torrens Won 0
07/05/1960 Norwood Lost 0
14/05/1960 Sturt Won 0
21/05/1960 Glenelg Won 0
28/05/1960 Port Adelaide Lost 0
04/06/1960 West Adelaide Won 0
11/06/1960 South Adelaide Won 0
25/06/1960 Sturt Lost 0
09/07/1960 Norwood Won 0
16/07/1960 Glenelg Won 0
30/07/1960 Port Adelaide Won 1
06/08/1960 West Adelaide Won 1
13/08/1960 Norwood Lost 0
20/08/1960 South Adelaide Won 3
27/08/1960 West Torrens Won 0
03/09/1960 Glenelg Won 5
17/09/1960 Port Adelaide Won 2
01/10/1960 Norwood Won 1
08/10/1960 Melbourne Lost 2
28/03/1961 West Torrens Won 0
05/04/1961 West Adelaide Lost 1
25/04/1961 Norwood Won 3
29/04/1961 Port Adelaide Lost 2
03/06/1961 Glenelg Won 0
10/06/1961 Norwood Lost 1
17/06/1961 Port Adelaide Lost 1
24/06/1961 West Torrens Won 1
01/07/1961 West Adelaide Lost 0
08/07/1961 Sturt Won 4
15/07/1961 Victorian Football League Lost 1
19/07/1961 Western Australia Won 4
29/07/1961 Glenelg Won 0
05/08/1961 Norwood Won 1
12/08/1961 Port Adelaide Lost 0
19/08/1961 West Adelaide Lost 1
27/03/1962 South Adelaide Won 0
21/04/1962 South Adelaide Won 4
25/04/1962 Sturt Won 0
28/04/1962 West Torrens Lost 0
05/05/1962 West Adelaide Lost 0
12/05/1962 Port Adelaide Lost 1
19/05/1962 Norwood Lost 0
26/05/1962 Glenelg Lost 2
02/06/1962 South Adelaide Won 1
09/06/1962 Sturt Won 4
16/06/1962 West Torrens Won 1
23/06/1962 Western Australia Won 0
30/06/1962 West Adelaide Won 0
07/07/1962 Norwood Lost 1
21/07/1962 Glenelg Lost 0
28/07/1962 Port Adelaide Lost 0
04/08/1962 Western Australia Won 1
11/08/1962 Norwood Won 1
18/08/1962 Sturt Lost 1
25/08/1962 West Adelaide Lost 0
01/09/1962 Glenelg Won 1
13/04/1963 South Adelaide Won 2
20/04/1963 Sturt Won 0
27/04/1963 Glenelg Won 3
04/05/1963 West Adelaide Won 0
11/05/1963 Port Adelaide Won 1
18/05/1963 Norwood Lost 2
25/05/1963 West Torrens Lost 0
08/06/1963 Glenelg Won 1
15/06/1963 Victorian Football League Won 3
22/06/1963 South Adelaide Won 0
29/06/1963 West Torrens Draw 0
06/07/1963 Victorian Football League Lost 0
13/07/1963 Port Adelaide Lost 0
20/07/1963 Sturt Lost 1
27/07/1963 Norwood Won 1
03/08/1963 West Torrens Lost 1
10/08/1963 West Adelaide Lost 0
17/08/1963 Port Adelaide Lost 0
24/08/1963 South Adelaide Won 0
31/08/1963 Glenelg Won 0
07/09/1963 Sturt Won 3
14/09/1963 West Adelaide Won 1
28/09/1963 West Torrens Won 0
05/10/1963 Port Adelaide Lost 1
11/04/1964 Woodville Won 1
18/04/1964 West Adelaide Won 0
25/07/1964 Norwood Won 0
01/08/1964 Glenelg Lost 0
08/08/1964 Central District Won 0
15/08/1964 Sturt Lost 1
22/08/1964 South Adelaide Lost 3
29/08/1964 Port Adelaide Lost 0
05/09/1964 West Adelaide Lost 0
17/04/1965 Central District Won 1
24/04/1965 West Adelaide Won 0
01/05/1965 Norwood Lost 0
08/05/1965 Sturt Won 0
15/05/1965 Woodville Won 1
22/05/1965 Port Adelaide Lost 0
29/05/1965 South Adelaide Won 1
05/06/1965 Glenelg Lost 0
12/06/1965 West Adelaide Won 0
19/06/1965 Victorian Football League Lost 1
23/06/1965 Tasmania Won 0
26/06/1965 Tasmania Won 0
03/07/1965 Woodville Won 0
17/07/1965 Central District Lost 0
24/07/1965 West Torrens Won 1
31/07/1965 Sturt Lost 1
07/08/1965 West Adelaide Won 4
14/08/1965 Glenelg Won 1
28/08/1965 West Torrens Won 1
04/09/1965 South Adelaide Lost 1
16/04/1966 Central District Lost 0
23/04/1966 Glenelg Won 0
30/04/1966 Woodville Won 1
07/05/1966 West Adelaide Won 1
14/05/1966 Sturt Lost 0
21/05/1966 South Adelaide Won 0
28/05/1966 Norwood Won 0
04/06/1966 Port Adelaide Won 0
18/06/1966 Glenelg Won 0
25/06/1966 West Torrens Lost 1
02/07/1966 Central District Won 0
09/07/1966 West Adelaide Lost 0
16/07/1966 Glenelg Won 1
23/07/1966 West Torrens Won 0
30/07/1966 Norwood Won 0
06/08/1966 South Adelaide Lost 1
13/08/1966 Sturt Lost 0
20/08/1966 Woodville Won 0
27/08/1966 Port Adelaide Won 0
03/09/1966 West Torrens Lost 2
10/09/1966 South Adelaide Won 0
24/09/1966 Sturt Lost 0
15/04/1967 Sturt Won 0
22/04/1967 South Adelaide Won 1
29/04/1967 Woodville Won 1
06/05/1967 Port Adelaide Lost 0
13/05/1967 West Adelaide Won 2
20/05/1967 Norwood Won 0
27/05/1967 Central District Won 1
03/06/1967 Glenelg Won 0
12/06/1967 South Adelaide Won 0
17/06/1967 West Torrens Won 2
24/06/1967 Sturt Lost 0
08/07/1967 West Adelaide Won 0
15/07/1967 Port Adelaide Won 1
29/07/1967 Norwood Won 0
05/08/1967 Woodville Won 0
12/08/1967 Glenelg Lost 0
19/08/1967 Central District Won 0
26/08/1967 West Torrens Won 0
02/09/1967 Sturt Won 2
16/09/1967 Sturt Lost 0
23/09/1967 Port Adelaide Lost 0
13/04/1968 Sturt Lost 0
20/04/1968 Port Adelaide Lost 0
11/05/1968 West Adelaide Won 0
25/05/1968 Central District Won 1
10/06/1968 Glenelg Won 1
06/07/1968 West Adelaide Won 2
13/07/1968 Sturt Lost 1
20/07/1968 Port Adelaide Won 0
27/07/1968 Woodville Won 0
03/08/1968 Norwood Won 1
10/08/1968 Glenelg Won 1
17/08/1968 Central District Won 1
24/08/1968 West Torrens Lost 0
31/08/1968 South Adelaide Won 0
07/09/1968 West Adelaide Won 0
21/09/1968 Port Adelaide Lost 2
25/09/1968 Glenelg Won 1
07/04/1969 Sturt Lost 0
12/04/1969 Port Adelaide Lost 0
19/04/1969 Central District Won 3
26/04/1969 West Adelaide Won 0
03/05/1969 Woodville Won 3
10/05/1969 Norwood Won 0
17/05/1969 Glenelg Lost 2
24/05/1969 South Adelaide Won 0
31/05/1969 West Torrens Won 1
21/06/1969 West Adelaide Lost 2
28/06/1969 Sturt Won 2
05/07/1969 Port Adelaide Won 0
12/07/1969 South Adelaide Won 0
19/07/1969 Norwood Won 1
26/07/1969 Central District Won 0
02/08/1969 West Adelaide Won 2
16/08/1969 Woodville Won 3
23/08/1969 West Torrens Lost 4
30/08/1969 Sturt Lost 1
04/04/1970 West Torrens Won 0
11/04/1970 South Adelaide Won 2
18/04/1970 Port Adelaide Lost 0
02/05/1970 Norwood Won 2
09/05/1970 Central District Won 1
16/05/1970 Woodville Lost 1
23/05/1970 West Adelaide Lost 0
06/06/1970 Glenelg Won 0
15/06/1970 South Adelaide Won 2
27/06/1970 Port Adelaide Lost 0
04/07/1970 West Torrens Won 0
11/07/1970 Norwood Won 0
18/07/1970 Central District Lost 0
25/07/1970 Woodville Won 0
01/08/1970 West Adelaide Won 0
08/08/1970 Sturt Lost 0
22/08/1970 Port Adelaide Lost 0
29/08/1970 Central District Won 0
05/09/1970 Glenelg Lost 1

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