Johnny Mahon (OX 1955) "he was born to be a VFL champ",by Jock O'Keefe (OX1959)
Monday, 2 October 2023
As a little tacker in Grade 3 at Burke Hall most newbies, like me, did a self-assessment of students in the grades above. It's called protection.
In my case there was this guy called Johnny Mahon in Grade 4. He had the world on a string, there was a certain aura about this fellow. He had his own tribe, and his footy ability was exceptional.
A star was born.
Johnny was not to be messed with on the footy field, he was soul destroying-even at footy practice. And he was credited with being able to kick a full size footy from one end of the Top oval to the other end. Let alone the hangers he would take during kick to kick on the concrete at lunchtime.
Law of the jungle was never utter a bad word about Collingwood - or cop the consequences.
At home, it was pretty much the same old - Magpies, footy, premierships, footy. The Mahon family took over the Yarra Hotel in 1960 and it continued as the favourite watering hole for Magpie fans. Johnny Mahon was pulling beers at this stage, playing for the 'Woods and enforcing his Fathers dress code that all patrons in the public bar wear a visible singlet (colour optional) and no food to be consumed in the bar.
In 1956 Johnny was recruited while at Xavier and did his early years with Collingwood thirds, then seconds, then the seniors culminating at centre half back in the 1964 Grand Final team who lost to Melbourne FC.
Injuries plagued his career and following 60 games with CFC, Johnny finished with a season at Prahran.
And it all began at Burke Hall.