Angelos Lekkas (born 29 June 1976) is a former Australian rules footballer who played his entire professional career with the Hawthorn Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). After his premature retirement due to a medical condition, he continued his sporting career as a soccer player for South Melbourne FC in the Victorian Premier League and as an Australian rules football coach.
|Full name||Angelo Lekkas|
|Date of birth||29 June 1976|
|Place of birth||Melbourne, Victoria|
|Original team(s)||Northern Knights|
17th overall, 1993|
|Height||185 cm (6 ft 1 in)|
|Weight||85 kg (187 lb)|
|Representative team honours|
|International team honours|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2005.
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
Lekkas was born to Greek parents and grew up in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. He played soccer until he was a teenager, when he switched to playing Australian rules and played with the Northern Knights under-18s.
In 2002, he represented Australia in the International Rules series.
After a practice match in February 2005, Lekkas suffered an apparent minor stroke and was told he might never play again. After fully recovering, he made his return to AFL football in round 15, 2005, against Adelaide.
Lekkas finished his AFL career with 180 games and 120 goals to his credit and a career total of 14 Brownlow votes.
After Lekkas retired, he took up a lawsuit against the Hawthorn Football Club, claiming that the club caused his early retirement by pressuring him to continue playing after the stroke. The case was later settled out of court. Lekkas was condemned by some supporters for playing the case out via the media with his manager Jacques Khouri, given Hawthorn's apparent support of Lekkas and a lack of consensus that the injury was even football related.
Lekkas belatedly claimed a 50% salary bonus for having his career ended prematurely by injury, despite Hawthorn's offer of a new contract and his subsequent decision to retire as opposed to being delisted.
Lekkas was long a supporter of South Melbourne FC, even donating to help save the club from folding. After retiring from Australian rules football, Lekkas began training with South Melbourne in late 2005. During South Melbourne's 2005 season Lekkas was elevated into the senior list.
Return to Australian rules
After a period of disenchantment with the game, Angelo returned to work with the AFL in 2007 as part-time as a multicultural officer and AFL ambassador and also in a community liaison role at Hawthorn as part of the settlement with the club.
- "Angelo Lekkas". Hawks Headquarters. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 15 April 2009.
- McClure, Geoff (6 July 2004). "It's Greece (and Angelos) United". Sporting Life. The Age. Retrieved 15 April 2009.
- "New stroke drug shows promise". The Age. 11 November 2005. Retrieved 15 April 2009.
- Timms, Daryl (28 October 2008). "Former Hawk Angelo Lekkas helping budding stars". Perthnow. Retrieved 15 April 2009.