Col Austen

Colin Edward 'Col' Austen (2 December 1920 – 3 October 1995)[2] was an Australian rules footballer who played for the Hawthorn Football Club and Richmond Football Club in the Victorian Football League (VFL).

Col Austen
Personal information
Full name Colin Edward Austen
Date of birth 2 December 1920
Place of birth Kew, Victoria
Date of death 3 October 1995(1995-10-03) (aged 74)
Place of death Box Hill, Victoria
Original team(s) Kew
Height 175 cm (5 ft 9 in)[1]
Weight 77 kg (170 lb)
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1941–1943, 1946–1949 Hawthorn 085 (0)
1950–1952 Richmond 051 (1)
Total 136 (1)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1952.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables,

Austen made his senior VFL debut for Hawthorn in 1941 and played until 1943 and from 1946 to 1949. He then played for Richmond from 1950 to 1952.

Austen tied with South Melbourne's Ron Clegg for the 1949 Brownlow Medal but was not awarded it based on the 'countback' system in place at that time. The League later changed the system for tied results and, in 1989, he was awarded the medal retrospectively.

Hawthorn Football Club started 1950 in turmoil, Col Austen had sided with outgoing captain-coach Alec Albiston who was angry as he was told by a member of the board that he remain as captain. The club had appointed Bob McCaskill as coach and he wanted Kevin Curran to be captain. A huge internal split occurred, the board sided with the new coach and gave Albiston and Austen open clearances.[3] Austen was cleared to Richmond and played 51 games from 1950 to 1952.

He was Captain/Coach of the Richmond Seconds side from 1953 to 1955, winning the competition's best and fairest, the Gardiner Medal, in 1953. He led the Tigers' seconds to the 1954 and 1955 Seconds premierships.

Finally he went to Box Hill in the VFA as Captain/Coach in 1956 and non-playing coach from 1957 to 1959. He coached Box Hill to its first two Finals appearances in the VFA, 3rd place in 1956 and 4th place in 1958. He also coached the VFA's representative side in 1958.

Austen was made a Life Member of the Richmond Football Club shortly before his death in 1995.

The 'Col Austen Memorial Trophy' is awarded each year to the winning team in the first Hawthorn vs Richmond match of the regular AFL season.

Since 2001 the Box Hill Football Club, now a member of the Victorian Football League and aligned to AFL Club Hawthorn, has annual presented the 'Col Austen Trophy' to its best and fairest player.


  1. "Hawthorn's pocket rockets". Hawthorn Football Club. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  2. "Col Austen - Player Bio". Australian Football. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  3. Blair, p. 179.


  • Blair, L. (2005) The Immortals, John Wiley & Sons: Brisbane. ISBN 1 74031 104 3.
  • De Bolfo, Tony (14 March 2017). "200 Club push for 'Mulga', Baxter and Bob". Carlton Football Club.
  • Hogan P: The Tigers Of Old, Richmond FC, (Melbourne), 1996. ISBN 0-646-18748-1
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