Denis Cordner

George Denis Pruen Cordner (28 June 1924 – 17 October 1990) was an Australian rules footballer, industrial chemist and diplomat.

Denis Cordner
Personal information
Date of birth (1924-06-28)28 June 1924
Place of birth Diamond Creek, Victoria
Date of death 17 October 1990(1990-10-17) (aged 66)
Place of death Kew East, Victoria
Original team(s) University Blacks (VAFA)
Debut Round 5, 1943, Melbourne
vs. Richmond, at the MCG
Height 191 cm (6 ft 3 in)
Weight 91 kg (201 lb)
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1943, 1948–56 Melbourne 152 (82)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1956.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables,

Early years

Cordner was the third of four sons to Edward "Ted" Cordner and Margaret Constance née Pruen. Like his father, Cordner and his brothers Ted (1919-1996), Don (1922-2009) and John (1929-2016) were also notable sportsmen. All of them represented Melbourne Grammar School, University Blacks and Melbourne in Australian rules football.[1]

Cordner made his senior football debut in Round 5 of the 1943 VFL season against Richmond at Punt Road Oval while on leave from the Royal Australian Navy. It would be the only time he lined up with his older brothers Don and Ted. Cordner was flattened five seconds into the match, but recovered and went on to kick two goals in a losing cause.[1] His next VFL game would be five years later, in the famous 1948 VFL Grand Final.

Cordner was also a capable cricketer, known for his bowling. In an Intervarsity match at the University Oval in Sydney in 1949, he took nine wickets (six of those in the second innings) for the match to help Melbourne beat Sydney.[2]

Cordner played in the ruck in the Melbourne premiership teams in the 1948, 1955 and 1956.

In September 1981, Cordner was appointed Australian Consul-General in New York.[3] He took up the post in March 1982.[4] Cordner's wife Pat was mugged on her first day out in New York city.[5] In March 1984, Cordner was asked to return to Australia within three months.[6]

Cordner died of coronary heart disease on 17 October 1990 at his home in East Kew, and was buried in Point Lonsdale Cemetery. He was survived by his wife and two daughters[4]

He was posthumously named in the Melbourne's "Team of the Century" in 2000 as the starting ruckman.


  1. "THAT AMAZING CORDNER FAMILY". The Argus (Melbourne) (33, 093). Victoria, Australia. 26 September 1952. p. 4 (The Argus Magazine). Retrieved 17 May 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  2. "Great Bowling by D. Cordner". The Age (29, 241). Victoria, Australia. 14 January 1949. p. 12. Retrieved 17 May 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  3. "New consul". The Canberra Times. ACT. 17 September 1981. p. 6.
  4. Hibbins, Gillian M., "Cordner, George Denis Pruen (1924–1990)", Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian National University, archived from the original on 27 February 2016
  5. "Australia's Consul-General... at home in the Big Apple", The Australian Women's Weekly, p. 42, 24 November 1982
  6. "Envoy in New York asked to return". The Canberra Times. ACT. 21 March 1984. p. 3.
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Bob Cotton
Australian Consul General in New York
Succeeded by
John Taylor

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