John Cahill (footballer)

John Cahill (born 27 April 1940) is a former Australian rules football player and coach. During his illustrious career he played football for the Port Adelaide, and coached Port Adelaide, West Adelaide, South Adelaide in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) and Collingwood in the Victorian Football League (VFL) and Port Adelaide in the Australian Football League (AFL).

John Cahill
Personal information
Full name John V. Cahill
Date of birth (1940-04-27) 27 April 1940
Place of birth Adelaide, South Australia
Original team(s) South Adelaide (SANFL)
Height 180 cm (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 75 kg (165 lb)
Position(s) Centre
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1958–73 Port Adelaide (SANFL) 264 (286)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
South Australia 29
Coaching career
Years Club Games (W–L–D)
1974–82 Port Adelaide (SANFL) 216 (158–54–4)
1983–84 Collingwood (VFL) 47 (27–20–0)
1985–87 West Adelaide (SANFL) 69 (34–35–0)
1988–96 Port Adelaide (SANFL) 205 (153–52–0)
1997–98 Port Adelaide (AFL) 44 (19–23–2)
2005 Port Adelaide (SANFL) 23 (13–10–0)
2008 South Adelaide (SANFL) 20 (5–14–1)
Total 624 (409–208–7)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2008.
Career highlights


  • 4x Port Adelaide premiership player (1959, 1962, 1963, 1965)
  • 4x Port Adelaide best and fairest (1966, 1968, 1970, 1973)
  • McCallum Medallist 1956 (under-17 with South Adelaide)
  • Port Adelaide captain 1968–73
  • Port Adelaide leading goalkicker 1973




The Port Adelaide Football Club honoured Cahill by naming the award for the club's best and fairest player the John Cahill Medal.

SANFL career

Port Adelaide career

Cahill played 264 matches for Port Adelaide and 29 state matches for South Australia from 1958 to 1973. He captained Port Adelaide from 1967 to 1973 and skippered South Australia in 1969 and 1970.

Coaching career

After retiring, Cahill took up coaching. Starting with Port Adelaide, he would lead the club to 10 premierships in the SANFL (1977, 1979–81, 1988–90, 1992, 1994–95).

Cahill spent two seasons at the Collingwood Football Club in the VFL (1983–84) where he led them to 6th in 1983 and 3rd in 1984. He then returned to Adelaide where he coached West Adelaide in the SANFL (1985–87), taking the club to 3rd in his first season and the league Night Premierships in 1985 and 1987. But it was Port Adelaide where his heart lay and he returned to Alberton in 1988 and led the club to six more premierships before ending his SANFL coaching after 14 rounds of the 1996 season to move on to coach Port in 1997 and 1998 when they were admitted into the AFL.

After two successful seasons in the AFL, Cahill left the club and, it seemed, football forever. However, in 2005, he was appointed coach of the Port Adelaide Magpies for one season to revitalise the struggling club. He took them to their first finals series in three seasons and they finished a respectable third. At the end of the season he announced that he was retiring from coaching.

However, in 2008, he signed a two-year coaching deal with the South Adelaide Football Club in an attempt to pull them out of their current slump. He resigned eight matches into the season, apparently citing "outside influences".[1]

Personal life

His son is Darren Cahill (born 1965), a former professional tennis player from Australia and tennis coach. His brother is Darrell Cahill who also played for Port Adelaide, playing 265 games. His daughter married Scott Hodges who played for Port Adelaide, Adelaide and Port Adelaide in the AFL. They have since divorced. His uncle, Laurie Cahill was also a coach in the SANFL, coaching South Adelaide in 1947-8 and 1957 and West Adelaide from 1953 until 1956, taking the latter club to two Grand Finals in 1954 and 1956. Prior to that he was a dual premiership player with South Adelaide in the SANFL and a member of VFL side Richmond’s 1943 grand final winning team. He is first cousin to Barrie Barbary. In 2010, he purchased an EFM Health Clubs Franchise[2] located on-site at Pulteney Grammar School in the Adelaide CBD.


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