Peter Hudson

Peter John Hudson AM (born 19 February 1946) is a former Australian rules football player, considered one of the greatest full-forwards in the game's history.

Peter Hudson
Personal information
Full name Peter John Hudson AM
Date of birth (1946-02-19) 19 February 1946
Debut Round 2, 22 April 1967, Hawthorn
vs. Carlton, at Princes Park
Height 188 cm (6 ft 2 in)[1]
Weight 92 kg (203 lb)[1]
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1963–66 New Norfolk 78 (378)
1967–74; 1977 Hawthorn 129 (727)
1975–76; 1978–79; 1981 Glenorchy 81 (616)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
Tasmania 19 (92)
Victoria 6 (43)
Tasmanian Football League 26 (153)
Total 51 (288)
Coaching career
Years Club Games (W–L–D)
1975–76; 1981 Glenorchy
1986–87 Hobart
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1981.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables,

Hudson was prolific in his goal scoring in all senior competitions in which he competed. Originally from Tasmania, Hudson played with New Norfolk Football Club, in the Tasmanian Football League before crossing to Hawthorn Football Club in the Victorian Football League (now the Australian Football League); following his Hawthorn days he returned to Tasmania, playing for Glenorchy Football Club during which he kicked an amazing 616 goals in 81 games at a phenomenal 7.61 goals per game.

Over his career, he kicked 1,721 goals in 288 premiership games between 1963 and 1979, and 1981. His final match was in the 1981 TANFL Preliminary Final for Glenorchy, where Hudson, who had made a brief comeback with two rounds remaining due to Glenorchy having a string of injuries, kicked 30 goals in three matches, including six in his team's Preliminary Final loss to New Norfolk. Hudson was kept goalless just four times during his career in premiership matches by Richmond's Barry Richardson in Round 7 of 1969, Collingwood's Ian Cooper in Round 2 of 1974, Carlton's Rod Austin in Round 14 of 1977 and in the TANFL, Bruce Greenhill of Sandy Bay in 1978.

Some sources list Hudson as playing 107 games and kicking 769 goals for Glenorchy for a TANFL total of 185 games and 1,146 goals, and a career total of 314 games and 1,874 goals. These discrepancies arise from the TANFL including goals scored in intrastate matches representing the TANFL in TANFL player's career statistics at that time, a ruling that was later rescinded.[2]

If the Tasmanian competitions, representative and night series games are considered, Hudson played an overall total of 372 matches and kicked 2,191 goals – an average of 5.89 goals a game over his entire career – making him the highest goalkicker in elite Australian rules football history.

Hudson's ability to win the ball was hard to pinpoint. There were times he seemed to gain possession of the ball ever so quietly and with consistent, nonchalant ease, his tally of goals for the game would gradually climb. Among his armoury of skills, he seemed to have the ability to quietly sneak away from the opposition attendant full-back. Before the frustrated backman knew it, Hudson had taken a nice comfortable mark on his chest for a simple goal.

VFL career

In a Victorian Football League career beginning with the Hawthorn Football Club in 1967, he kicked 727 goals at an average of 5.64 a game.

Hudson won the Coleman Medal for the League's leading goal kicker four times in his career: in 1968 (125 goals); 1970 (146); 1971 (150); and 1977 (110). He also became the first player to kick 100 goals in a VFL season five times (the other year he exceeded 100 goals being 1969 when he kicked 120, but did not win the Coleman).

In 1971 he equalled Bob Pratt's record of 150 goals in a season after kicking three goals in Hawthorn's winning Grand Final side. Hudson kicked into the man-on-the-mark Barry Lawrence (St Kilda) in one of his attempts to break the record during the grand final.[3]

In the first round of 1972 he seriously injured his knee just before half time. He had already kicked 8 goals and had just taken a mark within distance when he fell awkwardly. It was thought that his career had finished.[1]

On 25 August 1973 he returned from Tasmania to kick eight goals against Collingwood at VFL Park. After playing Rounds 1 and 2 in 1974, he again injured his knee and returned to Tasmania. After hurting his knee playing netball later that year he decided to have knee surgery in the summer. He did not play another VFL game until lured back for the 1977 season when he ended up kicking 110 goals for the season.[4][5]

VFL statistics

 G  Goals  B  Behinds  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  D  Disposals  M  Marks  T  Tackles
Led the league for the season only*
Led the league after finals only*
Led the league after season and finals*
Season Team No. Games G B K H D M T G B K H D M T
Totals Averages (per game)
1967 Hawthorn 261757551792920890N/A3.
1968 Hawthorn 26191256227431305113N/A6.63.314.41.616.15.9N/A
1969 Hawthorn 26191204021716233111N/A6.
1970 Hawthorn 26221464428219301140N/A6.
1971 Hawthorn 26241507234641387180N/A6.
1972 Hawthorn 26181121139N/A8.
1973 Hawthorn 261831501510N/A8.
1974 Hawthorn 26233107176N/A1.
1977 Hawthorn 1241105024332275123N/A4.62.310.11.311.55.1N/A
Career 129 727 330 1578 176 1754 782 N/A 5.6 2.6 12.2 1.4 13.6 6.1 N/A

Post VFL

Hudson coached and played for Glenorchy Football Club in the TFL in 1975 and 1976, taking them to a premiership in his first year. Following his second return from the VFL, in 1978 he once again played for Glenorchy, kicking 153 goals and winning the highest individual honour in the TFL, the William Leitch Medal. In the next season he again topped the goalkicking with 179 goals, winning his second William Leitch medal. He retired as a player at the end of the season. He coached Hobart in the TFL in 1986–1987 for consecutive unsuccessful finals campaigns.

In 1979, he was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Australia Day Honours, for services to Australian football.[7][8][9]

He was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 1996 and elevated to "Legend" status in 1999. His citation reads: "A freakish full-forward who just kept accumulating goals. Made brilliant use of the body, was deadly accurate and had an amazing ability to read the play. Holds the best goals per game average (5.59) in VFL/AFL history and in 1971 matched Bob Pratt's record for most goals in a season with 150."[10]

Hudson is well respected for his business acumen. Since retirement he has had a stint as the Chief Executive Officer at Hawthorn and St Kilda. Currently he is a senior executive of insurance giant Bupa.

Hudson was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2001.[11]

Hudson is depicted in a Tasmanian state guernsey taking a mark against South Australia in Jamie Cooper's painting the Game That Made Australia, commissioned by the AFL in 2008 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the sport[12]

In 2010, Hudson became the eleventh player to feature in a Toyota Memorable Moments advertisement with Stephen Curry and Dave Lawson, comically re-enacting his unsuccessful attempt to break Bob Pratt's goal-kicking record in the 1971 VFL Grand Final.[13]


His son Paul also played for the Hawthorn Football Club, Western Bulldogs and Richmond Football Club, and nephew Simon Minton-Connell also played AFL football for the Carlton Football Club, Sydney Swans, Hawthorn Football Club and Western Bulldogs.

See also


  1. Holmesby, Russell; Main, Jim (2003). The Encyclopedia of AFL Footballers: every AFL/VFL player since 1897 (5th ed.). Melbourne, Victoria: Crown Content. p. 338. ISBN 1-74095-032-1.
  2. "Hudson the legend now a life member". The Age. 30 June 2003. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  3. "AFL's 150 greatest moments – No.73". Sunday Herald Sun. 1 June 2008. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  4. Beames, Percy (28 September 1976). "Hawks – class of '76". The Age. Google News Archive. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  5. Ralph, Jon (28 March 2008). "Liberty Bell has a hollow ring". Herald Sun. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  6. Peter Hudson's player profile at AFL Tables
  7. "HUDSON, Peter John – AM". It's an honour. Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  8. "HUDSON, Peter John – ASM". It's an honour. Department of the Premier and Cabinet. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  9. "HUDSON, Peter John – CM". It's an honour. Department of the Premier and Cabinet. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  10. "Legends". AFL. Archived from the original on 17 September 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  11. "Peter Hudson AM". Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
  12. Australian Football League, The Game That Made Australia Archived 19 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved 19 September 2010
  13. Kelly Ryan, Herald Sun "Flying Hawk hero Peter Hudson relives his glory days in Toyota ad", 14 August 2010, Retrieved 4 September 2010.
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