Acknowledging Australia’s eldest hockey statesman
Queenslander John Dwyer is the oldest living member of the Australian men’s hockey team that competed at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne.
A talented goalkeeper, John won three Best and Fairest player awards throughout his career and was known for his style of playing as much as possible from the top of the Dee and for his long, accurate clearances with either foot.
He considers one of the highlights of his career winning the Noall Shield for national supremacy with Queensland in 1954 with victories over New Zealand (2-1), South Australia (1-0), Western Australia (2-1), Tasmania (4-0), and New South Wales (6-2). The only loss was a 1-0 defeat to Victoria.
John represented Queensland every year from 1951-1958.
For Australia he was selected for a test against New Zealand in Sydney in 1954, the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and a tour of New Zealand in 1958.
Unfortunately John broke one of his kneecaps in a club game in 1959 that ruled him out of contention for the 1960 Olympics.
Off the field, John worked as a journalist for most of his life – first at the Queensland Times, Ipswich and then at the Sydney Sun, where, with Pat Nilan and Heather McKay, he wrote a series of tips for playing hockey. He also covered Lawn Bowls and Australian Rules football for the paper and won an award for his coverage of the game.
After a stint as licensee of the Friendly Inn at Kangaroo Valley, NSW, he returned to Queensland and worked as a feature writer for the Gold Coast Bulletin before ‘retiring’ to Spicer's Gap and a cattle and small crop property. He moved to Bangalow, near Byron Bay, six years ago and lives there with his wife, Nancy.
John Dwyer received an Australian Sports Medal for services to hockey in 2000.
Article written by John Sanders