The death of Kickero (II)
Journalism in Victoria has lost an outstanding personality, police officials a close friend and trusted confident, and League football one of its foremost champions by the death of Mr T. W. Kelynack, of Shaftesbury Street, Moreland, at the age of 68 years.
Most widely known in Victoria as "Kickero," his pen-name during the 30 years he was the football writer of The Herald, he retired in 1930, and his death follows a long illness.
Today unique tributes to his work during the 41 years he was associated with The Herald were paid by executives of the police and the Victorian Football League.
Never betrayed confidence
Superintendent Brophy, of the Criminal Investigation Branch, said: "We always looked on Tom as one of ourselves. He went everywhere with us, and almost lived in the force. He was a man whom everyone liked and trusted, and he was known to all as a man who would never betray a confidence."
On behalf of the Victorian Football League, the secretary (Mr L. H. McBrien) said: "Mr Kelynack rendered sterling service to the Australian game and was highly respected by all League land club officials. He always enjoyed the full confidence of the League, and all will mourn his passing."
Senior-Detective S. H. McGuffie said; "Tom Kelynack was one of the most honorable men with whom I ever came in contact. He had a keen sense of justice and an equally keen sense of honor. I was associated with him in many investigations and I held him in the highest esteem.
Born at Long Gully, Bendigo, Mr Kelynack secured his early newspaper training at Bendigo and Broken Hill. He joined The Herald in 1889. He had specialised early in reporting crime and football, and in these departments he achieved an Australian-wide reputation. With Mr George Mulchinock, now editor of The Weekly Times, he covered his first important murder assignment 35 years ago, when the Hall arrest and trial caused a sensation at Bendigo. It resulted in the champion district footballer being convicted at his second trial for the murder of his wife, and he was executed.
Between then and his retirement in 1930 he investigated and reported a majority of sensational Victorian crimes, and attended, as a witness, most State hangings. His knowledge of criminology and his familiarity with lawbreakers was exceptional. There were occasions when he reached scenes of crimes ahead of the police. In many cases members of the underworld directed him to crimes and criminals, when they would not volunteer similar information to others.
Among his closest friends were the late Mr Sainsbury, a former Chief Commissioner of Police, and the late Mr Panton, P.M.
An exceptionally fast worker, he once wrote a five column story of a murder at Clifton Hill in two hours, working actually in the room in which the murder had been committed.
Many improvements to Australian football resulted from suggestions made by Mr Kelvnack. In 1927 the National Football Council passed a special resolution of appreciation of his services to the game and, when he retired, he became the first pressman to be honored by a presentation by the Victorian Football League.
Reported test cricket
As special representative for Router's during visits of English Test teams he established a record, covering six tours by cable between 1897 and 1925, and earning special tributes from Baron de Router for the exclusive news cover he provided.
Mr Kelynack left a daughter, Miss Annie Kelynack, and three sons; Mr Phillip Kelynack, veterinary surgeon; Mr Charles Kelynack, of the Electricity Commission; and Mr Frank Kelynack, of the Daily Telegraph, Sydney.
To attend the funeral, which will take place at Fawkner Cemetery at 3.30 p.m. tomorrow, Mr Frank Kelynack will fly from Sydney.
Fairest Writer (Wallace "Jumbo" Sharland)
Having been associated with the late Mr Tom Kelynack for 10 years or so, writing football alongside him at the various football grounds in Melbourne, I would like to pay tribute to a gentleman of unimpeachable character and integrity. There was no finer nor fairer writer on the game. Partisanship runs high in football, but not once did Mr Kelynack depart from his golden rule of fair play for all.
His able pen exercised a beneficial effect on the Australian code, for he wrote from his heart. His concise summaries of the game, his wonderful fund of anecdotes, his sparkling touch of humor, and his sense of proportion made him an outstanding football journalist.
Only his friends knew that he was also an excellent mimic. He had an 'extraordinary gift of being able to mimic any official or player in the game, but he never did it disparagingly.
Ask George Cathie, editor of the Football Record, and "Joker" Hall, two of football's best-known men, what they thought of Tom Kelynack as a writer and man! He was a credit to his profession and a benefactor to sport.
Title: Versatile writer "Kickero" Dies
Author: Herald Staff Writer
Publisher: The Herald (Melbourne, Vic: 1861 - 1954)
Date: 17 November 1936, p.18