Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Colin Austen

Known as
Col Austen

2 December 1920

3 October 1995 (aged 74)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 19y 217d
Last game: 31y 272d

Height and weight
Height: 175 cm
Weight: 80 kg

Senior clubs
Hawthorn; Richmond; Box Hill

Jumper numbers
Hawthorn: 5, 25, 9
Richmond: 16

Recruited from
Kew (1940); Hawthorn (1950); Richmond (1956)

Family links
Cec Austen (Brother)Bob Austen (Brother)Geoff Austen (Nephew)

Col Austen

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
HawthornV/AFL1940-1941, 1943, 1946-19498500.0022%55
Box HillVFA1956-19592010.05
V/AFL1940-1941, 1943, 1946-195213610.0132%67
Total1940-1941, 1943, 1946-1952, 1956-195915620.01

AFL: 4,832nd player to appear, 1,554th most games played, 8,954th most goals kickedHawthorn: 274th player to appear, 177th most games played, 802nd most goals kickedRichmond: 495th player to appear, 307th most games played, 794th most goals kicked

In the Hawthorn team this season is Colin Austen, who seems likely to develop into one of the best back pocket players in the game. Each Saturday Colin hasthe task of minding the resting rover, and usually does a good job. Since he joined the Mayblooms last season Colin says his hardest task has been minding the elusive Alby Pannam. Austen is only 20, 5ft. 9in. and 12 stone, the ideal build for the position he occupies ..... Colin Austen’s task as a back pocket player is rendered doubly difficult in view of his playing with a weak team and consequently the frequency of the opposing onslaughts.¹

Today's record books show Colin Austen as Hawthorn's first ever Brownlow Medallist, but in actual fact he originally lost the 1949 Medal to South Melbourne's Ron Clegg on a countback. A defender of exceptional brilliance, Austen rarely lowered his colours, and was a springboard for many Hawthorn attacks. He played a total of 91 VFL games with the Mayblooms and Hawks² in two separate stints before quitting the club in disgust after his close friend Alec Albiston was sacked as coach prior to the start of the 1950 season. 

Austen spent the 1950, 1951 and 1952 seasons with Richmond, adding a further 50 VFL games to his tally. In 1953 he coached the Richmond Reserves and won the Gardiner Medal as the best and fairest player in that grade. Between 1956 and 1959 he coached VFA side Box Hill, playing 20 senior games, and getting the team as far as the preliminary final in his first season. He also coached the VFA representative side at the 1958 Melbourne carnival.

Author - John Devaney


1. “Sporting Globe”, 2/7/41, page 10.
Hawthorn’s nickname was changed from Mayblooms to Hawks in 1943.


Full Points Footy Publications, Crème de la Crème


* Behinds calculated from the 1965 season on.
+ Score at the end of extra time.