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19 November 1933
19 January 2023 (aged 89)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 19y 164d
Last game: 25y 311d
Height and weight
Height: 183 cm
Weight: 75 kg
Essendon; West Perth
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Pre 1965 stats are for selected matches only
AFL: 6,320th player to appear, 2,743rd most games played, 2,575th most goals kickedEssendon: 655th player to appear, 200th most games played, 218th most goals kicked
John Towner arrived at Essendon from Ascot Youth Centre, and was initially hailed as a possible replacement for John Coleman at full forward. However, despite having plenty of pace and being exceptionally strong in the air, his kicking was wayward, and he lacked the strength to win kicks under pressure. Coach Dick Reynolds then decided to try him in defence, and he became a consistent and highly reliable performer.
Towner was on a half back flank, and high among the best players, in the grand final of 1957, and at full back two years later. Essendon lost both matches to Melbourne, however. Between 1953 and 1959 Towner played 87 VFL games and kicked 36 goals. He won the Dons' best clubman award in both 1957 and 1959. In 1960 he transferred to West Perth, where he spent three seasons, starring at full back in the Cardinals' 32-point Grand Final win over East Perth in his first year. Towner later moved to Queensland where he finished his playing career as captain-coach of Surfers Paradise.
Author - John Devaney