Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Keith Sylvester Shea

Known as
Keith Shea

10 August 1914

27 February 1951 (aged 36)

Place of death
Albury, NSW (2640)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 17y 348d
Last game: 30y 310d

Height and weight
Height: 175 cm
Weight: 78 kg

Senior clubs
Carlton; Subiaco; South Fremantle; Hawthorn

Jumper numbers
Carlton: 8
Hawthorn: 1

Recruited from
Carlton (1938); Subiaco (1940); Carlton (1945)

Family links
Jack Shea (Brother)Eddie Shea (Cousin)

Keith Shea

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
South FremantleWANFL194017140.82
V/AFL1932-1937, 1945991091.1061%17.573.1565
Total1932-1940, 19451531921.25

Pre 1965 stats are for selected matches only

AFL: 3,967th player to appear, 2,457th most games played, 986th most goals kickedCarlton: 495th player to appear, 199th most games played, 88th most goals kickedHawthorn: 344th player to appear, 635th most games played, 382nd most goals kicked

Keith Shea was one of the finest all round footballers of his generation. He joined Carlton in 1932, and booted a couple of goals from half forward right in that season's losing VFL Grand Final against Richmond. Strong overhead, he was also a powerful and highly accurate kick. Between 1932 and 1937 he played a total of 91 VFL games for the Blues, kicking 101 goals. He also represented the Big V in the interstate arena 10 times, including the two matches of the Perth carnival of 1937 where he came to the attention of Subiaco officials desirous of bolstering the strength of their team. 

The 1938 season found Shea in the West Australian capital playing for the Maroons along with fellow former VFL champions Haydn Bunton senior and Les 'Splinter' Hardiman. In two seasons he played 37 league games, and represented Western Australia on four occasions, bolstering his reputation as one of the most audaciously skilled and - in Austin Robertson senior's words - 'spellbinding' players in the land. Shea spent the 1940 season with South Fremantle, where he played 17 games.

After World War II, Keith Shea resumed league football, this time with Hawthorn, where he spent the 1945 season as captain-coach, adding a final eight VFL games to his tally before retiring. He continued as coach with the Mayblooms in 1946, but a dismal season which yielded just three wins from 19 games, and produced a wooden spoon, precipitated his departure.

Author - John Devaney


Full Points Footy Publications


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