Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Kevin Michael O'Keeffe

Known as
Kevin O'Keeffe

22 October 1952 (age 69)

Place of birth
Terang, VIC (3264)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 20y 181d
Last game: 29y 212d

Height and weight
Height: 180 cm
Weight: 83 kg

Senior clubs
Fitzroy; East Perth

Jumper numbers
Fitzroy: 11, 36

Recruited from
Fitzroy (1980); East Perth (1982); Fitzroy (1983)

State of origin

Kevin O'Keeffe

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
FitzroyV/AFL1973-1979, 198292360.3936%12.053.803.7737
East PerthWAFL1980-19812410.04

AFL: 8,542nd player to appear, 2,590th most games played, 2,585th most goals kickedFitzroy: 904th player to appear, 125th most games played, 144th most goals kicked

Kevin O'Keeffe was a fearless and dashing red-headed defender over a 15-year career in three states. Originally from Terang, he became a regular in the Fitzroy line-up by mid way through his first season in the big league in 1973, although a form lapse the next year saw him in and out of the side. The 1975 season began badly as O'Keefe, as ever with eyes firmly on the ball, accidently bumped into Footscray's Neil Sachse, a clash which left the Bulldog player paralysed. Putting the tragedy behind him, O'Keefe's football matured to such an extent that the half back flanker was selected to represent Victoria in that year's Interstate [knockout] Carnival. 

O'Keefe's good form continued over the next few seasons but by 1978 injury problems and a loss of form saw him struggling to hold down a place with the improving Lions. In 1980 he requested, and was eventually granted after a protracted battle, a clearance to East Perth. A good year followed with him playing 20 games and helping the Royals get to the Preliminary Final, but 1981 was a disaster, with injuries restricting him to four games only. O'Keefe was on the move again, first back to Fitzroy for an ultimately unsuccessful comeback, and then north to Queensland, which was to prove far more productive.

In 1983 he joined QAFL club Coorparoo and was catapulted into the Queensland side within a fortnight of arriving. In the end, he represented Queensland 16 times, and would almost certainly have made more appearances were it not for injury. Premierships in 1984 and 1986 with the Roos, the state captaincy in 1986 and a stint as club coach in the late 1980s completed an outstanding QAFL career.

Author - Adam Cardosi


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