Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Matthew Kennedy

Known as
Matthew Kennedy

4 February 1970 (age 53)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 20y 83d
Last game: 31y 230d

Height and weight
Height: 191 cm
Weight: 98 kg

Senior clubs

Jumper numbers
Brisbane: 41

Family links
Des Kennedy (Father)

Matthew Kennedy

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV

AFL: 10,115th player to appear, 754th most games played, 2,943rd most goals kickedBrisbane: 66th player to appear, 21st most games played, 88th most goals kicked

Matthew Kennedy was a powerful key defender / utility player from the Gold Coast who played a total of 188 AFL games for the Brisbane Bears/Lions from 1990 to 2001. Son of ex-St.Kilda defender Des Kennedy, Matthew was born in Melbourne and moved to Queensland aged eight. He played junior football at Surfers Paradise and Southport, and was a Queensland U17 representative. After tasting QAFL premiership success with Southport in 1989 as a 19-year-old made his AFL debut the following year.

Boasting long, curly blonde locks and renowned for his thumping long kicks, Kennedy was a member of the Bears' 1991 Reserves premiership side before becoming a valuable senior player. Best served at centre half back, he also played at times on the wing and was a makeshift ruckman. He was one of only nine players to play 100 senior games for the club during the Bears era. Carrying a trademark shaved head in his latter days, he was sixth in the Bears best and fairest in 1993 and Best Clubman in 1996 after a key role in the club’s first preliminary final side. He finished 3rd in the Lions best and fairest, won the ‘Most Professional Player Award’ in 1998, and narrowly missed All-Australian selection the following year.

Kennedy represented Queensland, Queensland/NT, and the Allies in interstate football, but sadly fell short of enjoying premiership glory with the Lions. After playing eight senior games in 2001, including the preliminary final, he made way for the return of Alastair Lynch to the side, a sad blow akin to that suffered by his father Des when injury ruled him out of St. Kilda’s 1966 victory.

He later became an assistant-coach at Southport before rejoining the Lions as strength and conditioning coach. 

Author - Murray Bird and Peter Blucher


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