Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Sampson Hosking

Known as
Sampson 'Shine' Hosking


Senior clubs
Port Adelaide

Hall of fame
South Australian Football Hall Of Fame (2002)

Sampson 'Shine' Hosking

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
Port AdelaideSANFL1907-1921, 1927, 1936163410.25
Total1907-1921, 1927, 1936163410.25

Sampson ‘Shine’ Hosking’s 1910 Magarey Medal win was but the most conspicuous of numerous achievements over the course of a sporadic three decade career in league football as both a player and a coach. (The SANFL later awarded Hosking a second, retrospective Medal for 1915.) As a coach he steered his beloved Magpies to a total of three premierships during two separate stints at the helm. He also coached West Torrens to a flag in 1933 and took West Adelaide to a Grand Final in his only season in charge of the red and blacks. During world war two he spent two seasons as coach of the Port Adelaide-West Torrens combined side for first and second place finishes. However, it is as a player that he is rightly best remembered.

Despite being repeatedly beset by injury during the early part of his Port Adelaide career Hosking quickly established a reputation for speedy, effective play, notably characterised by accurate disposal, fierce, almost callous determination, and a notorious partiality for gamesmanship. Given his self-confessed reputation as “one of the dirtiest players who ever stripped”¹ his achievement in twice winning an award presented to the league’s best and fairest player was remarkable. Perhaps standards of ‘fairness’ have changed or, more probably, Hosking was simply very good at camouflaging his less congenial activities.

During his playing career Hosking gave notice of his latent coaching ability by instigating strategies such as commissioning a loose man in attack (typically Hosking himself) or stationing one of the team’s on-ballers a kick behind the play (again, as often as not, this proved to be Hosking).

Despite officially retiring in 1921 after 12 seasons and 160 games with the Magpies (plus 10 for South Australia), Hosking was later to effect two brief ‘come backs’. In 1927, his first season as coach of Port he added two further games to his career tally and, even more remarkably, during his second stint as coach of the Magpies, at the age of 48, he sat on the bench as 19th man for one game in 1936. Despite the fact that there were to be no further ‘resurrections’ after that, the status of Sampson Hosking as one of the true giants of the game had been well and truly established.

Author - John Devaney


  1. From an interview with Hosking conducted by 'The Express and Telegraph', 23/9/1922, page 4.


Full Points Footy's SA Football Companion


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