Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Graham Studley Cornes

Known as
Graham Cornes

31 March 1948 (age 75)

Place of birth
Melbourne, VIC (3000)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 31y 7d
Last game: 31y 71d

Height and weight
Height: 189 cm
Weight: 76 kg

Senior clubs
Glenelg; North Melbourne; South Adelaide

Jumper numbers
North Melbourne: 11

Recruited from
Glenelg (1979); North Melbourne (1980); Glenelg (1983)

State of origin

Hall of fame
Australian Football Hall of Fame (2012); South Australian Football Hall Of Fame (2002)

Family links
Chad Cornes (Son)Kane Cornes (Son)

Graham Cornes

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
North MelbourneV/AFL19795102.0060%
South AdelaideSANFL1983-198447420.89

AFL: 9,054th player to appear, 9,919th most games played, 5,031st most goals kickedNorth Melbourne: 707th player to appear, 781st most games played, 360th most goals kicked

Among post-war South Australians, perhaps only Fos Williams and Neil Kerley can rival Graham Cornes in terms of the extent and duration of their all round contributions to interstate football, both on and off the field of play. In Cornes' case, that contribution began with 21 appearances as a player, highlighted by All Australian selection in 1979 and 1980, a Simpson Medal against Western Australia at Subiaco Oval in 1979, and culminating in the 1980 Tassie Medal.

Described by his first league coach Neil Kerley as looking "like a skun rabbit"¹ Cornes nevertheless belied his apparent physical deficiencies with considerable all round football ability that was effectively redoubled by his exemplary wholeheartedness, endeavour, energy and enthusiasm, qualities which would earn him three club best and fairest awards in 317 games with Glenelg between 1967 and 1982.

Cornes also played 5 games with North Melbourne under Ron Barassi, and a further 47 games for South Adelaide, where he commenced his career as a league football coach in 1983. Cornes later enjoyed considerable success as coach of Glenelg, steering the club to two premierships from five Grand Finals over half a dozen seasons, and was also the man responsible for establishing the Adelaide Crows in the 'big time' when that club took its AFL bows in 1991.

However, it was as an interstate coach in charge of South Australia that Cornes achieved the greatest renown, twice achieving selection as All Australian coach, and leading his team to an astonishing six wins in eight games against the hitherto virtually invincible 'Big V'.

Author - John Devaney


1. Pride Of The Bay by Peter Cornwall and John Wood, page 176.


Full Points Footy's SA Football Companion


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