Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
James O'Dea

Known as
Jim O'Dea

2 February 1949 (age 74)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 18y 107d
Last game: 31y 196d

Height and weight
Height: 185 cm
Weight: 91 kg

Senior clubs
St. Kilda; Dandenong

Jumper numbers
St. Kilda: 40, 14

Recruited from
St. Kilda (1977); Dandenong (1978)

Jim O'Dea

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
St. KildaV/AFL1967-1976, 1978-198016770.0453%

AFL: 7,940th player to appear, 1,029th most games played, 5,690th most goals kickedSt. Kilda: 1,132nd player to appear, 44th most games played, 525th most goals kicked

To Collingwood supporters of long standing, few names are as infamous as that of former St Kilda defender, Jim O'Dea, who in a behind the play incident during a match in 1972 was responsible for knocking out and seriously injuring Magpie starlet John Greening, who remained unconscious for 24 hours. O'Dea was subsequently suspended for 10 weeks, and the incident might be said to have scarred him almost as much as Greening (not that he attracted anywhere near as much sympathy, needless to say). When public ire was at its height, he sought to conceal himself from public view to some extent by transferring briefly to VFA club Dandenong.

Originally from Noble Park-Harrisfield in the Federal Football League, O'Dea played 167 VFL games and kicked seven goals for St Kilda between 1967 and 1980. Most of his football was played on the half back line, where he was steady, solid and - in the main - unobtrusive.

Author - John Devaney


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