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John Cooper and John Todd honoured with signage upgrade

Thursday, October 8, 2020 - 1:11 PM by Matthew Ogg

The signage for the John Cooper-John Todd Stand at Steel Blue Oval has received a well-deserved upgrade, to highlight and recognise the significant contributions both men have made to the Swan Districts Football Club.

Originally displayed in smaller letters, the club have increased the size of the signage along with shifting it to a more prominent position on the stand.

It could be argued that no two men have been more influential in the long term success of the Swan Districts Football Club than John Cooper and John Todd.

John Todd’s football talent was recognised early, when at 16 years old he kicked seven goals in a reserves grade WAFL premiership for South Fremantle. The next season he played every game for the league side and became the youngest player to win a Sandover Medal, along with the Bulldogs best and fairest award, at just 17. Injury forced him to retire early, after just 132 WAFL games.

In 1977, Todd came to the Swan Districts Football Club, winning a hat-trick of premierships (1982, 1983 & 1984) in his 11 seasons of coaching the club.

After a short stint in the AFL, where he was the first coach to take the West Coast Eagles into the finals, Todd returned to the Swans for another five seasons, where he would lead the club to the 1990 premiership, before heading back to South Fremantle in 1995. In 2000, he returned one final time to the black and whites, before retiring in 2002.

Todd was the first West Australian, and only fourth Aussie to coach 700 senior games. He also held the record of being both the youngest (21yrs old) and oldest (62yrs old) senior coach in WAFL history.  

Remembered more so on-field as a tenacious back pocket, John Cooper started his career at the Swans as a speedy centre. His first 10 league games impressed both team mates and umpires alike, polling a Sandover Medal vote in each of them. Unfortunately, a muscular injury saw him cheering from the sidelines that year, before finishing his rookie season in the twos.

Due to a bone disease in his ankle and knee, along with a change in coaches, he returned to the league side deep in defence, and found his niche in the back pocket.

In 1959 he became the Colts Coach at Swan Districts, before a transfer in employment to Boulder the following season saw him leave the club for five years. During his time in Boulder he was able to win a Premiership as the Captain/Coach of Mines Rovers, and spend time on their committee.

Upon returning to Bassendean, John Cooper would begin more than 40 years of continuous service for both the Swan Districts Football Club and the WAFL, in positions including; club President, Honorary Treasurer, Honorary Secretary, WAFC Commissioner and more.

“It’s a wonderful thing the club has done for us” Cooper said. “It’s nice to see them keeping our names up there and keeping it fresh and smart.”
“We only did what we did for the Swans because we loved the club and are still very proud of it.

“It’s a marvellous honour to be recognised in this way.”

Director of Community and Facilities Development, Matt Hewitson, said on the unveiling of the upgrade “Both John Cooper and John Todd are such as a massive part of Swans history and it is important that we continue to celebrate the contributions they have made to our club over such a long time.”