St Kilda Football Club pauses to remember seven-game Saint Geoff Kerr – one of the most passionate players to represent the Crest.
Of the 1615 men who represented St Kilda at senior level, the games tallies range from one through to the 383 of Robert Harvey.
But each hold a place in our rich tapestry.
After all, they have beaten many thousands of others just to get to footy’s top level.
Our records list Geoff Kerr as having played seven games for the Saints from 1945-1947, and his pride in being a part of St Kilda was something that ran through a rich life, and extended to the many members of his family who are Saints members.
Geoff passed away on May 26 at the age of 95, shortly after a fall. Until then he had still been active.
He was a member of the Saints Past Players Committee for more than a decade traversing the Moorabbin and Waverley eras, and enjoyed nothing better than catching up with his old mates. He was honoured to be guest speaker at a Haloes Lunch a few years back at Marvel Stadium.
As a player he came from the Caulfield Districts team based at Caulfield Park. It was there that he was spotted by a Saints recruiter and he debuted in the senior team late in 1945.
He played two games on the half-back line and a further five in 1947, sometimes taking a turn in the ruck because of St Kilda’s chronic lack of big men.
He often told the story that at the time of his debut he was the tallest man on the Saints list at 188cm (or six foot two inches in the old measures).
Looking at the Saints list of that year confirms that Brendan O’Donnell (191cm) had started the 1945 season as the tallest Saint, but he retired just one game into the season.
Geoff Kerr was a watchmaker by profession and worked in the city with the Dunklings firm. His boss would not let him leave work early to attend footy training and Geoff always reckoned the boss was a Collingwood barracker, which tells its own story.
Often he wouldn’t arrive at the Junction Oval until 7pm, just as others were leaving the track. His late arrivals prompted the nickname ‘Midnight’ among his teammates.
Geoff’s son Doug says that the footy career came to an end when Geoff’s wife was concerned that if he injured his hands playing football, he would not be able to work as a watchmaker.
Having won a best-and-fairest for the Saints Seconds, he could have been on the cusp of more regular senior selection at the age of just 22.
Geoff Kerr’s funeral will be held on Tuesday 9 June at 11am. The memorial will be streamed on the internet for those wishing to pay their respects. More information to follow.