Peter John Hudson Retired VFL Great
Peter Hudson one of the greatest players due to his prolific goal scoring abilities.
As a full forward, Hudson was one of the most respected players feared by his opponents as well. The Tasmanian born player first played in the Tasmanian Football League for the New Norfolk Football Club. During his time with the club he averaged 4.85 goals per game, kicking 378 goals in just 78 games.
Peter Hudson then moved to the Hawthorn Football Club to represent the team in the Victorian Football League (VFL), which is now known as the Australian Football League (AFL). Between 1961 and his retirement in 1981, Hudson remained goalless in only three matches. In the last three matches leading up to his retirement he booted 30 goals.
Peter Hudson’s career spanned over 130 games for Hawthorn during which he kicked 727 goals from 130 games that he played with the club. He then signed up with Glenorchy Football Club in Tasmania to increase his goal tally in the Tasmanian Football League, kicking an incredible 616 goals from only 81 games.
His goals tally at the time of retirement was 1,874, which increased to 2,191 if night series and representative games are included. Not many could match up to that impressive average of 7 goals per game.
Peter Hudson was one of the few players who had the ability to take on the opposition attendant fullback and backman and gain possession of the ball to take a comfortable mark on his chest and score a simple goal. His VFL career with Hawthorn Football Club was amongst his most successful days where he averaged 5.59 goals per game.
Not surprisingly, he won the Coleman Medal for the most goals scored in home and away matches four times in 1968, 1970, 1971 and 1977. His was the first players to cross reach the 100-goal mark five times in the VFL.
In 1969 Hudson kicked 120 goals, but did not manage to win the Coleman Medal that year.
Peter Hudson became a record breaker in 1971 when he kicked three goals in the Grand Final against St. Kilda to equal Bob Pratt’s record of 150 goals. After scoring 8 goals in a first round match of the 1972 season Hudson was inflicted with a knee injury when he fell awkwardly after taking a mark.
While many thought the injury marked the end of his career, he was back mid-way through the 1973 VFL season to kick eight goals against Collingwood. Peter Hudson’s next VFL game was in the 1977 season in which he finished with a tally of 110 goals for the season.
Peter Hudson’s coaching career began in 1975 when he took on the dual responsibility as coach and player, bringing the Glenorchy Football Club their first premiership in 1975.
After his return from the VFL he signed up with Glenorchy once more in 1978 to finish the season with 153 goals, which brought him the William Leitch Medal, the highest individual honour in the TFL.
In the 1979 season he increased his tally to 179, earning him his second William Leitch medal, after which he decided to retire as a player.
Member of the Order of Australia
Peter Hudson’s love for the game brought him back to the coaching scene where he coached Hobart in the 1986 and 1987 seasons, during which the team’s finals campaigns ended without success. In 1979, he was honored as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition of his services to Australian football.
While Hudson was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 1996, not surprisingly the prolific goal scorer was elevated to the status of a ‘Legend’ in 1999.
Peter Hudson is also well respected off the field for his business acumen and was also the CEO of the Hawthorn Hawks Football Club. He is currently Head of Market Development at Bupa Australia, the insurance giant.
Jamie Cooper’s painting of Peter Hudson in a Tasmanian state guernsey taking a mark against South Australia was commissioned by the AFL in 2008 as part of their 150th anniversary celebrations. Peter Hudson’s goal kicking record remains unequaled and for those who had the pleasure of seeing him in action, memories will always remain.