DOB: 29 September 1915
Died: 8 March 2000
Debut: Round 5, 1939 against Geelong at Corio Oval
Last MFC Game: Round 5, 1942 against South Melbourne at Princes Park
From: Thornbury CYMS/Fitzroy/Northcote
Number: 29 (1939-1942)
Premiership Player - 1939, 1940, 1941
Games: 46 (82 games)
Goals: 27 (56 games)
Follower who fell out with VFA side Northcote in 1938 and missed the entire season before joining Melbourne. He first had to negotiate a clearance from Fitzroy, who had signed him in 1935. Richmond also tried to sign him in 1937, before O'Keefe missed all of 1938 after being injured in a VFA representative game.
Crossing to Melbourne, O'Keefe won a premiership as a reserve in his first season before repeating the feat as a field player in both 1940 and 1941. He almost missed the 1940 triumph, having applied for a clearance to Collingwood in May of that year before relenting and staying with the Demons.
His 1940 Grand Final is remembered for taking Richmond's Jack Dyer out of the game. Dyer had nearly knocked Norm Smith out in the Semi Final and Checker Hughes decided to use O'Keefe - a former champion police boxer - as his shadow. With O'Keefe playing bodyguard to his teammates the Demons won a famous Grand Final victory. That year he also played for a Past and Present Boxers team in a charity game against Morning Star Rovers. The next year he played for the Boxers against 'Stars'.
O'Keefe retired in early 1942 due to work pressures. He returned to the VFL in 1943, playing a further 33 games at Hawthorn. He was player/coach at Devonport in, then played three games at South Melbourne in 1947. Midway through that year he moved to Hamilton, who he captain/coached to a premiership. When the club split over the question of whether to appoint Fred Fanning for 1948, O'Keefe left to captain/coach the newly formed team Imperials. He returned to Northcote in 1950.
|Round 3, 1942||Elbowing||Not Guilty|
Hawthorn records show his date of death as 18.12.1980. South Melbourne records show as above.
Age - 16/02/1939
Age - 11/04/1939
Sporting Globe - 20/05/1939
Age - 24/05/1940
Sporting Globe - 03/07/1940
Record - 14/09/1940
Sporting Globe - 09/08/1941
Age - 12/06/1942
Record - 10/05/1947
Football Record R4 1947
Herald - 04/02/1948
Herald - 14/02/1949
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