For the first John Lord to play for Melbourne see John Lord 1921-1923
DOB: 2 April 1937
Died: 30 July 2021
Number: 4 (1956 Seconds and 1957-1965 seniors)
The son of John Lord Sr., the younger Lord was playing in the Western Plains League when he came to the attention of Geelong. He worked for a company with close links to the Cats, but they travelled to the wrong ground to see him play and missed Lord's entire contribution to the match - he was knocked out in the first minute.
Desperate to secure the son of their ex-player, the Demons signed Lord to the Thirds, where he played two games in 1954, as well as three senior matches for Mortlake. He returned to Lismore in 1955, winning their best and fairest award and playing one game on permit with Ballarat League side Redan. Still interested in joining Geelong, where he lived, Lord asked to be cleared in the 1956 pre-season but the Melbourne committee refused his request. After impressing in a practice match - despite being knocked out in early in a collision with Trevor Johnson - he impressed to the point where the Demons wouldn't let him go.
Lord made the senior list and was given the famous number 4 previously worn by Norm Smith. Despite playing all his junior football as a ruck/forward, he was initially used as a defender by Melbourne, who saw him as a centre-half back and relieving ruckman. Despite missing the end of the home and away season while on national service duties, Lord used leave passes from the Army to return for the 1956 Reserves finals, where he played in a premiership team. He stamped himself as a player for the future in the Grand Final, taking a reported 20 marks for the day.
Lord broke into the senior side in the first round of 1957, by the end of that year he was a premiership player, having held down centre-half back in the Grand Final. He hadn't been picked for Melbourne's Semi Final, but after the Demons lost he was brought into the side for the Preliminary Final and held his spot.
Having tasted premiership glory in his first season, Lord suffered a downturn in 1958, playing just 11 games and none after Round 16. He missed the practice matches and Round 1 after a workplace accident when his hand was caught in a press, fracturing two bones. The incident revealed he'd also broken his wrist in 1957 but that the bone had healed. Throughout the season the high marking but slow big man was troubled by knee injuries.
The next year he also spent considerable amounts of time in the reserves, playing the first two games of 1959 before returning to the seconds until a recall for the Round 15 loss to Footscray. He held his place, and the team steamrolled to another Grand Final without losing another game. Melbourne won, and despite spending much of the year out of the senior side Lord had his second flag.
Western Australian side Perth sought Lord in 1960, but after being told he had no chance of a clearance he finally won back a regular place in the first team, alternating between ruck and backline. Playing all 20 matches for the season he was considered one of the best on ground in the Grand Final for his performance at centre-half back.
Used in both defence and attack throughout his career, Lord played into the forward line more often from 1962. With just nine career goals before that year he booted 16 and kicked double figures in each of his remaining seasons, including two goals from a forward pocket to help the Demons win the 1964 Grand Final. In mid-1963 he'd been approached by Wodonga to coach them during 1964 but didn't move.
His performance in the '64 Grand Final was the highlight of a disappointing year where he had struggled to hit top form after suffering a shoulder injury against Hawthorn in the 1963 finals series. He had been lucky to make Round 1, 1964 after re-injuring his shoulder water skiing in an attempt to rehabilitate the injury.
Lord was playing coach for East Ringwood in 1966 and 1967, before injuring his knee in a practice match against Hawthorn. He served as an assistant coach for East Perth and Reserves coach in the early 1970s, and worked as a television executive with Channel 0 (now Channel 10) and Channel Seven. In retirement Lord served as an MCG tour guide.
In 1985 he was part of a rebel group which attempted to force Billy Snedden out of the club presidency and replace him with Geoff Slade. Lord coach Melbourne High School Old Boys in 1988. He also played cricket for the MCC 'C' XI in the 1960 - 1961 season.