Bob Hank

Robert William "Bob" Hank (19 June 1923 – 14 June 2012) was an Australian rules footballer who played for West Torrens in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL).[1][2]

Bob Hank
Robert 'Bob' Hank, Australian rules footballer, April 1950.jpg
Robert 'Bob' Hank, Australian rules footballer, April 1950.
Personal information
Full name Robert William Hank
Nickname(s) The Master
Date of birth (1923-06-19)19 June 1923
Place of birth Mile End, South Australia
Date of death 14 June 2012(2012-06-14) (aged 88)
Position(s) Centre, half-forward
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1944–1958 West Torrens 224 (61)
Coaching career
Years Club Games (W–L–D)
1951 West Torrens 19 (10–9–0)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1958.
Career highlights


Hank began his senior playing career with the wartime combination of West Torrens–Port Adelaide in 1944. He then moved to West Torrens the next year when the official SANFL competition resumed, featuring prominently in the centre in Torrens' winning Grand Final side that triumphed that year over their former wartime partners Port Adelaide.

Hank's brilliant start to his career continued in 1946 with the first of back-to-back Magarey Medals – the SANFL's highest individual award for the "fairest and most brilliant" player.

In 1946 he was also selected for the first of 27 state games for South Australia. He went on to captain the state side between 1951 and 1954 and earned selection in the inaugural All-Australian team for his performances during the 1953 Adelaide Carnival.

Throughout his career Hank was known for his fine ball handling and his distinctive left foot drop-kicks. Hank played in the centre or across half-forward with immense courage and tantalising elusiveness. In his latter years he played despite serious injuries and when finally retired in 1958 he had played a total of 224 games.

In total Hank won the West Torrens' best and fairest award nine times (six in a row between 1945 and 1950). He captained his club for nine seasons and was captain-coach in 1951 and he was a member of West Torrens' last ever premiership team in 1953.

Hank's brothers Bill and Ray Hank also played for West Torrens, as did Hank's son Barry.[3]


Bob Hank was awarded life membership of the West Torrens Football Club for his services to the club while still a player in 1953. His life membership was carried over to the Woodville-West Torrens Football Club when West Torrens merged with the Woodville Football Club in 1991.

Hank was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 1999 in recognition of his superb playing skills and achievements. In 2002 he was one of 113 inaugural inductees into the South Australian Football Hall of Fame.

Bob Hank was one of six life governors of Woodville-West Torrens along with Lindsay Head, Andrew Rogers, Malcolm Blight, Andrew Payze and Fred Bills. Hank was also the Eagles' number 1 ticket holder.[4]


Hank suffered from an inoperable abdominal aortic aneurysm and died when it burst around 1 a.m. local time at his home on 14 June 2012.[5]


  1. ^ "SANFL legend Bob Hank Dies". AdelaideNow. 14 June 2012.
  2. ^ "Dual Maharey winner Bob Hank dies". 14 June 2012.
  3. ^ Barber, R. "Bob Hank was a true champion", Football Times, Messenger Press:Adelaide, 10 April 1980, p. 5.
  4. ^ Woodville-West Torrens Football Club - Life Governors
  5. ^ "SANFL legend Bob Hank dies". Adelaide Now. 14 June 2012. Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  • Ross, John (1999). The Australian Football Hall of Fame. Australia: HarperCollinsPublishers. p. 143. ISBN 0-7322-6426-X.

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