On Saturday 11 February, Trinity’s very own Jessica Anderson put on a stunning performance for the Melbourne Demons, leading her team to victory against Collingwood in the second round of the AFL Women’s (AFLW) competition. She joins a prodigious list of Trinity College alumni and family, spanning 117 years, who have played for the Demons in both the VFL and AFL.
One name that features prominently throughout the list is Cordner, whose family’s association with Trinity College and the University of Melbourne is celebrated annually at the Cordner Oration Grand Final Breakfast in September.
What you may not know, is the full list of Trinity’s Demons:
Eric Arthur Gardner (TC 1900)
Played as a wingman and missed out on playing in Melbourne’s 1900 premiership side, in his debut season, due to injury. He was a member of the football team that won the 1902 intercollegiate premiership at Trinity.
Francis (Frank) Ernest Langley (TC 1901)
Member of the 1900 Premiership winning team of Melbourne Football Club - the 'Fuchsias'. Played for Melbourne between 1900 and 1906.
Henry (Harry) Cordner (TC 1904)
Played for Melbourne between 1903-05. Henry Cordner was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Royal Army Medical Corps, on 16 August 1914. He was promoted to Captain on 16 August 1916, and served in France.
Edward Cordner (TC 1906)
Brother of Henry (Harry) Cordner, played senior football with Melbourne in 1906. In 1913 Ted Cordner, by then a doctor, went to England and did not play senior football again. Upon his return to Victoria, he took up a position as VFL delegate.
Edward (Ted) Pruen Cordner (TC 1937)
Ted was the first of the brothers to join Melbourne, joining the side halfway through 1941. He had played a total of 52 games when the claims of his profession forced his retirement in 1946.
George Denis Pruen Cordner (TC 1946)
Denis Cordner played in the ruck in the Melbourne premiership teams in 1948, 1955 and 1956. He was named in the Melbourne's "Team of the Century" in 2000 as the starting ruckman.
Donald Pruen Cordner (TC 1946)
First appeared for Melbourne in the 1941 semi-final and final, with his team winning the premiership. He went on to play a remarkable number of games in succession, and retired in 1950 with 168 games played and two premierships (1941 and 1948). He won the Brownlow Medal by a solitary vote in 1946 and was named in Melbourne's "Team of the Century" in 2000.
John (Jock) Pruen Cordner (TC 1947)
The youngest of Dr Edward Corder's sons started with Melbourne in 1951 and played in six games. He left for England before the season ended, having previously gained his Master of Science degree.
Geoffrey R. Tunbridge (TC 1953)
The half-forward was a three-time VFL premiership player who played 117 games for Melbourne. He was also a school teacher at Ballarat Grammar, who refused on ideological grounds to accept payment from Melbourne. He believed that players should play for the love of the game. ‘Tunna’ as he was affectionately known, would eat meat pies just an hour before he would run out to play for the Demons.
Harriet Cordner (daughter of Chris Cordner (TC 1968) and granddaughter of Donald Cordner)
Harriet is a student at Deakin University studying a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science. She has played in the opening two matches of AFLW for the Demons. Her sporting background is athletics and soccer (playing in the Women’s Premier League for the last five years) before making the switch to Aussies Rules. She attended the Cordner Oration in 2016.
Jessica Suzanne Anderson (Current residential student)
Starred in the second round against Collingwood kicking one goal, taking five marks and several scoring assists. Jess also attended the Cordner Oration in 2016 and is teammates with Harriet Cordner.
Thank you to Dr Peter Campbell, Essie Marendy and Dr Benjamin Thomas who were responsible for compiling the list of Trinity’s Melbourne Demons.