Sport AFL Ken Judge loses cancer battle

Ken Judge loses cancer battle

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Hawthorn premiership player Ken Judge has died of cancer, aged 58.

Judge won a VFL flag with the Hawks in 1983, in what was his first season with the club after being recruited from East Fremantle in the WAFL.

He played four seasons in total with the Hawks and featured in their losing 1984 and 1985 grand final teams during a 72-match stint with the VFL/AFL powerhouse.

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Judge moved to the Brisbane Bears in their inaugural season in 1987 and played 17 matches with the club across two years.

He later coached the Hawks between 1996 and 1999, taking the club to the finals in his first season in charge, before he was West Coast coach in 2000 and 2001.

Judge, who turned 58 on Friday, maintained a presence in Australian rules football as a long-serving commentator with the ABC.

ABC Grandstand broadcaster Clint Wheeldon said he was “indebted” to Judge, who he worked alongside in calling Eagles and Fremantle matches.

“He made you a better caller by making you accountable,” he said.

“He was outstanding in being able to succinctly sum up where teams were at.”

Wheeldon said he would miss Judge “terribly”, describing him as being “intensely loyal” and a man “who stood by his principles and stood by the truth”.

He felt Judge’s experience as both a player and coach gave him a valuable insight when commenting on AFL.

“He could cut through the ‘sport speak’ to get to the issues where sports people were at,” Wheeldon said.

Judge also won a WAFL premiership with East Fremantle as a player and coached the club to two grand final victories.

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