Born East Fremantle WA
9 September 1955
Being named as the Most Valuable Player in a World Series is the highest accolade a lacrosse player can aspire to and such was the reward for West Australian, Jeff Kennedy in 1982.
A midfielder/forward, Kennedy was regarded as having the ability to "turn a game off his own stick". He was ranked as Australia's leading player in the 1980s and his performances at the 1982 World Series in Baltimore, USA, stamped him among the best in the world.
Kennedy's career started as a junior at the East Fremantle Lacrosse Club and it flourished and finished as the same Club. His natural speed was complemented by an exceptional aerobic capacity and when combined with his tireless work rate, his physical attributes set him apart from the most of his contemporaries.
His innate ability to read the play and his ambidextrous skills set him apart from the rest. He was regarded as one of the best playmakers of his time.
Kennedy represented Australia in four World Series tournaments. He was in the national team at Manchester, England in 1978, Baltimore four years later, Toronto, Canada in 1986 (when he was named in the world team) and his home town of Perth in 1990, for his fourth World Series.
The 1982 World Series was a mixture of triumph and tragedy. As captain of Australia, he was named in the world team and judged MVP, despite missing the final with a chest ailment, later diagnosed as a heart complaint. Medical advice saw him stand down from the side and such was his reputation that it was generally considered Australia could have beaten the United States had he played in the final.
He played 100 games for Australia, 30 as captain, during an international career that spanned the 1976-90 period.
Mixed in between his national commitments were Australian championships, with Kennedy voted the Most Valuable Player at the 1981, 83 and 84 titles and on the domestic scene, he was the fairest and best player in the WA Lacrosse Association in 1979, 86 and 87.
Kennedy maintained a long involvement with the sport of lacrosse in Western Australia as a coach of junior and club teams at East Fremantle.