Port Adelaide premiership player, renowned architect Ian Hannaford dies, aged 82

A star of one of Port Adelaide’s golden eras, who also made his mark by designing South Australian landmarks, including the Victor Richardson Gates, has died.

Triple Port Adelaide premiership player Ian Hannaford has died.

The 17-time South Australian representative and renowned architect passed away on Wednesday, aged 82.

Hannaford was a centre half-forward, ruckman and a big-game player who kicked 108 goals from 123 matches for the Magpies from 1958-64.

He was among the club’s best in its three-point grand final triumph over West Adelaide in 1962 and also won premierships in 1958 – as an 18-year-old – and 1963.

Hannaford pulled the pin on his SANFL career at the age of just 24 to focus on becoming an architect.

Ian Hannaford.
Ian Hannaford.

He designed the original Rundle Mall, the Victor Richardson gates at Adelaide Oval, as well as resorts and apartment complexes in the Northern Territory and Queensland, and private residences.

Magpies legend and former teammate Geof Motley said Hannaford was the complete player and if he did not retire at 24 “we’d still be talking about him today as of Port Adelaide’s greatest” of all time.

“He had great hands, could fly for a mark, could kick the ball a country mile and was a magnificent athlete,” Motley said.

“And yet he didn’t reach his peak as a player.”

Motley said Hannaford was very intelligent, humble and loyal.

“Ian was as good a mate as I’ve had in my whole life,” he said

Hannaford was born and raised on a farm in Riverton in South Australia’s Mid-North as the eldest of four children.

He was wooed to Port Adelaide by club greats Fos Williams and Bob McLean.

Atypically for a Magpies player of that era, Hannaford arrived from Prince Alfred College, but fit in well with teammates and around the club.

He was also part of the famous SA side that beat Victoria at the MCG in 1963.

In 2020, an Advertiser panel named Hannaford among Port Adelaide’s 150 greatest players in the club’s 150 years.

Ian Hannaford in 2014 at the Victor Richardson Gates, which he designed. Picture: Sarah Reed
Ian Hannaford in 2014 at the Victor Richardson Gates, which he designed. Picture: Sarah Reed

Port Adelaide chief executive Matthew Richardson said Hannaford was brilliant both on and off the field.

“Ian played a pivotal role in the Port Adelaide side through the golden era of the late 1950s and early 1960s that has created such a great legacy for our club today,” Richardson said.

Artist Robert Hannaford described him as a wonderful big brother.

“He was always encouraging in my early years and instrumental in my progression through life,” Robert said.

Hannaford’s sister, Kay, said the family was very proud of him, “both for his outstanding achievements and for the compassionate and wise person he was”.

He is survived by his son Nick, daughter Rachel, grandsons Darcy, Oliver and Jesse, and stepchildren Sam, Digby and Fiona and their families.

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Originally published as Port Adelaide premiership player, renowned architect Ian Hannaford dies, aged 82

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