Former Blues and Roos coach Keith ‘Macca’ McKenzie dies at 95

Keith McKenzie, who until Monday morning was the oldest living AFL/VFL coach, has died peacefully surrounded by his family, aged 95.
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In a lifetime devoted to VFL/AFL football, Keith “Macca” McKenzie became a celebrated figure at two clubs, North Melbourne and Carlton.

He had an illustrious 130-game playing career with North Melbourne, including a best and fairest and five Big V jumpers and was in North’s first VFL grand final team of 1950.

He coached the Roos for four seasons, polishing the skills of a young Sam Kekovich and David Dench. He introduced the great Barry Cable to Victorian football.

In 1972 McKenzie moved to Carlton when he was appointed as an assistant coach to John Nicholls. Later, he served as general manager of the club during the turbulent period when George Harris was returned for a second term as president.

All up, McKenzie dedicated 35 years to Carlton.

Known for his fitness and zest for life, he was always a snappy dresser.

He was reserves coach at Carlton and took charge of the senior team three times in his own right for an unblemished record of 100 per cent, including twice when Nicholls was on representative duties with the Victorian state team, and one other time when Nicholls was serving a one-match suspension.

For many years he was in an office business with the legendary Ron Barassi and through his association with Carlton became a great friend and right-hand man to Richard Pratt.

Through his role at Visy, McKenzie entertained the likes of US president George Bush and Muhammad Ali.

For the past two years he was confined to a nursing home in Brighton, where a constant roll call of AFL greats often visited, such was the respect he held within the football community.

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