Denis (Dinny) McKay was inducted into the Swans Hall of Fame in 2018.

Denis McKay

1886-1891; 1894-1897
171 games
139 goals
VFA Premierships 1888, 1889, 1890
Champion of the Colony 1888


Playing at South Ballarat in 1885, Dennis “Dinny” McKay was such a promising player that virtually all the VFA clubs vied for his services. He chose South Melbourne, and joined the club for the 1886 season. Regarded as one of the best players in the competition, on four occasions he represented Victoria in inter-colonial matches. Playing mostly as a half-forward flanker, he was athletic, an exceptional mark and a brilliant exponent of the place kick for goal. A member of the premiership teams of 1888, 1889 and 1890, he topped the Club’s goalkicking in 1887. He was the VFA leading goalkicker, and named Champion of the Colony in 1888. Due to an internal dispute, in 1892 he left to play for Richmond, but returned after two years. South Melbourne were part of the newly formed Victorian Football League in 1897, and Dinny not only played every game of the inaugural VFL season, but had the distinction of kicking South Melbourne’s first VFL goal – late in the second quarter of the round one loss to Melbourne at the Lake Oval. He played all fourteen games the Club participated in that year, and in the final game of the season – a one-point victory over Fitzroy at the Lake Oval – he took a particularly heavy knock. He later was taken to the Melbourne Hospital, where he died ten days later, on 17th August 1897. His death was not, as many believed, caused by the injury sustained in his final game. He had suffered a burst appendix, and succumbed to peritonitis at the age of just 29. His funeral cortege comprised 150 horse-drawn vehicles, and thousands lined the streets to farewell Denis McKay. He left behind a widow and two children aged three and eighteen months.