John Cornell, one of the greats of Australia's media, film and sporting industries, died early this morning after a 20-year battle with Parkinson’s Disease. John was the prime mover in the career of Paul Hogan, the Crocodile Dundee films and Word Series Cricket.
Through the 1990s, John's interest in the Swans became an abiding passion. Earlier, his West Australian heritage had him vacillating between the Eagles and the Swans. His lifetime friendship with Bill Macartney who was a Swans director from 1993-2002 convinced him this is where he belonged. The likes of Paul Kelly and Tony Lockett certainly helped, and so too the warmth of the welcome from the club. By 1996 John was fully committed and never wavered despite the entreaties of powerful forces from the west.
No one celebrated the premierships of 2005 and 2012 more proudly nor felt losses more keenly. He spoke of his admiration for the Club, the Bloods culture and for specific players who captured his imagination. John together with Delvene embraced every opportunity to travel down from Byron to see a game.
Otherwise it was cake and tea - closely followed by plenty of beers - tuning in at home and giving the tv set an ear-bashing.
The Bloods culture of the Sydney Swans was dear to John’s heart. It resonated with his own values and those who knew him well put John in the front row of those you want in the trenches with you when it was really hitting the fan.
Vale John Cornell, a great Australian and a great friend and ally to the Sydney Swans.