Record-breaking AFL umpire Hayden Kennedy loves Aberfeldie


Hayden Kennedy 49


Hayden, who lives in Aberfeldie, is a true-blue local. He went to St Bernard’s College and taught there before his passion for footy drove him to become a record-breaking AFL umpire.

He holds the record for games umpired, having officiated in 495 games between 1988 and 2011. Hayden is the senior AFL umpire coach and
he’s not afraid to blow the whistle on the best local venues.


Where do you go for a coffee?

I’ve been going to Calmer Café for 11 years; I used to go daily for a coffee fix and even with the AFL workload I still make it a couple of times a week.

It’s run by two brothers and we celebrated both my wife’s and my own 40th birthdays there.


For a sneaky takeaway?

Hot Chilli is a favourite. I order the No.27 – just joking. We get peanut sauce with roti and other authentic Thai dishes and make family time. That’s difficult for most of the year because I’m coaching from February for pre-season training until the grand final in October.


For some me-time?

Athletics brings me together with seven other dads and we meet at one of their houses in Beaver Street, Aberfeldie, where we do boxing, then run to the [Maribyrnong] river.

Sometimes I’ll also hit the athletics track for a run or go to the river for a walk with my wife or a run with my children.


When friends come from out of town?

We go to The Valley Cellardoor; a homey place with a great range of affordable wines, but the bonus is you can BYO food.


For a serious workout?

I have to keep fit because I am surrounded by young, elite athletes and I am a role model for them. I participate in team-building activities with them that keep me fit and healthy.


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