BORN IN 1929 AT ELWOOD IN MELBOURNE, he started skating at 10 and attended Christian Brothers College in St Kilda where he played football and won several Best and Fairest trophies in the CYMS competitions. He is one of four brothers who all played ice hockey in the Victorian league. The eldest, Ron, in the Monarchs B-grade (1947-1955); Graham with the Demons (1947-1957) and Pirates (1958-1962); and Brian, a foundation player with the Demons at 19 (1947-1957).
Remembered as "a small player with a big heart and the will and skill to win," he played his first season of hockey as a colt with the Monarchs in the 1947 Victorian league and the next year made the Premiership Reserve Grade team. Coming up the hard way, from defense for a year, then as a forward of the Monarch's B-Grade, he was captain when they won the Premiership. Considered a "Coming Star", he was promoted to the A-grade Monarchs in 1949-50.
He played Centre with Winger Basil Hansen in the 1950 Goodall Cup, and in 1951 he lined up with John Nicholas and Graham Argue in the Pirates. A season with the Bears followed (1952), and then the Blackhawks' famous Cunningham-Derrick-Jose line of the 1950s and early-60s. A plaque on the Blackhawks Trophy awarded to the Junior A-grade Highest Points Scorer carries their names and their legacy of over 300 points from 111 games.
He credited his instruction on the rudiments of the game to Monarch's coach, Russ Carson, and his move to the 'Hawks must have been galling for the coach. A very able skater and puck-handler, and a number one clubman, he won the Hugh Lloyd trophy, the State A-grade Top Pointscorer, with the Monarchs in 1949. Four more followed with the Blackhawks in 1953, '56, '59 and '60. "Keith should have been in the 1960 Olympic Team," recalls Tony Martyr, "but due to mismanagement he was left out. One of the top forwards of his era."
He played his last season of hockey with the 'Hawks in 1961 at 34, and in between he helped win six Goodall Cups for his State — 1949, '51, '53, '54, '55, and '61. "Keep punching — and I don't mean fisticuffs, either," was his message to youngsters. "Attack! Attack! Attack!!! Watch the puck and keep an eye on your teammates position. Pass accurately, lead-out whenever you can, keep fit."
He became an optical mechanic after completing his Intermediate Certificate at school, then took up flying as a pass-time. He was a First Officer with Ansett for two years then switched to TAA, flying Viscounts back and forth. In 1975, he married his biggest fan, Joan Hendry, and they built a house at Beaumaris. The trophy for Best Defence in Victoria's Premier C1 league is named in his honour. When the Blackhawks turn 70 this year, Keith Jose turns 90.
Ross Carpenter, 'Jose, Keith (1929 - )', Legends of Australian Ice, Melbourne, Australia, http://icelegendsaustralia.com/legends-2/bio-jose.html, accessed online .
Ice Hockey Guide, Ern Margieson, August 17th 1958.
Some biographical notes and images courtesy Sandra Jose and Paul Rice.