Russell Ebert

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Russell Ebert
Russell Ebert 1977.jpg
Russell Ebert after the 1977 SANFL grand final.
Personal information
Date of birth (1949-06-22) 22 June 1949 (age 65)
Height/Weight 183 cm / 90 kg
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1968-1978, 1980-1985
Port Adelaide
North Melbourne
391 (295)
25 (15)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
South Australia 29[1]
Coaching career3
Years Club Games (W–L–D)
Port Adelaide
116 (64-52-0) 55.17%
1 Playing statistics correct to end of 1985 season.
3 Coaching statistics correct as of 1990.
Career highlights

Russell Ebert (born 22 June 1949) is acknowledged as one of the greatest players in the long history of Australian rules football.

Born in Berri, South Australia, Ebert debuted for the Port Adelaide Football Club in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) as an 18 year old in 1968 and immediately made an impression, winning the club leading goalkicking in his debut season. He followed that with a Magarey Medal (awarded to the fairest and most brilliant player in the SANFL) and club Best and Fairest double in 1971 and further honours over the proceeding decade and a half, including premierships in 1977, 1980 and 1981, Magarey Medals in 1971, 1974, 1976 and 1980 (a SANFL record)[2] and club Best and Fairests in 1972, 1974, 1976, 1977 and 1981.

Ebert is the only player in SANFL history to have won four Magarey Medals.

Victorian Football League career[edit]

Victorian Football League clubs chased Ebert for a decade until North Melbourne finally won his signature and he spent a season with North Melbourne in 1979[3] Port Adelaide agreed to lease Ebert to North Melbourne for the 1979 season in exchange for Mark Dawson, as well as paying Ebert $35,000 and covering his travel costs between Adelaide and Melbourne (Ebert flew to Melbourne each Thursday during the season and returned to Adelaide on the Sunday).[3] Ebert's tally of twenty five games for North Melbourne is the VFL/AFL record is the record for the most games in a career which only lasted one season.[4]

Return to Port Adelaide[edit]

Following the end of the 1979 season, Ebert returned to Port Adelaide, where his 392 games remains a club record.

Ebert captained Port Adelaide from 1974–1978 and 1983–1985, as well as captaining the South Australian side in 1975, 1977 and 1983. He coached Port Adelaide from 1983-1987: playing coach from 1983-1985, and then non-playing coach in 1986-1987. He was sacked as coach at the end of the 1987 season, and then coached fellow SANFL side Woodville Football Club from 1988 to 1990.

Ebert was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 1996.

Ebert's playing career spanned a total of 452 senior games for Port Adelaide, North Melbourne and South Australian representative. At least one compilation of Australian football statistics estimated this to be the seventh highest tally in top-level senior football.[5]

Ebert's brother Craig also played for Port Adelaide in the SANFL. His son Brett and his nephew Brad Ebert have both played for Port Adelaide in the AFL.

Playing Style[edit]

Ebert was a strong bodied player whose physical build and stamina allowed him to dominate football matches. With a high skill level, errors were rare and his ability to hit team mates with accurate spearing passes made him very effective in attacking roles. Ebert was able to win his own ball and could quickly hand pass effectively under pressure.


  1. ^ "Russell F Ebert OAM". SANFL. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  2. ^ List of Magarey Medal winners
  3. ^ a b Sheahan, M, "$50,000 - Roos price for Ebert", The Age, 19 February 1979, p. 18.
  4. ^ Rodgers, Stephen (1996). 100 Years of AFL Players - Volume 3. Melbourne: East-Side Printing. p. 1586. ISBN 0646300164. 
  5. ^ AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL FACTS & FEATS: Player Records at the Wayback Machine (archived March 10, 2008)


  • Ross, John (1999). The Australian Football Hall of Fame. Australia: HarperCollinsPublishers. p. 63. ISBN 0-7322-6426-X. 

External links[edit]