|Date of birth||11 February 1966|
|Place of birth||Australia|
|Original team||Brunswick City / North Melbourne|
|Height/Weight||163 cm / 78 kg|
Footscray/Western Bulldogs (1986–2002)
1 Playing statistics correct to end of 2002 season.
Anthony "Tony" Liberatore (born 11 February 1966) is a former Australian rules footballer who played for Footscray Football Club (renamed the Western Bulldogs during his playing career) in the Australian Football League (AFL).
Liberatore is the only player to have won best-and-fairest medals in the Victorian under-19, Reserves and VFL/AFL. Liberatore is one of the shortest players to have played in the VFL/AFL competition and the shortest player to have won a Brownlow Medal.
Liberatore played junior football for Brunswick City. He was recruited by North Melbourne Football Club, where he played both under-19s and reserve grade football. He transferred to Footscray in 1986 and, although he made his senior level debut in 1986, he mainly played in the reserves that season, winning the VFL reserves' Gardiner Medal in both 1986 and 1988.
Liberatore played a total of 283 senior games for Footscray/Western Bulldogs in a career that included 13 finals, life membership of the club, and selection on the interchange bench in the club's Team of the Century.
Liberatore was noted for his high tackle count. Throughout his senior career, he made 1,225 tackles in his careerNote; an average of 4.39 per game. In 1992 he became the first VFL/AFL player to exceed 100 tackles in a season, and then exceeded 100 tackles each season until 1996. His season tally of 142 tackles in 1994 stood as the VFL/AFL record until 2006, when James McDonald bettered it by one. At times during his career, Liberatore was criticised for his tackling style. Incidents involving players Paul Kelly, Steven Lawrence and Matthew Knights were widely discussed, reported and were the focus of particular criticism in the media.
Liberatore coached the Box Hill Hawks in the Victorian Football League in 2003, taking them to the Grand Final. Between 2003 to 2007, he held an assistant coaching position at the Carlton Football Club and in 2008, he was the senior coach of the Sunbury Lions Football Club in the Ballarat Football League. In 2009, he became the senior coach of the West Footscary Roosters, a team playing in the Melbourne suburban Western Region Football League.
- 1.^ The true number of tackles is likely slightly higher than 1225, as tackle statistics were not recorded during 1986, in which Liberatore played the first four of his 263 games.
- "Player Totals". AFL Tables. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
- pg 375. Australia's Blackest Sporting Moments: The Top 100. By Stephen Hagan. Published by Ngalga Warralu Publishing Pty Ltd, 2006. ISBN 1-921212-00-4, 978-1-921212-00-0
- Holmesby, Russell; Main, Jim (2002). The Encyclopedia of AFL Footballers: every AFL/VFL player since 1897 (4th ed.). Melbourne, Victoria: Crown Content. p. 378–379. ISBN 1-74095-001-1.
- "1993 Stats". AFL Tables. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
- "1994 Stats". AFL Tables. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
- "1995 Stats". AFL Tables. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
- "1996 Stats". AFL Tables. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
- "Season and Game Records". AFL Tables. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
- Mallinder, Terry (4 Nov 2008)Liberatore a West Footscray Rooster
- Tony Liberatore's son contest national championships