Adam Goodes

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For the American politician, see Adam Goode.
Adam Goodes
Recognise Campaign Adam Goodes Presser.jpg
Goodes at Recognise Campaign Press Conference
Personal information
Full name Adam Roy Goodes
Date of birth (1980-01-08) 8 January 1980 (age 35)
Place of birth Wallaroo, South Australia
Original team(s) North Ballarat Rebels
Draft No. 43, 1997 National Draft
Height/Weight 191 cm / 100 kg
Position(s) Utility
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1999–2015 Sydney 372 (464)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
2008 Victoria 1 (0)
International team honours
2001-2010 Australia 3 (3)
1 Playing statistics correct to end of 2015 season.
Career highlights

Adam Roy Goodes (born 8 January 1980) is a former professional Australian rules footballer who played for the Sydney Swans in the Australian Football League (AFL). Goodes holds an elite place in VFL/AFL history as a dual Brownlow Medallist, dual premiership player, four-time All-Australian, member of the Indigenous Team of the Century and representing Australia in the International Rules Series. In addition, he holds the record for the most games played for an Indigenous player, surpassing Andrew McLeod's record of 340 games during the 2014 AFL season.[1]

Goodes was named Australian of the Year in 2014 for his community work through the Go Foundation and advocacy against racism.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Goodes was born in South Australia, to Lisa May and Graham Goodes, with siblings Jake and Brett.[4] Goodes' father is of English, Irish and Scottish ancestry; his mother is an Indigenous Australian (Adnyamathanha and Narungga).[5][6]

Goodes' parents were separated when he was four; his father moved to Queensland while Goodes moved between Wallaroo and Adelaide (in South Australia) and Merbein (in Victoria) with his mother.[7]

While at Merbein, Goodes attended primary school at Merbein West Primary School in 1986 and it was there that he began to play Australian rules football.[7] He moved with his family to Horsham, Victoria, where he played football at high school and represented at Under 16 and Under 18 levels. He began playing with the North Ballarat Rebels at 16 in the Victorian Football League and played in a winning premiership side where he was scouted by the Sydney Swans.[7]

AFL career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Goodes was drafted by Sydney into the Australian Football League as the No. 43 pick in the 1997 AFL Draft, Sydney's third round draft pick. He spent the 1998 season in the reserves competition, but broke into the first team the following year and went on to win the league's Rising Star Award.

During 2000 and 2001, Goodes played in a variety of positions, developing his game but lacking consistency at times. He played every game during this period. In early 2002, however, his form had slumped and it had been suggested that he may be dropped. However, coach Rodney Eade resigned mid-season and under interim (later permanent) coach Paul Roos, Goodes found himself playing more in the ruck. In the second half of that season his form improved immensely. After injuring his knee twice in the ruck, he moved to play on the wing and went on to win two Brownlow Medals.

2003: Brownlow Medal success[edit]

In 2003, Goodes returned to the ruck position for significant parts of the year in what became his best season so far. He played a critical role in the Swans' revival and eventual preliminary final game that year. In particular, his efforts were crucial in the Swans' win against Port Adelaide in the qualifying finals.

At the end of the season, Goodes won the club's best and fairest award (the Bob Skilton Medal) and All-Australian selection for the first time. However, his greatest achievement was winning the league's highest personal honour, the Brownlow Medal, along with Collingwood's Nathan Buckley and Adelaide's Mark Ricciuto. This was the second time in the history of the medal that the award was shared between three players (the first time was in 1930). Goodes attributed his success to his longtime mentor John Winter.[citation needed]


Goodes had an indifferent 2004, just like his team who only managed the semi-finals stage of the finals series. He did not repeat his efforts of 2003, mainly due to knee injuries, yet he still managed to play every game. The knee injuries were due to an awkward fall during the season while playing in the ruck against the West Coast Eagles. Many expected Goodes to have suffered a posterior or anterior knee ligament damage, but he battled on. After this injury, coach Roos announced that Goodes' rucking days were over and that he would be used in other positions. He played in the backline for the remainder of 2004.

Goodes returned to form in 2005, playing mainly in the midfield. His year was highlighted with a near match-winning 33 disposals in round 18 against the Adelaide Crows. He played well in the 2005 Grand Final, kicked a goal and gathering 20 possessions as the Swans won their first premiership since 1933.[8] He was also awarded life membership of the Swans after playing his 150th game during the year.[9]

2006: Second Brownlow Medal[edit]

Goodes playing for Sydney in 2006

In Round 7, 2006, Goodes played his 150th consecutive match, a notable effort with the injuries he had in 2004. By the end of the 2007 season he had played 191 consecutive matches. He returned to the ruck position in 2005 and 2006, but only occasionally around the ground and not at centre bounces where his knee injury occurred.

In 2006 Goodes had another notable year and again won the Brownlow Medal. He came into the count as a heavy favourite and became the twelfth player to have won two or more Brownlow Medals, the first Aboriginal to win two and the first player to win two with a non-Victorian club.[10] Goodes said of his performance, "I'd like to think with another couple of years in the midfield I could improve again.".[11] Goodes had a poor performance in the first half of the 2006 Grand Final against the West Coast Eagles in a repeat of 2005. However, he turned on the heat in the second half with his team coming close (losing by one point).

At the end of the year he was once again selected in the All-Australian team.


In seasons 2007 and 2008 saw Goodes drop off in form but was still instrumental in Sydney's finals campaigns. He had Brownlow Medal-threatening suspensions and charges during both years. In 2008 he missed games either through suspension or injury for the first time since 2000. His 2007 season ended strongly for him as he received 16 of a possible 18 Brownlow Medal votes in the last six games of the year.

Goodes played his 250th game in 2009, against Geelong. He was arguably one of the best players throughout the 2009 season, playing in the forward line because of Barry Hall's mid-season departure. He finished the season with 38 goals and averaged 21 disposals. From 2006 to 2009 he received 84 Brownlow votes which equated to 21 per season, easily a winning tally in years gone by considering he had drawn 22 votes during 2003's success. From 2007 to 2009 he played career best football in the eyes of some critics[who?] and perhaps better than 2003 or 2006 as evidenced by a career high eight goals against Fremantle in 2008 and more accurate goal kicking when in the forward 50. Goodes played some high standard football in 2009 in what was a relatively disappointing season in which the Swans finished 12th and failed to make the finals for the first time in six years. He also polled three Brownlow Medal votes in the Round 7 match against Geelong which Sydney lost by 51 points.

In 2010, Goodes averaged about 20 disposals and two goals a game, having been at the forefront of Sydney's revival. They finished the season in fifth position. Having started the season at centre half-forward and providing a target inside 50 for much of the year, Goodes was shifted into the midfield with success. He finished sixth in the Bob Skilton Medal and was named in the initial 40 player All-Australian squad but not in the final side. He was also named captain of the International Rules squad to play in Ireland in October.

After a strong 2009 season and an occasional move to half-forward, Goodes was selected last but managed to sneak into the 2009 All-Australian team on the interchange bench.

Goodes started 2011 playing mostly in the Swans' forward line. While his ball-winning was considered as good as ever,[according to whom?] his goal-kicking became somewhat inconsistent. In a match against Essendon that season, Goodes had a chance to win the game for Sydney with his team down by two points, but his shot at goal drifted to the left, losing the game for Sydney by a solitary point.

Goodes played his 300th AFL game when the Sydney Swans tackled Hawthorn in a second semi-final, losing by 36 points. He became the quickest player (though not the youngest) in AFL history to reach the milestone, breaking 2003 joint-Brownlow Medalist Mark Ricciuto's record by 274 days. His late-season surge in form saw him selected in the 2011 All-Australian team in the forward pocket. This was his fourth selection in the team.

In 2011, Goodes started second favourite for the Brownlow but finished eighth overall and won the 2011 Sydney Swans' Best and Fairest, beating Josh Kennedy and Rhyce Shaw who tied for second.


Goodes during a lap of honour after winning the 2012 AFL Grand Final

Goodes broke the Sydney games record when he played his 304th AFL game with a strong contribution in the Swans' Round 5, 2012, victory over Hawthorn at York Park in Launceston, Tasmania.[12] He suffered a quad injury in Round 6 and was expected to miss up to six games.

Goodes guided his team to victory in the 2012 AFL Grand Final, defeating Hawthorn 91-81.


Goodes announced his retirement from the AFL after the 26-point semi-final loss to North Melbourne.[13]

Media profile[edit]

Goodes has made several television advertisement appearances. In 2006, he appeared along with Shane Crawford in an advertisement for Campbell's Chunky soup. In 2007, he appeared, along with team-mates, in the Barry Hall series of commercials for the AFL in Sydney. In 2009, he featured in the official advertisement for the AFL, receiving the ball from Chris Judd while striding out in front of horses on a horse racing track, as well as in an advertisement for Powerade. In August 2014, his ancestry was researched on the ABC series Who Do You Think You Are? and projected a gentle man who values his aboriginal connection.

Personal life[edit]

Goodes is of Aboriginal descent and is active in the Sydney Indigenous community. He has spent time working with troubled Indigenous youth, including those in youth detention centres, along with his cousin and former teammate Michael O'Loughlin. His mother Lisa May is also involved in community work and works at a nursing home. Goodes and O'Loughlin have also helped to start an Indigenous football academy. In September 2009 they launched the Goodes O'Loughlin Foundation, a foundation aimed at empowering the next generation of Indigenous role models in all walks of life across Australia. Goodes and O'Loughlin co-chair the foundation, which focuses on education, employment and healthy lifestyles. Goodes took his mother to the Brownlow Medal ceremony in 2003.

Goodes' brother Brett became a professional footballer in the 2013 AFL season. He has played for both the Port Adelaide Magpies in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) and the North Ballarat Roosters in the Victorian Football League (VFL) and has represented Victoria in interleague matches.[14] Brett later worked at the Western Bulldogs, and he was drafted by the Bulldogs as the no.4 pick in the 2012 AFL Rookie Draft at age 28.

In 2014, Goodes was named as the New South Wales finalist for the Australian of the Year award.[15] On 25 January 2014 he was announced as the Australian of the Year for 2014.


Goodes at a Sydney Swans press conference in 2013

In an essay titled "The Indigenous Game: A Matter of Choice", published in the 2008 AFL history book The Australian Game of Football Since 1858, Goodes writes of the ancient Aboriginal game, Marngrook, and its theorised link to the origins of Australian rules football: "I don't know the truth, but I believe in the connection. Because I know that when Aborigines play Australian Football with a clear mind and total focus, we are born to play it."[16] Controversy erupted when, during an appearance on The Marngrook Footy Show, AFL historian Gillian Hibbins called Goodes a "racist", adding: "If you define racism as believing a race is superior in something, this is basically what he [Goodes] was doing."[17]

On 24 May 2013, during the AFL's annual Indigenous Round, a 13-year-old Collingwood supporter called Goodes an "ape". Upon hearing the abuse, Goodes pointed the girl out to security and had her ejected from the stadium.[18] After the game, Collingwood president Eddie McGuire apologised to Goodes on behalf of the club. McGuire said that Collingwood had a zero tolerance policy towards racism, but also said that the girl, who later apologised to Goodes, did not know that what she had said was a racial slur.[19] Goodes said that he was "gutted" and that he had "never been more hurt".[20]

Over the following years, and particularly in 2015, Goodes was repeatedly and loudly booed by opposition fans at most matches. The motivation for and acceptability of the booing generated wide public debate, which dominated media coverage from both sports and political commentators for weeks at a time during the year,[21] and even drew comment from the Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott.[22] Many considered the booing to be unacceptable and motivated by racism—either because those booing felt affronted by his race or by the strong political positions Goodes had taken on racial issues—and called on the AFL to take direct action to stop it.[23][24] Others defended the rights of fans to continue booing as a show of disapproval for Goodes' actions, including a perception that his approach in dealing with the Collingwood fan who called him an ape was heavy-handed,[25] and for statements he had made during his time as Australian of the Year which had been seen to denigrate the history of European settlement of Australia.[26][22] The booing of Goodes has also been described as a symptom of tall poppy syndrome.[27]

During a match against Carlton in May 2015, Goodes celebrated a goal by performing an indigenous war dance in which he mimed throwing a spear at the Carlton cheer squad. Goodes said after the incident that the dance was based on one he learned from under-16s indigenous team the Flying Boomerangs, and that it was intended as a symbol of indigenous pride during Indigenous Round, not as a means of offending or intimidating the crowd.[28] However, many spectators were offended by the aggressive nature of the spear-throwing gesture or considered it retaliatory against the booing he had received in previous weeks, and it was criticised by many commentators for being inflammatory to the situation which had received particularly wide media coverage during the previous week.[29] The booing of Goodes intensified in the months after the war dance.[30]

Owing to the stress caused by the booing and attention, Goodes took leave from the game in August of the 2015 season.[21] Many clubs and players in the AFL supported Goodes in the first week of his leave by wearing indigenous-themed guernseys or armbands, and a video was prepared by the eighteen club captains to discourage the crowd from booing.[22]


Statistics are correct to end of 2014 season[31]
 D  Disposals  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  M  Marks  T  Tackles  H/O  Hit-outs  G  Goals  B  Behinds
Led the league for the Season only*
Led the league after finals only*
Led the league after Season and Finals*

*10 games required to be eligible.

Season Team # Games D K H M T H/O G B D K H M T H/O G B
Totals Averages (per game)
1999 Sydney 37 20 256 190 66 90 16 186 19 12 12.8 9.5 3.3 4.5 0.8 9.3 1.0 0.6
2000 Sydney 37 22 295 228 67 98 28 115 40 22 13.4 10.4 3.0 4.5 1.3 5.2 1.8 1.0
2001 Sydney 37 23 329 260 69 120 26 96 34 17 14.3 11.3 3.0 5.2 1.1 4.2 1.5 0.7
2002 Sydney 37 22 350 268 82 111 68 125 21 17 15.9 12.2 3.7 5.0 3.1 5.7 1.0 0.8
2003 Sydney 37 24 431 304 127 142 52 299 20 13 18.0 12.7 5.3 5.9 2.2 12.5 0.8 0.5
2004 Sydney 37 24 336 205 131 116 31 103 9 10 14.0 8.5 5.5 4.8 1.3 4.3 0.4 0.4
2005 Sydney 37 26 449 319 130 145 60 116 23 14 17.3 12.3 5.0 5.6 2.3 4.5 0.9 0.5
2006 Sydney 37 25 521 381 140 170 84 51 25 13 20.8 15.2 5.6 6.8 3.4 2.0 1.0 0.5
2007 Sydney 37 23 464 298 166 134 77 31 9 9 20.2 13.0 7.2 5.8 3.3 1.3 0.4 0.4
2008 Sydney 37 21 359 229 130 95 63 22 29 14 17.1 10.9 6.2 4.5 3.0 1.0 1.4 0.7
2009 Sydney 37 22 469 294 175 134 72 23 38 17 21.3 13.4 8.0 6.1 3.3 1.0 1.7 0.8
2010 Sydney 37 24 481 322 159 177 58 6 44 41 20.0 13.4 6.6 7.4 2.4 0.3 1.8 1.7
2011 Sydney 37 24 511 320 191 144 87 17 41 32 21.3 13.3 8.0 6.0 3.6 0.7 1.7 1.3
2012 Sydney 37 19 332 217 115 103 56 4 37 19 17.5 11.4 6.1 5.4 2.9 0.2 1.9 1.0
2013 Sydney 37 12 214 133 81 60 25 1 20 9 17.8 11.1 6.8 5.0 2.1 0.1 1.7 0.8
2014 Sydney 37 20 266 175 91 81 32 1 30 12 13.3 8.8 4.6 4.0 1.6 0 1.5 0.6
Career 351 6063 4143 1920 1920 835 1196 439 271 17.3 11.8 5.5 5.5 2.4 3.4 1.3 0.8

Honours and achievements[edit]

Brownlow Medal votes
Season Votes
2001 5
2002 2
2003 22
2004 4
2005 7
2006 26
2007 20
2008 21
2009 17
2010 13
2011 19
2012 2
2013 4
2015 1
Total 163
Green / Bold = Won



Tribunal history[edit]

Season Round Charge category (level) Victim Result Verdict Ref(s)
2007 5 Charging Simon Godfrey (Melbourne) Guilty (early plea) Reprimand and 70.31 carry-over points [32][33]
2008 2 Striking Matt Thomas (Port Adelaide) Not guilty (won at tribunal) [34]
11 Rough conduct Adam Selwood (West Coast) Guilty (early plea) Reprimand and 93.75 carry-over points [35]
13 Engaging in rough conduct (1) Clint Bartram (Melbourne) Guilty (early plea) One-match suspension [36]
2012 3 Rough conduct Jacob Surjan (Port Adelaide) Guilty (lost at tribunal) One-match suspension and 80.75 demerit points [37]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cordy, Neil (2 July 2014). "Adam Goodes set to break Andrew McLeod’s record for most games by indigenous player". The Daily Telegraph (News Corp Australia). Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  2. ^ "Goodes a victim of circumstance". The Age. 24 May 2014. 
  3. ^ Jackson, Lucy, and Rebecca Gallegos. "Months in review: January–February." Indigenous Law Bulletin 8.10 (2014): 31.
  4. ^ "Good to Go". Archived from the original on 23 September 2009. 
  5. ^ "Adam Goodes has right stuff to light the way for us all". The Age. 8 March 2014.  "My natural father was white, my mum is full blood"
  6. ^ Bagnell, G. "Goodes honoured but accepts Australia Day is also "pain and sorrow" for many", National Indigenous Times, 29 January 2014, p. 7.
  7. ^ a b c Lisa May's Tears of Joy, The Age, 23 Sept 2003.
  8. ^ Swans celebrate grand final glory (25 September 2005)
  9. ^ Michael Cowley and AAP (1 October 2005) Finally, Kirk first among equals
  10. ^ Michael Cowley (26 September 2006). "It's all Goodes: Swan takes the Brownlow". Sydney Morning Herald. 
  11. ^ Mark Robinson (26 September 2006). "Second Brownlow all Goodes". Fox Sports (Australia). 
  12. ^ Blake, Martin (30 April 2012). "Goodes delivers when Swans need him most - for the 304th time". Sydney Morning Herald. 
  13. ^ "Swans champion Adam Goodes calls it a day". (Bigpond). 19 September 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2015. 
  14. ^ Ballarat Brett has high hopes for Big V victory
  15. ^ "National Finalist Australian of the Year 2014". 
  16. ^ Goodes, Adam (2008). "The Indigenous Game: A Matter of Choice". In Weston, James. The Australian Game of Football: Since 1858. Geoff Slattery Publishing. pp. 175–185. ISBN 978-0-9803466-6-4.
  17. ^ Morrissey, Tim (15 May 2008). "Goodes caught in racism storm", The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  18. ^ "Ejected teenage fan didn't know 'ape' was racist". Sydney Morning Herald.
  19. ^ "Eddie McGuire apologises to Adam Goodes after a Magpies fan racially vilified the Sydney champion",
  20. ^ Windley, Matt (25 May 2013). "Adam Goodes ‘gutted' after 13-year-old girl's racial slur, who called the Sydney champion today to apologise". Herald Sun. 
  21. ^ a b "Adam Goodes' leave from AFL this weekend should fuel shame: Bartlett". SBS. 31 July 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  22. ^ a b c "Adam Goodes booing: Gillon McLachlan calls for footy to get its respect back as captains of all 18 AFL clubs make plea to fans". Herald Sun (Melbourne, VIC). 31 July 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  23. ^ Jake Niall (31 May 2015). "Adam Goodes debate: For too many, it's a case of 'don't think, boo'". The Age. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  24. ^ Peter Rolfe (31 July 2015). "Anyone who boos should be evicted, Aboriginal elders say". Herald Sun (Melbourne, VIC). Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  25. ^ Sheehan, Paul (30 July 2015). "The Adam Goodes fire was lit by his conduct, not his race". Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, NSW). Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  26. ^ Rita Panahi (29 July 2015). "The Goodes, the bad and the ugly". Herald Sun (Melbourne, VIC). Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  27. ^ "AFL must ensure shameful booing of Adam Goodes is brought to an end" (28 July 2015), The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  28. ^ Adam Curley (30 May 2015). "Proud Goodes stands by war cry celebration". Australian Football League. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  29. ^ "Adam Goodes goal celebration: Eddie McGuire defends comments about Swan champ’s actions were violent or aggressive". Herald Sun. 30 May 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  30. ^ Eric Tlozek (31 July 2015). "Adam Goodes: Booing of AFL player 'ignorant', Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion says". ABC. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  31. ^ Adam Goodes' player profile at AFL Tables
  32. ^ Syd-2007.html
  33. ^ Goodes ineligible for Brownlow Medal - Breaking News - Sport - Breaking News
  34. ^ Hard SCG turf, not Adam Goodes, to blame for dazed Matt Thomas | Herald Sun
  35. ^ Former umpire says Goodes' reputation will hurt him | Herald Sun
  36. ^ Goodes faces one-match AFL suspension
  37. ^ Goodes guilty -

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Byron Pickett
AFL Rising Star
Succeeded by
Paul Hasleby
Preceded by
Simon Black
Ben Cousins
Brownlow Medal
2003 (tied with Mark Ricciuto and Nathan Buckley)
Succeeded by
Chris Judd
Jimmy Bartel
Preceded by
Paul Williams
Brett Kirk
Kieren Jack
Bob Skilton Medal
Succeeded by
Barry Hall
Brett Kirk
Josh P. Kennedy
Preceded by
Ita Buttrose
Australian of the Year
Succeeded by
Rosie Batty