Australian Football Hall of Fame

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For the equivalent soccer institution, see Football Hall of Fame (Australia).

The Australian Football Hall of Fame was established in 1996, the Centenary year of the Australian Football League, to help recognise the contributions made to the sport of Australian rules football by players, umpires, media personalities, coaches and administrators. It was initially established with 136 inductees. As of 2014, this figure has grown to 257, including 25 "Legends".[1]

While those involved in the game from its inception in 1859 are theoretically eligible, very few outside the major leagues – the Australian Football League (VFL/AFL), the Victorian Football League (VFA/VFL), the West Australian Football League (WAFL) and the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) – have been recognised to date.

Selection[edit]

Selection criteria[edit]

A committee considers candidates on the basis of their ability, integrity, sportsmanship and character. While the number of games played, coached or umpired, or years of service in the case of administrators and media representatives, is a consideration, it alone does not determine eligibility. Players must be retired from the game for at least three years before they become eligible for induction, while coaches, umpires, administrators and media representatives are eligible immediately upon retirement. The committee considers candidates from all the states and territories of Australia and from all Australian Football competitions within Australia.

The following excerpt from the official Hall of Fame website highlights the main criteria used by the committee in selecting inductees to the Hall of Fame:

  • The Committee shall consider a candidate's outstanding service and overall contribution to the game of Australian Football in determining a candidate's eligibility for induction into the Hall of Fame.
  • Without limiting clause 5.1, the Committee may consider a candidate's individual record, ability, integrity, sportsmanship and character.
  • The number of football games played, coached or umpired or the years of service provided shall only be a consideration and shall not be determinative in assessing a candidate's eligibility.
  • A player, coach, umpire, administrator or media representative involved at any level of Australian Football may be eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame.
  • Candidates shall be adjudged on the basis of their overall contribution to Australian Football, as opposed to one specific aspect.

In 2010, several amendments were made to the selection criteria: The key criteria changes include:[2]

  • The maximum number of inductees in any single year reduced from eight to six, to increase the emphasis and honour for those inducted.
  • The requirement to induct a minimum of three recently retired players (retired within 10 years of each induction ceremony) reduced to a minimum of two, to ensure older players deserving of induction are represented in proportion.
  • The requirement to have one inductee from the grouping of categories umpire/administrator/media every year changed to a minimum of one from this category every two years.
  • The Hall of Fame selection committee to be independent from the AFL Commission. The wording in the charter has been changed so that the selection committee recommends to the commission for “endorsement” rather than for “approval”.
  • Selectors would be appointed for an initial term of three years, with two further opportunities to be appointed for subsequent three year terms (total of nine years).
  • At least 25 per cent of the selection committee to reside outside of Victoria.

Selection committee[edit]

Hall of Fame

Selection Committee[3]

Chair Secretary Historian Selector Selector Selector Selector Selector Selector Selector
Mike Fitzpatrick Patrick Clifton Col Hutchinson Dennis Cometti Matt Finnis Jim Main Bruce McAvaney David Parkin Stephen Phillips Michaelangelo Rucci

Induction ceremony[edit]

Every year there is a special Hall of Fame dinner to announce and welcome the new inductees to the Hall of Fame.

Criticism[edit]

The Hall of Fame has been criticised by football writers and historians for being heavily biased towards figures from Victoria.[4] The initial selection committee was made up of 11 Victorians, one South Australian and one Western Australian, with the current selection committee being made up of six Victorians, two Western Australians and one South Australian. Of the 136 inaugural inductees into the Hall of Fame, 116 played substantial parts of their careers in Victoria, with eleven of the thirteen "Legends" from Victoria.[5]

Criticism has also been slated at the under-representation of pioneers and other early stars of the game. Adam Cardosi wrote in 2014:[6]

If we take the HOF at face value, footy legends only started to appear in number from the 1930s, and reached a high point in the 1960s and 1970s. ... Thus, according to the HOF’s reckoning, the first sixty five years of the game is worth one legend, while the next sixty five years is worth 24 legends.

Hall of Fame members[edit]

Legends[edit]

The Legends category is reserved for those who are deemed to have had a significant impact on the game of Australian rules football. All "Legends" enshrined to date represent former players of the VFL/AFL, with the exception of Barrie Robran who played the whole of his career in the SANFL. Being named as a "Legend" of the Australian Football Hall of Fame is the highest honour which can be bestowed onto an Australian footballer.

In 2010, several amendments to the Legends category were made to ensure the exclusivity and prestige of the Hall of Fame. Among them were:[7]

  • The Legends category remains exclusively for recognition of the most significant playing and coaching records
  • The number of Legends that can be part of the Hall of Fame remains at a maximum of 10 per cent of the total inductees
  • Criteria for elevating an inductee to Legend status requires that only ‘playing and coaching’ records be taken into account and not a candidate’s overall contribution to the game outside of playing and coaching
Inductee Year recognised Senior games Premierships (player) Premierships (coach) Citation and Highlights
Darrel Baldock 2006 119 Games VFL (1)

Representative honours:

Club honours:

Coaching record:

Ron Barassi
Ron barassi statue.jpg
1996 253 VFL (6) VFL (4)

Representative Honours:

Club Honours:

Coaching Record:

Kevin Bartlett 2000 403 Games VFL (5)

Representative Honours:

League Honours:

Club Honours:

Coaching Record:

Haydn Bunton Sr.
Haydn Bunton Snr leap.jpg
1996 208 Games

League Honours:

Club Honours:

  • Fitzroy captain (1932, 1936-1937)
  • Subiaco captain (1938-1939, 1941)
  • 2× Fitzroy Best & Fairest (1934, 1935)
  • 3× Subiaco Best & Fairest (1938, 1939, 1941)
  • Fitzroy leading goal-kicker (1936, 1937)
  • 4× Subiaco leading goal-kicker (1938, 1939, 1940, 1941)

Coaching Record:

Barry Cable 2012 382 Games WAFL (4)

VFL (2)

WAFL (1)

Representative Honours:

League Honours

Club Honours

Coaching Record:

Roy Cazaly
Roy Cazaly mark.jpg
1996 198 Games

Representative Honours:

Club Honours:

  • St Kilda captain (1920)
  • St Kilda Best & Fairest (1918)
  • South Melbourne Best & Fairest (1923)
  • South Melbourne leading goal-kicker (1921, 1922)

Coaching Record:

John Coleman
742692-john-coleman.jpg
1996 98 Games VFL (2) VFL (2)

Representative Honours:

League Honours:

Club Honours:

Coaching Record:

Gordon Coventry
Gordon Coventry – unknown date – 1.jpg
1998 306 Games VFL (5)

Representative Honours:

League Honours:

Club Honours:

Jack Dyer
Jack Dyer.jpg
1996 312 Games VFL (2) VFL (1)

Representative Honours:

Club Honours:

Coaching Record:

Graham Farmer
Polly Farmer.jpg
1996 356 Games WAFL (5)

VFL (1)

WAFL (2)

Representative Honours:

League Honours:

Club Honours:

Coaching Record:

Royce Hart 2013 188 Games VFL (4)

Representative Honours:

Club Honours:

Coaching Record:

Peter Hudson 1999 129 Games VFL (1)

Representative Honours:

League Honours:

Club Honours:

Bill Hutchison
Bill Hutchison Essendon.jpg
1996 290 Games VFL (4)

Representative Honours:

League Honours:

Club Honours:

  • Essendon captain (1951-1957)
  • 7× Essendon Best & Fairest (1946, 1948, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956)
  • Essendon leading goal-kicker (1948)
Alex Jesaulenko 2008 279 Games VFL (4) VFL (1)

Representative Honours:

Club Honours:

Coaching Record:

Tony Lockett 2015 281 Games

Representative Honours:

League Honours:

Club Honours:

Leigh Matthews
Leigh Matthews Statue MCG.jpg
1996 332 Games VFL (4) AFL (4)

Representative Honours:

  • All-Australian player (1972)
  • 4× All-Australian coach (1998, 2001, 2002, 2003)
  • Australia (1972)
  • Victoria (14 games)

League Honours:

Club Honours:

Coaching Record:

James McHale
Jock Mchale.jpg
2005 261 Games VFL (2) VFL (8)

Club Honours:

Coaching Record:

Kevin Murray 2010 377 Games Representative Honours:

League Honours:

Club Honours:

Coaching Record:

  • Fitzroy 1963-1964 (?-?-?)
  • East Perth 1965-1966 (0-34-0)
John Nicholls 1996 328 Games VFL (3) VFL (1)

Representative Honours:

  • 2× All-Australian (1966, 1969)
  • Australia (1968)
  • Victoria (31 games)

Club Honours:

  • Carlton captain (1963, 1968-1974)
  • 5× Carlton Best & Fairest (1959, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1967);

Coaching Record:

  • Carlton 1972-1975 (63-31-3)
  • Glenelg 1977-1978 (30-20-0)
Bob Pratt
BobPrattleaping.jpg
1996 158 Games VFL (1)

League Honours:

Club Honours:

Dick Reynolds
Dick Reynolds Statue MCG.jpg
1996 320 Games VFL (4) VFL (4)

Representative Honours:

League Honours:

Club Honours:

Coaching Record:

Barrie Robran
Barrie Robran Statue.jpg
2001 201 Games SANFL (2)

Representative Honours:

League Honours:

Club Honours:

Coaching Record:

Bob Skilton 1996 237 Games

Representative Honours:

  • Victoria (25 games)

League Honours:

Club Honours:

  • South Melbourne captain (1961-1969, 1970-1971)
  • 9× South Melbourne Best & Fairest (1958, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968)
  • 3× South Melbourne leading goal-kicker 1959, 1962, 1963

Coaching Record:

  • South Melbourne 1965-1966 (16-19-0)
  • Melbourne 1974-1976 (28-60-0)
Norm Smith
NormSmith.jpg
2007 227 Games VFL (4) VFL (6)

Representative Honours:

  • Victoria (2 games)

League Honours:

  • VFL Leading goal-kicker (1941)

Club Honours:

  • Melbourne captain (1945-1947)
  • Melbourne Best & Fairest (1938)
  • 4× Melbourne Leading goal-kicker (1938, 1939, 1940, 1941)

Coaching Record:

  • Fitzroy 1949-1951 (30-23-2),
  • Melbourne 1952-1967 (198-107-5)
  • South Melbourne 1969-72 (26-61-0)
Ian Stewart 1997 205 Games VFL (2)

Representative honours:

  • All-Australian (1966)
  • Victoria (?)

League honours:

Club honours:

Coaching record:

Ted Whitten
Ted Whitten statue.jpg
1996 321 Games VFL (1)

Representative Honours:

Club Honours:

Coaching Record:

Players[edit]

Umpires[edit]

Coaches[edit]

Media[edit]

Administrators[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ About the Hall of Fame
  2. ^ AFL Hall of Fame criteria changes
  3. ^ About the Hall of Fame
  4. ^ Vics play favourites as Peake on benchThe West Australian. Published 11 June 2011. Written by Mark Duffield. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  5. ^ AFL Hall of Fame – See Victoria – FullPointsFooty. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  6. ^ Cardosi, Adam (12 March 2014). "Neglected heroes: The sad case of the Australian Football Hall of Fame", Australian Football. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  7. ^ AFL legend status even more exclusive
  8. ^ Collins, Ben. "2015 Inductee Jason Akermanis". AFL.com. Australian Football League. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f "AFL Hall of Fame: Maurice Rioli, Paul Bagshaw, Verdun Howell, Ben Hart, Ray Sorrell, Nigel Lappin inducted". 14 June 2016. 
  10. ^ Connolly, Rohan (4 June 2015). "Australian Football Hall of Fame 2015: Peter Bell inducted". Fairfax Media. The Age. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  11. ^ Connolly, Rohan (4 June 2015). "Australian Football Hall of Fame 2015: Michael O'Loughlin inducted". Fairfax Media. WA Today. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  12. ^ Holmesby, Russell. "Neil Roberts into Hall of Fame". St Kilda Football Club. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  13. ^ Hagdorn, Kim (4 June 2015). "AFL Hall of Fame 2015: Austin Robertson inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame". News Corporation. Courier Mail. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  14. ^ Rucci, Michaelangelo (4 June 2015). "AFL Hall of Fame 2015: Bob Hammond enters the AFL Hall of Fame on back of off-field service". News Corporation. Herald Sun. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  • Ross, John (1999). The Australian Football Hall of Fame. Australia: HarperCollinsPublishers. ISBN 0-7322-6426-X. 

External links[edit]