Dane Swan

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Dane Swan
Swan playing in a Collingwood intra-club match in 2015
Personal information
Full name Dane Swan
Date of birth (1984-02-25) 25 February 1984 (age 40)
Place of birth Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Original team(s) Calder Cannons (TAC Cup)
Draft No. 58, 2001 national draft
Height 185 cm (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 93 kg (205 lb)
Position(s) Midfielder
Playing career
Years Club Games (Goals)
2002–2016 Collingwood 258 (211)
International team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
2010 Australia 2 (0)
Career highlights





Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Dane Swan (born 25 February 1984) is a former elite professional Australian rules footballer who played for the Collingwood Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL).[1] Swan was drafted with pick 58 in the 2001 AFL draft, and made his debut in Round 13, 2003 against the Western Bulldogs.

Known as a prolific ball-winner, Swan averaged almost 27 disposals per game over his career. Swan was a premiership player, a Brownlow Medallist, a three-time Copeland Trophy recipient, a Leigh Matthews Trophy recipient, and a five-time All-Australian.

Swan was notably runner-up in the 2017 reality TV show I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, on Network Ten.

Early life[edit]

Swan was born in Melbourne to Billy and Deidre Swan. He is a direct descendant of Thomas Flanagan, an Irish convict transported to Australia in 1849.[2] His father Billy Swan was a highly decorated footballer in the VFA, winning the J. J. Liston Trophy twice and playing a competition record 302 games with Port Melbourne and Williamstown from 1976 to 1993.[3]

He grew up playing junior football for the Westmeadows Football Club in the Essendon District Football League, and attended St. Bernard's College in Essendon before playing his under-18 football with the Calder Cannons in the TAC Cup.

Swan's performances at the Calder Cannons were ordinary and he was perceived by some recruiters to be a larrikin with questionable kicking accuracy and work ethic;[4] however, Collingwood showed an interest in him as a potential late maturer in the mould of his father.[5]


Swan was recruited by the Collingwood Football Club with pick 58 in the 2001 AFL draft. He made his debut in June 2003 at the age of 19,[3] though he only played three games (against the Western Bulldogs, Richmond and Essendon).[1] Swan managed just 30 games in his first four seasons in the system at Collingwood, and although he played some solid football in that time, he was not regarded as outstanding. He played much of this time with Williamstown, which was then Collingwood's VFL-affiliate, and he was a member of its 2003 premiership team.[6]

In 2006, he broke through, playing 21 games and finished sixth in the Copeland Trophy voting. Swan mainly rotated through the midfield and moved forward when required. His first nine weeks were productive, averaging nearly 26 disposals and kicked 15 goals, before a hamstring injury suffered against Brisbane Lions in round ten sidelined him until round thirteen.

2007 was considered his breakout season as he placed fourth in the Copeland Trophy and was a surprise packet at the Brownlow, leading for most of the night before finishing sixth with 20 votes.


The 2008 Copeland Trophy winner had a strong year averaging twenty-five disposals, seven marks, three tackles and one goal a game. Swan led the team in total disposals (590) and kicks (368), second in marks (163), and third in handballs (222) and tackles (75). He had 14 games of 25 possessions or more and kicked two or more goals on six occasions. Round 10 against West Coast was one of Swan's best, collecting 34 possessions, 10 marks and two goals. In round 14 against Sydney, he had 30 touches and 13 marks.


In the 2009 season, Swan averaged 31.8 disposals, 7.8 marks, 3.0 tackles and 5.4 inside-50s per game. He was one of the AFL's most prolific ball winners, along with being an in-and-under specialist winning the contested ball at most stoppages whilst also running hard.

In Collingwood's 2009 round 10 clash against Port Adelaide, Swan obtained 48 possessions, 22 kicks and 26 handballs.[1] This was the best disposal count in a decade and was then the third-highest-recorded disposals count in one match, behind Greg Williams' 53 and Tony Shaw's 50. It was a record since the length of game quarters was shortened from 25 minutes to 20 minutes in 1994, until surpassed in round 22, 2011 by Adelaide's Scott Thompson (51 disposals).

He was ranked third for total inside-50s, fourth in total goal assists, first in total kicks, fourteenth in total handballs, first in total disposals, tenth in total marks, fifth in inside-50s per game, thirteenth in goal assists per game, second in kicks per game, second in disposals per game. He was voted runner-up at the AFLPA MVP awards (polling 584 votes), finishing behind Gary Ablett (688). He was regarded as one of the front-runners for the Brownlow Medal, but finished outside the top ten.

Swan was selected in the 2009 All-Australian team, but controversially as a half forward flanker, rather than as a midfielder, which is his usual position.[7]


Swan averaged 31.8 disposals, including 19 kicks per game, totalling a then AFL record 820 disposals for the season.[8] On 6 September, Swan won the AFL Players Association MVP Award (Leigh Matthews Trophy) after a vote by the players. That year he was also elected as the ruck-rover for the All-Australian team. His consistent season was a cornerstone to Collingwood's fifteenth premiership, to the point of having his tattoos referenced on the Herald Sun premiership poster. Swan finished third in the Brownlow Medal count, having started favourite. On 31 October in the International Rules Series he won the Jim Stynes Medal. At the conclusion of the season, Swan became only the fourth-ever Collingwood player to win three consecutive Copeland Trophies.[9]


With Swan's contract at Collingwood due to expire at the end of 2011, there was much pre-season media speculation over a possible move to new AFL club Greater Western Sydney.[10] This was put to rest during the lead-up week to the season's commencement when Collingwood announced that Swan had signed a new three-year deal, committing him to the club until the end of 2014.[11] Swan started 2011 in the same good form as 2010. He attained 40 disposals in round 2 against North Melbourne but sustained a quad injury close to the midway point of the season and his form deteriorated. Collingwood decided to send Swan, with teammates Brent Macaffer, Darren Jolly and Nathan Brown, to a high-altitude training camp in Arizona in an attempt to help the players recover faster from their individual injuries. The trip proved effective for Swan, with an immediate effect on his playing performances. In the next six games after his return, he had an average of 35.3 disposals per game with a strong effort against Essendon with 45 possessions and a goal. He later won the 2011 Brownlow Medal with 34 votes—setting a new record for the most votes polled in a count under the 3–2–1 system, which was later surpassed by Patrick Dangerfield in 2016.[12]


Swan received some criticism early on in the 2012 season and was accused of being unfit and "too fat".[13] In the annual Anzac Day clash, Swan won his first Anzac Day medal as best on ground after a one-point win over Essendon, with forty-two possessions, three goals and six tackles during the game.[14] Swan missed two games midway through the season due to a hamstring injury, then returned for the Queen's Birthday clash in Round 11 against Melbourne, where he finished with a game high 42 possessions. Strong performances over the following two months saw Swan rise in the Brownlow Medal betting, to become one of the favourites behind Jobe Watson, Scott Thompson and Gary Ablett. Swan was later found to have broken a pledge made by the playing group to abstain from drinking alcohol for the remainder of the season. He was suspended for two games as a result. Swan had over 40 disposals in six different games, reaching a new career high of 49 against Hawthorn in the round 17 loss, he also didn't have below 25 disposals. Swan over the home and away season averaged 35.7 disposals (career high and AFL record since stats were recorded) and 1.2 goals a game. Despite missing four home and away games Swan still finished fourth in the Brownlow Medal count and averaged more votes per game than anyone else in the top ten.[15] He was named on the bench in the All-Australian team, his fourth selection in his career.[16]


Swan started the season averaging 30 possessions in the first three matches. In round 4, Swan played his 200th AFL game against an unbeaten Richmond, producing an almost best on ground performance (thirty-five disposals, six marks and one goal) and was only bettered by teammate Travis Cloke, who kicked a career best seven goals.[17] At the end of the year Swan averaged 31.2 disposals, 5.7 marks, 3.4 tackles, and 5.2 inside-50s per game. He finished first in overall disposals, and equal seventh in total inside-50s. Swan was selected as the ruck-rover in the 2013 All-Australian team, the fifth consecutive year he was included. Swan finished third in the Brownlow Medal with 26 votes, losing by two to the winner Gary Ablett, and one to second-placed Joel Selwood.


After wrist surgery in the off season, Swan started the season slowly, with an average of 22 disposals in the first three rounds, including just sixteen disposals in round 2. It didn't take long for him to find his form though, including thirty-five disposals and eleven marks against North Melbourne, and twenty-six disposals and four goals against Essendon to earn him his second ANZAC medal.


After 2014, a year that Swan described as putrid,[18] He returned to career-best form in 2015, averaging twenty-nine disposals and one goal per game, as well as reaching the 250-game milestone. Swan notched 30 disposals in 11 games during 2015, and played every game in 2015 apart from Collingwood's round 23 clash against Essendon due to a knee injury he sustained the week before.[19] Although Collingwood missed the finals, Swan arguably proved to critics that at the age of 31 he is still able to play high-quality football at an elite level.[20]


In the round one clash against Sydney, Swan was badly injured after landing awkwardly on his foot, breaking three bones, including a Lisfranc.[21][22] The injury ruled him out of the rest of the season, and in August he announced his immediate retirement from the AFL.[23]


A prolific ball-winner, particularly in the latter part of his career, Swan lead the AFL in total disposals on four occasions and total kicks on five occasions. Swan accumulated an average of 26.85 disposals per game during his AFL career, which at the time of his retirement was the second-highest average of all time behind only Greg Williams (26.88 per game).[24]

Played in that season's 
premiership team
Led the league for 
the season
Won that season's 
Brownlow Medal
Season Team No. Games Totals Averages (per game) Votes
2002 Collingwood 36 0 0
2003 Collingwood 36 3 0 0 14 13 27 4 3 0.0 0.0 4.7 4.3 9.0 1.3 1.0 0
2004 Collingwood 36 13 2 5 105 66 171 49 18 0.2 0.4 8.1 5.1 13.2 3.8 1.4 0
2005 Collingwood 36 14 3 2 143 91 234 67 22 0.2 0.1 10.2 6.5 16.7 4.8 1.6 0
2006 Collingwood 36 21 19 12 311 176 487 168 44 0.9 0.6 14.8 8.4 23.2 8.0 2.1 11
2007 Collingwood 36 25 13 14 422 173 595 187 85 0.5 0.6 16.9 6.9 23.8 7.5 3.4 20
2008 Collingwood 36 24 22 23 368 222 590 163 75 0.9 1.0 15.3 9.3 24.6 6.8 3.1 12
2009 Collingwood 36 25 18 25 444 325 769 161 77 0.7 1.0 17.8 13.0 30.8 6.4 3.1 12
2010# Collingwood 36 26 24 23 505 315 820 146 123 0.9 0.9 19.4 12.1 31.5 5.6 4.7 24
2011 Collingwood 36 24 32 23 472 288 760 129 77 1.3 1.0 19.7 12.0 31.7 5.4 3.2 34±
2012 Collingwood 36 21 25 22 442 283 725 138 71 1.2 1.0 21.0 13.5 34.5 6.6 3.4 25
2013 Collingwood 36 23 21 21 436 281 717 131 79 0.9 0.9 19.0 12.2 31.2 5.7 3.4 26
2014 Collingwood 36 17 11 12 244 180 424 79 49 0.6 0.7 14.4 10.6 24.9 4.6 2.9 17
2015 Collingwood 36 21 21 14 336 273 609 104 81 1.0 0.7 16.0 13.0 29.0 5.0 3.9 13
2016 Collingwood 36 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0
Career[25] 258 211 196 4242 2686 6928 1526 804 0.8 0.8 16.4 10.4 26.9 5.9 3.1 186

Honours and achievements[edit]


In 2003, Swan was arrested with two others following a brawl at Federation Square in which a security guard (Jesse James) was knocked unconscious,[26] and another man (Claudio Celano) was left with a permanent brain injury.[27] Swan was charged with 13 offences, including assault, affray and intentionally causing serious injury.[28] Swan was convicted of affray and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service.[29] Mr Celano, who suffered a permanent brain injury, sued his three assailants and in a settlement, Swan and the other offenders agreed to make payment of $100,000 to Mr Celano.[30] However, in 2009 Mr Celano again sued Swan and the other offenders because they had failed to make payment as agreed[30] and Swan was penalised for that failure to make payment.[31] Mr Celano's lawyer noted that Swan and the other offenders had not made any apology to his client.[30] In an interview in 2010, Swan detailed how close the incident came to ending his football career. Coach Mick Malthouse gave him a second chance, believing that Swan did not deserve to have his career derailed because of one stupid decision.[32][33] In a further interview in 2017, Swan stated he had 'no regrets' about the incident which left one man unconscious and another with a permanent brain injury.[34]

In March 2010, Swan hit a parked truck on the way from his house to training.[35] Four months later, Swan was hit in the mouth at a nightclub.[36]

In August 2012, Swan received an internal two-match suspension from the Collingwood senior team for breaking team rules—specifically, a pledge by the playing group to abstain from alcohol between late July and the end of the season.[37]

In June 2014, Swan attended a fundraising event hosted by John Gatto, the brother of underworld figure Mick Gatto. Collingwood president Eddie McGuire had no problem with the incident.[38]

In May 2018, explicit video footage of Swan was leaked, leading to a police investigation.[39][40]

In January 2023, Swan tweeted about 'male tampons', causing controversy as they were actually absorbent underwear for incontinence.[41]

Personal life[edit]

Swan has been with his girlfriend, Taylor Wilson, since 2010. In November 2020 they announced that they were expecting a child. Their son, Tate, was born on 13 February 2021.[42][43]


  1. ^ a b c "Dane Swan – Statistics". Retrieved on 3 August 2009
  2. ^ Flanagan, Martin (7 September 2013). "Relatively curious about Dane Swan", The Age. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
  3. ^ a b Karen Lyon, 29 June 2003. "Refreshed Pies chalk up impressive win". The Age, Retrieved on 3 August 2009
  4. ^ Baum, Greg (17 July 2010). "Dane Swan: The illusionist". The Age. Melbourne.
  5. ^ McFarlane, Glenn (19 September 2010). "The 'super draft' nine years ago is ready to yield another Brownlow Medal winner". Sunday Herald Sun.
  6. ^ Paul Amy (21 September 2011). "Billy Swan backs Port Melbourne to win VFL premiership". Leader. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  7. ^ Sheahan, Mike (1 September 2009). "Selectors caught out of position on Dane Swan". Archived from the original on 5 September 2009. Retrieved 6 November 2009.
  8. ^ "AFL Tables - Player Season and Game Records (1965-2021)".
  9. ^ Edmund, Sam (9 December 2010). "Copeland Trophy win proves Dane Swan is one of the greats at Collingwood". Herald Sun. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
  10. ^ "Massive year awaits Collingwood". The Age. Melbourne. 8 March 2011.
  11. ^ "Swan a Magpie for life". The Age. Melbourne. 23 March 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  12. ^ Jennifer Witham, 26 September 2011. "Magpie swoops on Brownlow" Archived 27 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine. AFL, Retrieved on 26 September 2011
  13. ^ Edmund, Sam (23 April 2012). "Dane Swan slams critics who say he's overweight". Herald Sun. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  14. ^ Edmund, Sam (25 April 2012). "Collingwood midfielder Dane Swan kicks back with Anzac Medal-winning performance". Herald Sun. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  15. ^ McFarlane, Glenn (8 August 2012). "Magpies' flag campaign rocked by Dane Swan suspension". Herald Sun. Archived from the original on 25 December 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
  16. ^ Mason, Luke (17 September 2012). "Swan, Pendles and Beams named All-Australians". Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
  17. ^ afl.com.au
  18. ^ "Swan Determined To Regain AFL Form". Triple M Melbourne. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  19. ^ "AFL 2015: Collingwood defeats Geelong by 48 points at MCG in Round 22". 29 August 2015. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  20. ^ "Dane Swan – collingwoodfc.com.au". collingwoodfc.com.au. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  21. ^ Ben, Guthrie (30 March 2016). "Swan's foot injury 'like a car crash', says sports medico". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  22. ^ Wood, Lauren (27 March 2016). "Dane Swan suffers fractured fibula and foot in Collingwood's loss to Sydney". Herald Sun.
  23. ^ McFarlane, Glenn; Salemme, Kate (23 August 2016). "AFL: Collingwood star Dane Swan decides to retire". Herald Sun. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  24. ^ "Disposals". AFL Tables.
  25. ^ "Dane Swan". AFL Tables. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
  26. ^ "Bouncer seeks compo over brawl with Dane Swan", Daniel Fogarty, Herald Sun, 23 October 2008.]
  27. ^ Hadfield, Shelley (22 April 2011). "Dane Swan sued over brawl". The Advertiser. Archived from the original on 24 September 2019. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  28. ^ Moynihan, Stephen (3 September 2004). "Magpie Dane Swan faces 13 charges". The Age. Melbourne.
  29. ^ "Magpies' Dane Swan calls it a day". ABC News. 23 August 2016.
  30. ^ a b c Warner, Michael (23 October 2009). "Collingwood star Dane Swan accused of welshing on payment to bashed cleaner". Herald Sun.
  31. ^ "AFL Dane Swan star fined for settlement default". 10 November 2009.
  32. ^ "AFL Dane Swan star fined for settlement default". AAP. 10 November 2009. Archived from the original on 11 November 2009.
  33. ^ Ablett, Gary (4 September 2010). "Dane Swan: I thought I was going to be sacked". The Sunday Times.
  34. ^ "Dane Swan Reveals How Much His 2003 Arrest Cost Him".
  35. ^ Brown, Terry (4 March 2010). "Magpie's ego dented, feathers ruffled". Herald Sun.
  36. ^ Paton, Al (29 July 2010). "I wanted to fight back: Dane Swan". The Advertiser. Archived from the original on 11 September 2012.
  37. ^ McFarlane, Glenn (9 August 2012). "Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley says Dane Swan has lost trust". Herald Sun. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  38. ^ Ralph, Jon; Staff writers (12 June 2014). "Collingwood boss Gary Pert says Dane Swan did nothing wrong attending event with links to Mick Gatto". Herald Sun. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  39. ^ "Dane Swan furious after explicit video leaked online". Yahoo! 7 News. 3 May 2018. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  40. ^ "Police investigating video featuring naked AFL player and woman leaked online". news.com.au. 4 May 2018. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  41. ^ "Former AFL star Dane Swan cops international criticism for tweet about 'male tampons' that were actually protective underwear". ABC. 5 January 2023. Retrieved 5 January 2023.
  42. ^ "AFL great Dane Swan and partner Taylor Wilson celebrate 'surreal' birth of son". NewsComAu. 15 February 2021. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  43. ^ "AFL great Dane Swan reveals unconventional baby name, partner calls the shots". NewsComAu. 20 February 2021. Retrieved 23 February 2021.

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