David Rhys-Jones

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David Rhys-Jones
Personal information
Full name David Rhys-Jones
Date of birth (1962-06-16) 16 June 1962 (age 54)
Original team(s) Oakleigh District
Height / weight 187 cm / 84 kg
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1980–1984 South Melbourne/Sydney 076 0(39)
1985–1992 Carlton 106 0(73)
Total 182 (112)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1992.
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

David Rhys-Jones (born 16 June 1962) is a former Australian rules footballer who played for the Carlton Football Club and the Sydney Swans in the VFL/AFL. The highlight of his 182-game career was winning the Norm Smith Medal as best on ground in Carlton's 1987 Grand Final victory. Rhys-Jones played junior football in the same side as Warwick Capper while at Oakleigh Districts.

Rhys-Jones began his career with South Melbourne in 1980, which relocated north becoming the Sydney Swans in 1982. He moved back south to join Carlton in 1985 after a pay dispute. He remained with Carlton until his retirement in 1992. Rhys-Jones was a superbly balanced footballer, capable of playing in multiple positions and equally adept as a goalkicking option as he was at shutting down opponents. His nullifying of Dermott Brereton in the 1987 Grand Final earned Rhys-Jones the Norm Smith Medal. He was awarded nine Brownlow Medal votes that year.

But his career was not without controversy; he stood out with his blond locks and aggressive nature and, at the time of his retirement, held the record for the most tribunal appearances with 42. Rhys-Jones was charged 25 times and suspended for a total of 22 matches as well as appearing 17 times as the victim. The former AFL Chief Executive Andrew Demetriou was once reported for striking Rhys-Jones.

In 1992 Rhys-Jones was appointed captain-coach of the North Launceston Football Club. After playing his 50th game in the 1995 winning grand final team Rhys-Jones left to coach Frankston in the Victorian Football Association. After three years of successive finals appearances, including two grand finals, Rhys-Jones quit Frankston to concentrate on media commitments.

In 2000 he was appointed coach of Heidelberg Football Club. After a run of injuries in 2001 he decided to pull on the boots himself and was quickly suspended by the Diamond Valley league from playing football until 2003 and fined $3000 after assaulting an opponent. The tribunal ruling that he was not allowed on the field forced Rhys-Jones to give his quarter-time team addresses from behind the boundary line. The following year he announced in his biography that he used cocaine during his playing career.

Rhys-Jones married his second wife Cheri Donnelly in Queensland in 2001. They have a son together, Cooper, who has Prader-Willi Syndrome,[1] and a daughter Madison.[2] Rhys-Jones and wife Cheri took over the Canada Hotel in [Melbourne Swanston st], Carlton in 2002 renaming it the Plough and Harrow Hotel. That year Rhys-Jones joined a reality show on Channel 7, called The Club; and was chosen by audience votes to coach a new Australian rules football team in the Western Region Football League. The team was named the Kensington Hill Hammerheads, which Rhys-Jones coached to a premiership in its first (and only) year. Rhys-Jones has three children from his first marriage, Sharna, Molly, and Dakota. Rhys-Jones currently lives in Melbourne.