|Full name||Lenny Hayes|
|Date of birth||14 January 1980|
|Place of birth||Sydney, New South Wales|
|Original team(s)||NSW/ACT Rams (TAC Cup)|
|Draft||No. 11, 1998national draft|
|Height / weight||186cm / 83kg|
|1999–2014||St Kilda||297 (95)|
|International team honours|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2014.
Hayes is a former captain of St Kilda and was an onfield leader in the Saints' midfield.
Hayes debuted the following year in the AFL. Although he started well, he improved throughout the year, earning an AFL Rising Star nomination in the final round of the season (R22).
Hayes was captain for the 2004 season as part of St Kilda's then policy of rotating the captaincy to a different player each season.
After a strong start to the 2006 season, Hayes ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament against the Kangaroos in Round 9, requiring a minor knee reconstruction which sidelined him until the 2007 season. In just his fifth game back in the 2007 season he suffered a broken collarbone, sidelining him for three weeks, although he managed to come back and play 19 games for the year.
Hayes was a co-captain and part of the Saints' 2007 leadership group – dubbed the "Young Saints", which also included Justin Koschitzke, Luke Ball (co-captain) and Nick Riewoldt (co-captain). Also included in the leadership group were Aaron Hamill, Fraser Gehrig, Nick Dal Santo and Robert Harvey.
In 2009, Hayes played his 200th AFL game in Round 9 against the Brisbane Lions at Docklands Stadium. During the match he gained 31 possessions in the Saints' 16-point victory. He finished third in the 2009 Brownlow Medal.
Hayes was recognised for his excellent season with selection in the 2009 All-Australian Team as a midfield player, his third All-Australian Team award.
St Kilda qualified for the 2009 AFL Grand Final after qualifying and preliminary final wins. Hayes played in the grand final in which St Kilda were defeated by 12 points.
Hayes played 25 games in 2010, including four finals, and received a number of accolades for his performances during the season:
- Trevor Barker medallist for St Kilda's best & fairest player in 2010.
- 2010 Norm Smith Medallist (1st Grand Final).
- St Kilda's player of the finals series (jointly with Zac Dawson).
Hayes injured his left ACL early in the 2011 season and did not play the rest of the year.
Hayes played all games in 2012 and won his third Trevor Barker Medal as St Kilda's best & fairest player for the season. He had a fantastic season and made a brilliant recovery from the ACL injury from 2011. He played his 250th game in Round 9 against eventual premiers Sydney, gaining 25 disposals in a 28-point win for the Saints.
On 15 July 2014, Hayes announced his retirement in front of all his teammates and family. Out of respect his teammates wore t-shirts with the hashtag #ilovelenny. At the time of his retirement, Hayes held the VFL/AFL all-time record for most tackles in a career, having lain 1,496 tackles at an average of 5.04 per game; he still holds the record as of 19 September 2014.
|Totals||Averages (per game)|
- "AFL 2004 Wizard Cup Grand Final – Geelong v St Kilda". Slattery Media Group. 2004-03-13. Retrieved 2009-11-07.
- "AFL 2004 Wizard Cup Grand Final – Geelong v St Kilda – captain Lenny Hayes celebrates with the trophy". Slattery Media Group. 2004-03-13. Retrieved 2009-11-07.
- "St Kilda wins NAB cup". The Age. 8 March 2008. Retrieved 2009-11-07.
- "Saints are NAB Cup Champions in 2008". Jeld-Wen. 8 March 2008. Retrieved 2009-11-07.
- "AFL News – Saints shake off feisty Lions by 16pts". 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-23.
- "2009 Season Scores and Results – Ladder". AFL Tables. 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-08.
- "Smashing Saints do it for Lenny". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 26 May 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
- "Player Totals". AFL Tables. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
- "Lenny Hayes Joins the GIANTS". GIANTS Media. gwsgiants.com.au. 7 September 2015. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
- Lenny Hayes' player profile at AFL Tables
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