Michael Tuck

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Michael Tuck
Personal information
Full name Michael Tuck
Date of birth (1953-06-24) 24 June 1953 (age 63)
Place of birth Berwick, Victoria
Height / weight 188 cm / 76 kg
Position(s) Ruck-rover
Half back/Full Forward(early)
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1972 – 1991 Hawthorn 426 (320)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
Victoria 11 (5)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1991.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Michael Tuck (born 24 June 1953) is a seven-time premiership-winning player, Australian rules footballer with the Hawthorn Football Club in the Victorian Football League (VFL) / Australian Football League (AFL), where he was the games record holder (426 games) until 30 July 2016 when Brent Harvey played his 427th game for North Melbourne Football Club.

AFL career[edit]

Early career (1971 - 1973)[edit]

Raised in Berwick, in Melbourne's outer south-eastern suburbs, Tuck joined Hawthorn in 1971 from the country zone club of the same name, and remained at the club for his entire career. Tuck initially played as a full forward and the understudy to the great Peter Hudson, kicking 63 goals in the VFL Reserves in 1971. He made his Senior debut against Richmond in the eighth round the following year and kicked goals with his first three kicks in senior football,[1] but soon after lost form and was dropped from the senior side. Tuck would play in Hawthorn's winning 1972 Reserve grade premiership side.

Rising career (1974 - 1985)[edit]

In the following years Tuck was tried as a winger and defender before in 1974 finding his true niche as a ruck-rover and firmly establishing himself in the Hawthorn senior side. With Don Scott and Leigh Matthews Tuck came to form a following combination feared by every other VFL club and a crucial role in Hawthorn's 1976 and 1978 premierships. After a lapse as Hawthorn mined its rich country zone for new talent, Tuck played a critical[vague] role in Hawthorn's seven successive grand finals between 1983 and 1989. In the last four years of his career Tuck was moved from the ball to the less demanding role of a running half-back flanker, but he still continued to gain huge numbers[vague] of possessions right up to the end of his career.

Captaincy (1986–1991)[edit]

Tuck was the natural successor to the Hawthorn captaincy in 1986 after Leigh Matthews' retirement. He captained them from that year until his retirement in 1991 at the age of 38. He won a total of seven VFL/AFL premierships with Hawthorn, captaining the club in four of them.

Tuck never won Hawthorn's best-and-fairest, but was runner-up on six occasions,[2] and there was a good deal of controversy in 1982 and 1983 when he failed to poll a single vote in the Brownlow Medal, which led to votes for each match being made publicly available for the first time ever in 1984.[3]

His last game was in Hawthorn's premiership win in the Grand Final over West Coast.

Records[edit]

Tuck holds a number of VFL/AFL games records. These are:

  • Most senior games for Hawthorn: 426
  • Most finals games: 39
  • Most grand finals: 11
  • Most premiership wins: 7

He retired as the tenth-oldest player ever; he was 38 years and 95 days old when he retired.[4]

In 2016, Brent Harvey broke Tuck's record of 426 VFL/AFL games.

Statistics[edit]

[5]
Legend
 G  Goals  B  Behinds  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  D  Disposals  M  Marks  T  Tackles
Led the league after finals only
Led the league after season and finals
Season Team # Games G B K H D M T G B K H D M T
Totals Averages (per game)
1972 Hawthorn 17 5 3 3 49 56 7 7 N/A 0.6 0.6 9.8 1.4 11.2 1.4 N/A
1973 Hawthorn 17 11 2 3 111 7 118 16 N/A 0.2 0.3 10.1 0.6 10.7 1.5 N/A
1974 Hawthorn 17 23 23 19 374 44 418 67 N/A 1.0 0.8 16.3 1.9 18.2 2.9 N/A
1975 Hawthorn 17 24 20 25 414 44 458 61 N/A 0.8 1.1 18.0 1.9 19.9 2.7 N/A
1976 Hawthorn 17 25 15 19 435 109 544 72 N/A 0.6 0.8 17.4 4.4 21.8 2.9 N/A
1977 Hawthorn 17 25 13 11 453 114 567 82 N/A 0.5 0.5 18.1 4.6 22.7 3.3 N/A
1978 Hawthorn 17 25 18 25 490 134 624 89 N/A 0.7 1.0 19.6 5.4 25.0 3.6 N/A
1979 Hawthorn 17 22 20 27 419 126 545 68 N/A 0.9 1.2 19.0 5.7 24.8 3.1 N/A
1980 Hawthorn 17 19 15 24 282 103 385 68 N/A 0.8 1.3 14.8 5.4 20.3 3.6 N/A
1981 Hawthorn 17 21 32 31 300 110 410 84 N/A 1.5 1.5 14.3 5.2 19.5 4.0 N/A
1982 Hawthorn 17 25 37 28 374 160 534 73 N/A 1.5 1.1 15.0 21.4 6.4 2.9 N/A
1983 Hawthorn 17 20 33 22 350 98 448 75 N/A 1.7 1.1 17.5 4.9 22.4 3.8 N/A
1984 Hawthorn 17 20 21 14 296 92 388 45 N/A 1.1 0.7 14.8 4.6 19.4 2.3 N/A
1985 Hawthorn 17 23 23 18 305 106 411 63 N/A 1.0 0.8 13.3 4.6 17.9 2.7 N/A
1986 Hawthorn 17 24 13 14 295 179 474 67 N/A 0.5 0.6 12.3 7.5 19.8 2.8 N/A
1987 Hawthorn 17 26 17 14 348 165 513 62 73 0.7 0.5 13.4 6.3 19.7 2.4 2.8
1988 Hawthorn 17 22 4 10 246 132 378 46 40 0.2 0.5 11.2 6.0 17.2 2.1 1.8
1989 Hawthorn 17 23 5 9 284 121 405 64 47 0.2 0.4 12.3 5.3 17.6 2.8 2.0
1990 Hawthorn 17 22 2 5 299 125 424 65 45 0.1 0.2 13.6 5.7 19.3 3.0 2.0
1991 Hawthorn 17 21 4 4 229 94 323 48 55 0.2 0.2 10.9 4.5 15.4 2.3 2.6
Career 426 320 325 6353 2070 8423 1222 260 0.8 0.8 14.9 4.9 19.8 2.9 2.3

Legacy[edit]

Tuck was a skinny ruck-rover with great stamina as evidenced by the length of his career. He held the record as the VFL/AFL games record holder with 426 senior games, from his retirement until 30 July 2016, when the record was broken by North Melbourne's Brent Harvey. However, Tuck's durability is not only reflected in the number of senior games he played, but in having played fifty games in the reserves before becoming a regular senior player.[6] Tuck did poll 120 Brownlow votes for his career, but never got anywhere near winning the award.

His son, Shane Tuck, played in the AFL for Richmond. Another son, Travis Tuck, was drafted in 2005 under the father/son rule by Hawthorn, debuting in 2007.

The medal presented to the best afield in the preseason cup final was named after him in 1992, as was a grandstand at Glenferrie Oval. He was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 1996.

Coaching career[edit]

Tuck briefly served as a reserves coach at Geelong, under former Hawks team-mate Gary Ayres.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Tuck is the brother-in-law of former Geelong player Gary Ablett, Sr., having married Fay Ablett.[8]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Lovett, Michael (editor); AFL Record: Guide to Season 2005; p. 571 ISBN 0-9580300-6-5
  2. ^ Main, Jim and Holmesby, Russell; The Encyclopedia of League Footballers; (1st Edition); p. 442; ISBN 1-86337-085-4
  3. ^ See The Age; 26 September 1984.
  4. ^ "MWB2002.html". freeservers.com. Retrieved 29 December 2016. 
  5. ^ "AFL Tables - Michael Tuck - Stats - Statistics". afltables.com. Retrieved 29 December 2016. 
  6. ^ Lovett; AFL Record; p. 518
  7. ^ Baum, Greg (6 July 1995). "Geelong's new generals". The Age. p. 27. 
  8. ^ McFarlane, Glenn (May 2012). "Abletts reach 'amazing' 900 league games". Sunday Herald Sun. 

References[edit]