Paul Salmon

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For the rugby league footballer for Ireland, and Barrow Raiders, see Paul Salmon (rugby league).
Paul Salmon
Personal information
Full name Paul Salmon
Date of birth (1965-01-20) 20 January 1965 (age 50)
Original team North Ringwood
Height/Weight 206cm / 112kg
Position(s) Full Forward, Ruckmen
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
209 (509)
100 0(41)
015 0(11)
324 (561)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
Victoria ? (?)
1 Playing statistics correct to end of 2002 season.
Career highlights

Paul Salmon (born 20 January 1965) is a former Australian rules footballer. Recruited from North Ringwood, the 206 cm (6 ft 9 in) Salmon was, at the time, along with Carlton's Justin Madden, the tallest man to play AFL football. Affectionately known as "Fish", Salmon was a well-known Full Forward and Ruckman in the Australian Football League over a long period of time.

AFL career[edit]

Essendon (1983-1995)[edit]

He made his debut in 1983 with Essendon, however it was during the 1984 VFL season in which he established himself as the league's leading full forward kicking 63 goals in 12 games (Essendon's leading ruckman at the time was Simon Madden, which allowed Bombers coach Kevin Sheedy the luxury of playing the accurate kicking "Fish" up forward). His effectiveness in the position was due to his athleticism and ability to win one-on-one marking contests using his superior height and mobility. At the time, Salmon was the VFL's equal tallest player alongside Carlton's Justin Madden (Simon Madden's younger brother), and one of only a handful of VFL players who stood over 200 cm (6'7") tall.

Despite leading the goalkicking, half way through the season a serious knee injury which required a full reconstruction left him sidelined for over a year, he recovered to kick 6 goals 4 behinds in the 1985 premiership side. From this point onward he would rotate between full forward and his favoured ruck position with Simon Madden, who was in the twilight of his glittering career. He endured further minor complications with his knee injury and numerous soft tissue injuries over the next few years and was never allowed to settle in a specific role on field, despite this he played a vital role for the team, becoming Vice Captain in 1992, and culminating in leading the Bombers season goal kicking tally on seven occasions, as well as playing in Essendon's 1993 premiership where he kicked 5 goals in helping Essendon to a 20.13 (133) to 13.11 (89) win over Carlton in the Grand Final in front of 96,862 fans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

After serious injuries to his Achilles tendon and groins in 1993 and 1994, and with the knowledge time was running out, he decided his time as a 'Bomber' was over at 31 years of age so he requested a new home and was subsequently traded to Hawthorn, the club whom he supported as a child. He was selected in Kevin Sheedy's best team of his 27 years as coach and at number 26 in the 'Champions of Essendon' which was a list of the best of the past century who wore the red and black.

Hawthorn (1996-2000)[edit]

At the end of 1995, Salmon moved to Hawthorn, where he played from 1996–2000, and revived his career winning the Best and Fairest in '96 and '97 as well as the Most Consistent Award in '98. He became Vice Captain in '98 and also finished in the top ten in every best and fairest in each of his five years at the club. After 5 season's and 100 games with the Hawks he retired at the age of 35 and not long after was named in Hawthorn's 'Team of the Century'.

In 1997, Salmon achieved All-Australian selection after also gaining selection for Victoria that year as first ruck.

In 1999, he won the Michael Tuck Medal for a best on ground performance in the winning Hawk's night Grand Final.

Retirement and comeback[edit]

Salmon retired from playing football at the end of the 2000 season and did not play in the 2001 AFL season.[citation needed] He made a comeback in 2002, after being drafted by Essendon at 37 years of age.[citation needed] He played 15 games in 2002 before permanently retiring from AFL football.

Career after football[edit]

Salmon has also worked in the media co hosting 'Sportsworld' for the Seven Network and 'Time Out for Serious Fun' for the Nine Network, and has released several books. He released an autobiography called The Big Fish : Paul Salmon's Own Story in 2001, and Fish Tales, a book recalling humorous on and off field incidents, in 2002. He followed up in 2003 with another titled called More Fish Tales.

He also worked as a coach of the First XVIII Football team at Carey Baptist Grammar School, he retired from that position in 2008 to spend more time with his family, and concentrate on business interests.


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Darren Jarman
Hawthorn Best and Fairest winner
Succeeded by
Shane Crawford
Preceded by
Wayne Carey
Michael Tuck Medallist
Succeeded by
Mark Mercuri