|Date of birth||4 September 1950|
|Place of birth||Edenhope, Victoria|
|1970, 1972–1974||Norwood||58 (89)|
|1982||North Melbourne||13 (27)|
|Representative team honours|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1982.
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
Phil Carman (born 4 September 1950 in Edenhope, Victoria) is a former Australian rules footballer who represented Collingwood, Melbourne, Essendon and North Melbourne in the Victorian Football League (VFL) during the 1970s and 1980s.
A flamboyant player who wore white boots and fronted the Tribunal on numerous occasions due to disciplinary issues, Carman was nicknamed "Fabulous Phil" by those who saw him play.
At the age of 16, Carman left his hometown in western Victoria to play for Norwood in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL). He played with Norwood from 1970 until 1974, spending two years out of the game because of a contract wrangle between Norwood and Collingwood and Collingwood’s refusal to allow him to play for Norwood. In total, he played just 58 games for Norwood and several for the South Australian State side. One of his most colourful moments for Norwood was when he rubbed future Adelaide coach Graham Cornes’ face in the mud in front of the Norwood members stand after Cornes had elbowed him (the footage is also famous for Cornes flipping the bird at the Norwood members). By 1974, Collingwood, who had shown plenty of interest in him, finally persuaded him to return to Victoria, even though he did not like the football lifestyle in Melbourne.
Carman made an immediate impression. In his debut VFL season in 1975 he won the Collingwood’s Best and Fairest award, the Copeland Trophy and was Collingwood’s leading goalkicker with 41 goals. He was also selected to play for Victoria, and played in the Championship winning team of the Australian National Football Carnival. Carman did, however, break a bone in his foot during the season, keeping him outs of side for eight weeks, but he still only finished three votes away from winning the VFL’s Best and Fairest, the Brownlow Medal, in his debut year.
In the 1977 Second Semi Final win, Carman was suspended for two matches after striking Hawthorn’s Michael Tuck. This caused him to miss the drawn Grand Final and the subsequent replay against North Melbourne. After the end of the 1978 VFL season, Carman was delisted by Collingwood and he joined Melbourne. He spent the one year there, before moving once again, to Essendon. He played two seasons, but was given a 20-week suspension for head-butting a boundary umpire, and also striking St. Kilda’s Gary Sidebottom. In his comeback match, he was reported again.
Carman moved to North Melbourne in 1982 for his final years. He then retired from the VFL, at the age of 32, and played for regional clubs in Victoria, including Kangaroo Flat and Sandhurst. He also captain-coached the Eastlake Football Club in the Australian Capital Territory Football League (ACTAFL), where he was again suspended for manhandling an umpire.
Retired from playing, Carman then coached Sturt in the SANFL from 1995–2001. and was instrumental in Sturt’s resurgence as a power in the SANFL after a run of wooden spoons from 1989 until his third year in charge. Sturt did not win a game in Carman’s first year, but with excellent recruiting he built the team up to win the 1998 minor premiership, only to fail to Port Adelaide in the Grand Final.
- Holmesby, Russell; Main, Jim (2003). The Encyclopedia of AFL Footballers: every AFL/VFL player since 1897 (5th ed.). Melbourne, Victoria: Crown Content. p. 103. ISBN 1-74095-032-1.
- The Age, "Return of Fabulous Phil", 21 April 2013, Adam McNicol
- Daffey, Paul (12 May 2002). "Collingwood heroes cross paths at last". The Age. p. 10. Retrieved 4 February 2011.