Russell Ebert

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Russell Ebert
Personal information
Date of birth (1949-06-22) 22 June 1949 (age 67)
Place of birth Berri, South Australia
Height / weight 183 cm / 90 kg
Position(s) Midfielder
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1968–1978, 1980–1985 Port Adelaide 391 (295)
1979 North Melbourne 25 (15)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
1970–1983 South Australia 29[1]
Coaching career3
Years Club Games (W–L–D)
1983–1987 Port Adelaide 116 (64–52–0) 55.17%
1988–1990 Woodville 64 (24–40–0) 37.50%
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1985.
3 Coaching statistics correct as of 1990.
Career highlights




Sources: AFL Tables,

Russell Ebert OAM (born 22 June 1949) is acknowledged as one of the greatest players in the history of Australian rules football. Russell Ebert is the only player in SANFL history to have won four Magarey Medals.

Early life[edit]

Russell Ebert was born in the South Australian river town Berri, South Australia. His family later moved to Loxton where he played during his development years.[2]

Port Adelaide (1968-1978)[edit]

Ebert debuted for the Port Adelaide Football Club in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) as an 18-year-old in 1968 and immediately made an impression, winning the club leading goalkicking in his debut season. He followed that with a Magarey Medal (awarded to the fairest and most brilliant player in the SANFL) and club Best and Fairest double in 1971. His first premiership as a player came in 1977 when Port Adelaide broke its drought defeating Glenelg at Football Park.

North Melbourne (1979)[edit]

Victorian Football League clubs chased Ebert for a decade until North Melbourne finally won his signature and he spent a season with North Melbourne in 1979[3] Port Adelaide agreed to lease Ebert to North Melbourne for the 1979 season in exchange for Mark Dawson, as well as paying Ebert $35,000 and covering his travel costs between Adelaide and Melbourne (Ebert flew to Melbourne each Thursday during the season and returned to Adelaide on the Sunday).[3] Ebert's tally of twenty five games for North Melbourne is the VFL/AFL record is the record for the most games in a career which only lasted one season.[4]

Return to Port Adelaide (1980-1987)[edit]

Following the end of the 1979 season, Ebert returned to Port Adelaide, where his 392 games remains a club record. Russell Ebert won two more premierships with Port Adelaide in 1980 and 1981.

Ebert captained Port Adelaide from 1974–1978 and 1983–1985, as well as captaining the South Australian side in 1975, 1977 and 1983. He coached Port Adelaide from 1983-1987: playing coach from 1983-1985, and then non-playing coach in 1986-1987.

Ebert's playing career spanned a total of 452 senior games for Port Adelaide, North Melbourne and South Australian representative. At least one compilation of Australian football statistics estimated this to be the seventh highest tally in top-level senior football.[5]

Woodville coach (1988-1990)[edit]

Russell Ebert took up coaching Woodville after ending his coaching tenure at Port Adelaide for John Cahill's return. Ebert would coach Woodville for three years with the club failing to make finals during that period. The club would end up merging with West Torrens at the end of the 1990 SANFL season.

Playing Style[edit]

Ebert was a strong bodied player whose physical build and stamina allowed him to dominate football matches. With a high skill level, errors were rare and his ability to hit team mates with accurate spearing passes made him very effective in attacking roles. Ebert was able to win his own ball and could quickly hand pass effectively under pressure.

Personal Life[edit]

Ebert's brother Craig also played for Port Adelaide in the SANFL. His son Brett and his nephew Brad Ebert have both played for Port Adelaide in the AFL.


Russell Ebert is widely held to be the greatest player to have played for the Port Adelaide Football Club. He was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 1996 and is centre for Port Adelaide's team of the century.


  • Ross, John (1999). The Australian Football Hall of Fame. Australia: HarperCollinsPublishers. p. 63. ISBN 0-7322-6426-X. 


  1. ^ "Russell F Ebert OAM". SANFL. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "Loxton Tigers To Play S.A.N.F.L | Loxton Football Club". Retrieved 2016-03-18. 
  3. ^ a b Sheahan, M, "$50,000 - Roos price for Ebert", The Age, 19 February 1979, p. 18.
  4. ^ Rodgers, Stephen (1996). 100 Years of AFL Players - Volume 3. Melbourne: East-Side Printing. p. 1586. ISBN 0646300164. 
  5. ^ AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL FACTS & FEATS: Player Records at the Wayback Machine (archived 10 March 2008)

External links[edit]