Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Brownlow Medal

The Charles Brownlow Medal is an annual medal awarded by the Australian Football League to the "best and fairest" player of the year. It is named after Charles Brownlow.

After each match, the three field umpires (the ones controlling the game) confer and award 3, 2 and 1 vote to the players they regard as the best, second best and third best in the match respectively. On the awards night, the votes over the 22-round home and away (regular) season are tallied and the eligible player with the highest number of votes is awarded the medal. In the past, ties were decided on a countback system, but nowadays it is possible for multiple medals to be awarded in the event of a tie. In fact, the 2003 season saw a three-way tie.

Players who are suspended at some time during the season by the AFL's disclipinary tribunal for serious on-field offences (for instance, punching another player) are ineligible for the award. Suspended players have tallied the highest number of votes for the award on several occasions.

The awards ceremony has become increasingly elaborate, with footballers and their partners gradually becoming more fashion-conscious and this aspect of the night becoming widely reported by gossip columns.

The method of selecting the Brownlow has occasionally come under scrutiny. The Brownlow winners contain a preponderance of midfield players and relatively few "key-position" players, with some of the game's greatest players (for instance, Wayne Carey) never coming close to winning a medal despite their reputation amongst their peers and coaches. Several prominent coaches, including Kevin Sheedy and Leigh Matthews, have publicly criticised the selection process, proposing that coaches or players votes be used instead. The exclusion of suspended players is also debated, but the AFL's desire to promote a good image for the game makes it unlikely that this aspect of the award will change in the near future.

Some bookmakers offer betting on the winner of the Brownlow. A number of well-publicised "plunges" on unlikely winners has led to increasingly elaborate security measures to ensure the Brownlow votes are kept secret until the vote count.

Brownlow Medal Winners

1924Edward GreevesGeelong
1925Colin WatsonSt Kilda
1926Ivor Warne-SmithMelbourne
1927Syd CoventryCollingwood
1928Ivor Warne-SmithMelbourne
1929Albert CollierCollingwood
1930Stan JudkinsRichmond
 Allan HopkinsFootscray
 Harry CollierCollingwood
1931Haydn BuntonFitzroy
1932Haydn BuntonFitzroy
1933Wilfred SmallhornFitzroy
1934Dick ReynoldsEssendon
1935Haydn BuntonFitzroy
1936Dinny RyanFitzroy
1937Dick Reynolds Essendon
1938Dick ReynoldsEssendon
1939Marcus WhelanCollingwood
1940Des FothergillCollingwood
 Herbie MatthewsSouth Melbourne
1941Norman WareFootscray
1942-45Not Awarded 
1946Don CordnerMelbourne
1947Bert DeaconCarlton
1948Bill MorrisRichmond
1949Ron CleggSouth Melbourne
 Col AustenHawthorn
1950Alan RuthvenFitzroy
1951Bernie SmithGeelong
1952Roy WrightRichmond
 Bill HutchinsonEssendon
1953Bill HutchinsonEssendon
1954Roy WrightRichmond
1955Fred GoldsmithSouth Melbourne
1956Peter BoxFootscray
1957Brian GleesonSt Kilda
1958Neil RobertsSt Kilda
1959Bob SkiltonSouth Melbourne
1960John SchultzFootscray
1961John JamesCarlton
1962Alistair LordGeelong
1963Bob SkiltonSouth Melbourne
1964Gordon CollisCarlton
1965Ian StewartSt Kilda
 Noel TeasdaleNorth Melbourne
1966Ian StewartSt Kilda
1967Ross SmithSt Kilda
1968Bob SkiltonSouth Melbourne
1969Kevin MurrayFitzroy
1970Peter BedfordSouth Melbourne
1971Ian StewartRichmond
1972Len ThompsonCollingwood
1973Keith GreigNorth Melbourne
1974Keith GreigNorth Melbourne
1975Gary DempseyFootscray
1976Graham MossEssendon
1977Graeme TeasdaleSouth Melbourne
1978Malcolm BlightNorth Melbourne
1979Peter MooreCollingwood
1980Kelvin TempletonFootscray
1981Barry RoundSouth Melbourne
 Bernie QuinlanFitzroy
1982Brian WilsonMelbourne
1983Ross GlendinningNorth Melbourne
1984Peter MooreMelbourne
1985Brad HardieFootscray
1986Greg WilliamsSydney
 Robert DiPierdomenicoHawthorn
1987Tony LockettSt Kilda
 John PlattenHawthorn
1988Gerard HealySydney
1989Paul CouchGeelong
1990Tony LiberatoreFootscray
1991Jim StynesMelbourne
1992Scott WyndFootscray
1993Gavin WanganeenEssendon
1994Greg WilliamsCarlton
1995Paul KellySydney
1996James HirdEssendon
 Michael VossBrisbane
1997Robert HarveySt Kilda
1998Robert HarveySt Kilda
1999Shane CrawfordHawthorn
2000Shane WoewodinMelbourne
2001Jason AkermanisBrisbane
2002Simon BlackBrisbane
2003Nathan BuckleyCollingwood
 Adam GoodesSydney
 Mark RicciutoAdelaide

External Links