Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Wayne Carey

Wayne Carey, known as "the King", or more humbly "Duck" for his slightly hunched gait, regarded as one of the greatest Australian Football League players of all time.

Born in 1971 in Wagga Wagga, a rural city in southern New South Wales regarded as the frontier dividing "Aussie rules" territory with that of rugby league, Carey played for North Adelaide in the SANFL before joining the North Melbourne in 1989(?) and quickly rising to prominence, winning his club's best and fairest award in 1992 and awarded the club captaincy by coach Dennis Pagan in 1993. Dominant as a centre half-forward for his strength, height, fitness, and leading ability (an ability exploited by Pagan who organised the team to kick long to a forward line left open for Carey), he repeated his best and fairest win four times, was selected in the All-Australian team six times and captain four, was leading goalkicker in the league five times, and most importantly, led his financially-struggling club to two premierships in 1996 and 1998.

Despite his widely recognised skill, he is not well-liked by fans of opposing teams, who regard him as arrogant and his tactics as dirty. His tactics have not escaped the umpires' notice, as he has been suspended several times for on-field misbehaviour and has never won a Brownlow medal despite seasons where he was widely favoured to do so, nor a Norm Smith medal despite dominating performances in his grand final appearances. He has never been entirely comfortable with media appearances either, unlike some of his media-savvy contemporaries.

Carey's off-field reputation was clouded after pleading guilty to indecent assault in 1996, in an incident where, after leaving a nightclub, he grabbed a young woman's breast. Other rumours about his boorish behaviour towards women have circulated from time to time.

In March 2002, Carey was pressured to resign from the Kangaroos in sensational circumstances after other senior players reportedly agreed that they were unwilling to continue playing alongside him, after it was revealed that he had an ongoing extramarital affair with the wife of the Roos' vice-captain, Anthony Stevens. For some time, it was unclear whether he would choose to play AFL football again, but by the end of the 2002 season and after a bidding war between several clubs, Carey announced that he wished to play for the Adelaide Crows in 2003 and the Kangaroos and Crows eventually negotiated the terms of a deal to allow the exchange to happen.