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Magarey Medal

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Subject: South Australian National Football League, Malcolm Blight, Jim Handby, Bob Quinn (Australian footballer), Kym Hodgeman
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Magarey Medal

The Magarey Medal is an Australian rules football honour awarded annually since 1898 to the fairest and most brilliant player in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL), as judged by field umpires. The award was created by William Ashley Magarey, then chairman of the league.

After each match, the three field umpires (those umpires who control the flow of the game) confer and award 3, 2 and 1 points to the players they regard as the best, second best and third best during the match. Players suspended for a reportable offence during the season are ineligible to win the award though they can continue gaining votes leading to times when an ineligible player would poll the most votes in the medal count but not win the medal. The most celebrated time was in 1983 when Glenelg player Stephen Kernahan polled a then record 44 votes but due to being suspended in Round 4 of the season the medal was awarded to Tony Antrobus of North Adelaide who polled 35 votes.


  • History 1
  • Recipients 2
    • Multiple recipients 2.1
  • See also 3
  • External links 4


William Magarey was born in Adelaide, South Australia. A lawyer by vocation, he had an enduring interest in sports, although he did not play football. He was, however, an active sports administrator who, in 1897, became the inaugural Chairman of the South Australian Football Association (later renamed the SANFL). The sport at that time was known for often rough play, and Magarey wanted to help combat this, and help gain more respect for umpires.

In 1898 Magarey presented the first Medal to South Australia’s "fairest and most brilliant player" of that season. Similar Best and Fairest player awards followed in other state-based competitions, notably the Sandover Medal in Western Australia from 1921 and Brownlow Medal in Victoria from 1924.

The Magarey Medal has been awarded in every year of SANFL competition since 1898, with the exception of 1900, 1904 (no record being extant), when the competition was suspended due to war 1916-1918, and when a restricted competition was held during the war period of 1942-1944.

In the 1990s the awarding of the medal was changed so that players tied on the most number of votes would share the medal. Prior to this, a "countback" system was used, whereby the player with the most "best on ground" performances would be awarded the medal. In 1998, ten players who had finished runner-up over prior years owing to the countback rule were retrospectively awarded the Magarey Medal.


The first recipient of the Magarey Medal was Norwood’s Alby Green in 1898.
Year Player Team Votes
1898 Alby Green Norwood none
1899 Stan Malin Port Adelaide none
1900 No Award
1901 Phil Sandland North Adelaide none
1902 Tom MacKenzie West Torrens none
1903 Hendrick Waye Sturt none
1904 No Award
1905 Tom MacKenzie North Adelaide none
1906 Tom MacKenzie North Adelaide none
1907 Jack Mack Port Adelaide none
1908 James Tierney West Adelaide none
1909 Richard Head West Adelaide none
1910 Sampson Hosking Port Adelaide none
1911 Harold Cumberland Sturt none
1912 Dave Low West Torrens none
1913 Tom Leahy North Adelaide none
1914 Jack Ashley Port Adelaide *
1915 Frank Barry South Adelaide *
Charlie Perry Norwood *
Sampson Hosking Port Adelaide *
Play suspended due to WWI
1919 Dan Moriarty South Adelaide *
1920 Vic Richardson Sturt *
Dan Moriarty South Adelaide *
1921 John Karney West Torrens 5*
Charlie Adams Port Adelaide 5*
Dan Moriarty South Adelaide 5*
Wat Scott Norwood 5*
1922 Robert Barnes West Adelaide 8*
1923 Horrie Riley Sturt *
1924 Wat Scott Norwood *
1925 Alick Lill Norwood 34***
Peter Bampton Port Adelaide 34***
1926 Bruce McGregor West Adelaide ***
1927 Bruce McGregor West Adelaide ***
1928 Jim Handby Glenelg ***
1929 Robert Snell West Adelaide ***
1930 Wat Scott Norwood 53***
1931 Jack Sexton West Adelaide ***
1932 Max Pontifex West Torrens ***
1933 Keith Dunn Sturt ***
1934 George Johnston Glenelg 46***
1935 Jack Cockburn South Adelaide 42***
1936 Bill McCallum Norwood 31***
1937 Harold Hawke North Adelaide 37***
1938 Bob Quinn Port Adelaide 32***
1939 Jeff Pash North Adelaide 16***
Ray McArthur West Adelaide 16***
1940 Mel Brock Glenelg ***
1941 Marcus Boyall Glenelg 25***
Play suspended due to WWII
1945 Bob Quinn Port Adelaide ***
1946 Bob Hank West Torrens ***
1947 Bob Hank West Torrens
1948 Ron Phillips North Adelaide 15
1949 Ron Phillips North Adelaide
Allan Crabb Glenelg
1950 Ian McKay North Adelaide 20
1951 John Marriott Norwood
1952 Len Fitzgerald Sturt 25
1953 Jim Deane South Adelaide 26
1954 Len Fitzgerald Sturt
1955 Lindsay Head West Torrens
1956 Dave Boyd Port Adelaide
1957 Ron Benton West Adelaide
Jim Deane South Adelaide
1958 Lindsay Head West Torrens
1959 Len Fitzgerald Sturt
1960 Barrie Barbary North Adelaide
1961 John Halbert Sturt
1962 Ken Eustice West Adelaide
1963 Lindsay Head West Torrens
1964 Geof Motley Port Adelaide
1965 Gary Window Central District
1966 Ron Kneebone Norwood
1967 Trevor Obst Port Adelaide
Don Lindner North Adelaide
1968 Barrie Robran North Adelaide
1969 Fred Phillis Glenelg
1970 Barrie Robran North Adelaide 24
1971 Russell Ebert Port Adelaide
1972 Malcolm Blight Woodville
1973 Barrie Robran North Adelaide
1974 Russell Ebert Port Adelaide 28
1975 Peter Woite Port Adelaide 20
1976 Russell Ebert Port Adelaide 42
1977 Trevor Grimwood West Adelaide 32
1978 Kym Hodgeman Glenelg 50**
1979 John Duckworth Central District 44**
1980 Russell Ebert Port Adelaide 49**
1981 Michael Aish Norwood 44**
1982 Tony McGuinness Glenelg 44**
1983 Tony Antrobus North Adelaide 35**
1984 John Platten Central District 66**
1985 Grantley Fielke West Adelaide 54**
1986 Greg Anderson Port Adelaide 23
1987 Andrew Jarman North Adelaide 23
1988 Greg Whittlesea Sturt 28
1989 Gilbert McAdam Central District 23
1990 Scott Hodges Port Adelaide 16
First AFL Season.
1991 Mark Naley South Adelaide 29
1992 Nathan Buckley Port Adelaide 27
1993 Brenton Phillips North Adelaide 20
1994 Garry McIntosh Norwood 22
1995 Glenn Kilpatrick West Adelaide 17
Garry McIntosh Norwood 17
1996 Josh Francou North Adelaide 26
1997 Brodie Atkinson Sturt 23
Andrew Jarman Norwood 23
1998 Andrew Osborn South Adelaide 16
1999 Damian Squire Sturt 21
2000 Damian Squire Sturt 21
2001 Tony Brown Port Adelaide 19
Ryan O'Connor Port Adelaide 19
2002 Tim Weatherald Sturt 16
Jade Sheedy Sturt 16
2003 Brett Ebert Port Adelaide 25
2004 Paul Thomas Central District 22
2005 Jeremy Clayton Port Adelaide 24
2006 Brett Backwell Glenelg 26
2007 James Allan North Adelaide 19
2008 Luke Crane Sturt 22
2009 James Ezard West Adelaide 18
Rhys Archard North Adelaide 18
2010 James Allan North Adelaide 22
2011 James Allan North Adelaide 25
2012 Joel Cross South Adelaide 18
Brad Symes Central District 18
2013 Matt Thomas Norwood 26
2014 Zane Kirkwood Sturt 29
2015 Joel Cross South Adelaide 25
  • (*) signifies that 1 vote was awarded by 1 umpire each game.
  • (**) signifies two umpires both awarded 3,2,1 votes each game.
  • (***) signifies two umpires both awarded 5,2,1 votes each game.
  • Those without an asterix signify a maximum of 3 votes awarded each game along with 2 and 1.

Multiple recipients

The following players have been multiple recipients of the medal.

Years Player Team
Quadruple winners
1971, 1974, 1976, 1980 R Ebert Port Adelaide
Triple winners
1902, 1905, 1906 T D MacKenzie West Torrens / North Adelaide
1921, 1924, 1930 W Scott Norwood
1919, 1920, 1921 D Moriarty South Adelaide
1952, 1954, 1959 L C Fitzgerald Sturt
1955, 1958, 1963 L H Head West Torrens
1968, 1970, 1973 B C Robran North Adelaide
2007, 2010, 2011 J Allan North Adelaide
Dual winners
1910, 1915 S Hosking Port Adelaide
1926, 1927 H B McGregor West Adelaide
1938, 1945 R B Quinn Port Adelaide
1946, 1947 R W Hank West Torrens
1948, 1949 H R Phillips North Adelaide
1953, 1957 J Deane South Adelaide
1994, 1995 G McIntosh Norwood
1987, 1997 A N Jarman North Adelaide / Norwood
1999, 2000 D Squire Sturt
2012, 2015 J Cross South Adelaide

Malcolm Blight (1972), John Platten (1984) and Nathan Buckley (1992) are Magarey Medallists who subsequently won a Brownlow Medal as best and fairest players in AFL/VFL competition.

See also

List of Magarey Medallists

External links

  • SANFL History of the Magarey Medal
  • Full Points Footy - Magarey Medal
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