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Jason Dunstall joins Hall of Fame Legends

HAWTHORN champion Jason Dunstall will become the 32nd player elevated to Legend status in the Australian Football Hall of Fame.

HAWTHORN champion Jason Dunstall will become the 32nd player elevated to Legend status in the Australian Football Hall of Fame. 

Dunstall finished his career in 1998 as the third-most prolific goalkicker in VFL/AFL history with 1254 majors, trailing only St Kilda and Sydney great Tony Lockett (1360), and Collingwood sharpshooter Gordon Coventry (1299).

Dunstall was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002, and both Coventry and Lockett are already Legends in the Hall of Fame. 

He reached the fabled 100-goal mark in six seasons (1988, ’89, ’92, ’93, ’94 and ’96), with a best of 145 goals in 1992, the same year he booted a personal-best 17 goals in a single game (against Richmond in round seven at Waverley Park). 

Dunstall captained the Hawks in the later years of his career, before joining the club’s Board as Football Director in 2004, whilst also briefly stepping up as interim CEO.

Dunstall’s service as Football Director extended just shy of a decade, with his work integral in setting the club up for its golden run that included a premiership in 2008, before the remarkable three-peat in 2013, 2014, and 2015.

He since has moved into the media as a respected commentator and analyst across radio and television, where he still works today.  

“It’s an incredible privilege. I feel very humbled, almost to the point of embarrassment,” the 59-year-old told reporters on Monday.

“When you consider there’s just a tick over 30 Legends in the game, it’s the highest honour you can imagine.

“I feel incredibly grateful to the AFL. It’s been a massive part of my life and to sit amongst names that are synonymous with the game now is incredibly humbling.”

Over a 13-year career at the Hawks from 1985-98, Dunstall established himself as one of the finest full-forwards the game has ever seen. His combination of strong marking, explosive pace on the lead and accurate goalkicking was a key driver in the Hawks claiming four premierships in his time at the club. 

“I was at the end of the production line at Hawthorn,” he said.

“When you’re full-forward and you’ve got all these great players further afield that continue to pump the ball down to you … I always defer to my teammates.

“I was blessed to be on the receiving end of some of the most skilful players to have ever played the game.”

AFL Commission chair Richard Goyder said the League preferred to celebrate Dunstall’s achievements ahead of the official Hall of Fame induction night on June 18, rather than keep the decision secret. 

“As a four-time premiership player for Hawthorn, four-time club best and fairest, three-time Coleman Medallist and 12-time leading goalkicker for the Hawks, he is a Legend by any measure in our sport,” Goyder said. 
 
“It is extraordinary to think he kicked double figures in 16 separate games and his 17 goals against Richmond at Waverley in 1992 is the equal second-highest tally in a VFL/AFL game in history.
 
“Forwards have always held a special appeal for footy fans through the generations and he sits easily alongside the great goalkickers of the past like Coventry, Pratt and Coleman, and names across the game like Robertson, Naylor and Farmer.
 
“Football congratulates Jason on his brilliance and thanks him for everything he has given football, as our next official Legend of the Game.”

JASON DUNSTALL
Playing career: 1985-1998
Games: 269. Goals: 1254

PLAYING HONOURS

  • 2nd (equal) Brownlow Medal 1988, 1992, 3rd (equal) Brownlow Medal 1989
  • 4x Hawthorn Best & Fairest: 1988, 1989, 1992, 1993
  • Hawthorn Captain 1995-98;
  • 4 Premierships: 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991
  • 12 x Hawthorn leading goalkicker: 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998
  • 3x Coleman Medal 1988, 1989, 1992
  • Hawthorn Team of the Century
  • 4x All Australian 1988, 1989, 1992, 1994
  • State of Origin – Victoria (3 games, 14 goals); Queensland (4 games, 10 goals); Allies (1 game, 0 goals).
  • Hawthorn FC Life Member: 1991
  • Hawthorn FC Board: 2004-2013
  • Hawthorn FC Hall of Fame: 2005
  • Hawthorn FC Legend: 2014