[citation needed], — Scott Maginness on manning Ablett in the 1989 Grand Final[6]. After appearing in several country league representative games, the Hawthorn Football Club, which had already signed Gary's elder brothers Geoff and Kevin onto their lists, invited him to play reserves football.[2]. Ablett put the disappointment of 1991 behind him, and he dedicated himself to improving his fitness base ahead of the 1992 season. Gary Ablett Sr. (born 1 October 1961), is a former professional Australian rules footballer who represented Hawthorn and Geelong in the Australian Football League (AFL). [citation needed], Ablett had well-documented off-field problems, particularly with illegal drug use, and depression in the wake of the Alicia Horan death. Do we mark it down in the greatest-ever lists because of the question marks? In 1990, Ablett was placed on a $10,000 good behaviour bond after he pleaded guilty to repeatedly hitting a man he found sitting in a car with his estranged wife. Ms Ablett — daughter of Geelong footballing great Gary Ablett Sr and sister to Gary Ablett Jr — had been receiving treatment through Barwon Health’s acute psychiatric unit, the Swanston Centre. On representing Victoria, Ablett has said "I've always found it a tremendous honour to represent your state, in a State of Origin game".[13]. By February, it was reported that he was still under pressure to improve his fitness. [2], In 1986, Ablett became a born-again Christian and has been said to be slightly aggrieved at constantly being referred to as "God" by fans, a nickname based on his supreme football abilities. [2] His haul of 27 goals in the 1989 finals series is a record that still stands. He played a further five games for Hawthorn that year for a total of six games and ten goals. 1990 Stimorol AFL #16 Gary Ablett ", "One part beauty, nine parts drama. [5], On 26 June 2006, Ablett was allegedly assaulted at 11:15pm while browsing through a car yard in Fyans Street, South Geelong. He was first selected to play for Victoria in 1984, against Western Australia, only nine games into his career at Geelong, kicking 8 goals in a best-on-ground performance. [11], In 1993, he kicked 4 goals, against a combined New South Wales–Australian Capital Territory side, and in the same year Ablett again performed on the big stage, kicking 5 goals in the State of Origin Carnival Grand Final. Ablett's 9 goals also saw him equal Gordon Coventry's goals record set in the 1928 Grand Final. I thank those who deem me worthy enough to be placed alongside such respected company. In these games, he kicked 10 goals against Richmond in the Anzac Day game, and 11 against Brisbane—one shy of breaking the ground record of 12 goals at Carrara. Nicknamed "God", Ablett is widely regarded as one of Australian football's greatest players, and was especially renowned for his high-flying spectacular marks and his prolific goalkicking. On 1 February 1991, Ablett, aged 29, stunned most football fans when he announced his retirement, citing personal reasons and a loss of enjoyment for the game. He was awarded the Norm Smith Medal for his performance in the 1989 Grand Final, where he was adjudged best player afield. Ablett claimed difficulty coping with city life in Melbourne and his continual absenteeism from training sessions forced Hawthorn coach, Allan Jeans into parting ways with the talented, but wayward young half forward. Is it the greatest ever? [20], In December 2007, Ablett hit back at media claims that his son Nathan had walked away from his football career because of the publicity surrounding the release of a new book about his father. history (4.22 goals per game), 4-time runner-up in Carji Greeves Medal (1985, 1993, 1994, 1995), 3-time third-place getter in Carji Greeves Medal (1986, 1989, 1990), This page was last edited on 17 October 2020, at 11:31. Another son, Nathan, was drafted in 2004 (48th pick) by Geelong under the father-son rule. His season lowlight occurred in Round 12 when he was suspended for 3 matches after he controversially felled the Melbourne captain, Gary Lyon behind the play. [2], Ablett signed a one-year contract for the 1984 season with Geelong, and he began his first season under the guidance of Tom Hafey. [citation needed], Ablett's individual accolades and achievements include an induction into the Australian Football Hall of Fame, an AFL Team of the Century selection, the 1993 AFL Players Association MVP award (now known as the Leigh Matthews Trophy), and three Coleman Medals. xx, 82, 134, 138, After the siren kicks in Australian rules football, "Playing God: The Rise and Fall of Gary Ablett", "Gary Ablett's iconic high five one of the best species of all time", "Glenn’s 10: Glenn McFarlane names the top 10 moments in State-of-Origin footy", "Ablett bashing accused dead in apparent suicide", ‘Deliberately made’: Gary Ablett Sr shares radical coronavirus conspiracy theories, AFL legend Gary Ablett Sr’s lengthy COVID-19 conspiracy theory rant, Gary Ablett Sr rants about coronavirus in online video, "Bank takes Gary Ablett Snr to court over mortgage default", Revealed: what took place in the hotel room, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gary_Ablett_Sr.&oldid=983973482, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, 9x Geelong leading goal kicker: 1985–1986, 1988–1990, 1993–1996, Geelong Football Club Greatest Ever Player Award, Geelong Player of the National Era: 1984–1996, All-time leading goal kicker for Geelong F.C. Ablett pleaded guilty to all four charges, was convicted, and fined $1500. He brought up his maiden century of goals in the season just eight games later, one game slower than record-holder Pratt, and became the first Geelong player to kick 100 goals in a season since Larry Donohue in 1976. [2] Ablett earned best-on-ground honours after kicking 8 goals from the half-forward flank. In 1996, Ablett joined Gordon Coventry, Doug Wade, Jason Dunstall and Tony Lockett as the only players in league history to kick 1000 VFL/AFL goals. [5], Ablett began the 1988 season with 59 goals after just 11 games, placing him second on the goalkicking list behind Hawthorn's Jason Dunstall. [2], Playing mostly on the half forward flank, Ablett won the club's goalkicking award for the following two seasons with 82 and 65 goals respectively. He turned around to me and said, 'If you do that one more time, I'm going to knock you out'. According to Flanagan, Wills and Ablett polarised opinion in similar ways, and displayed a lack of insight into their actions—they simply did what came naturally to them, "like a lot of artists". I did not make this decision lightly but due to medical advice it was deemed best for my health that I do not attend tonight. This generated enormous media interest and drew an abnormally large crowd for the curtain-raiser game at Princes Park. Gary booted 7 goals but injured his knee. His end-of-season total of 124 goals, achieved in just 17 appearances, earned him his first Coleman Medal as the League's leading goal-scorer, the Leigh Matthews Trophy, the AFMA Player of the Year Award, and a top-ten placing in the Brownlow Medal. Ablett was slotted back into the senior side in Round 13. During the preliminary finals in September, he announced his retirement from football. As part of a series of books, "Legends of Australian Sport", Ablett contributed to a book regarding himself. He returned to Hawthorn in 1982 and made his senior VFL debut versus Geelong in Round 2, kicking 1 goal and helping the Hawks defeat the Cats by 19 points. [9], Ablett had a prolific State of Origin career, kicking 43 goals in 11 games. Born: October 1, 1961 in Drouin, Victoria, Australia, 1986 | 1987 | 1989 | 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 2006 | 2008 | 2018. document.write(""); You have 0 of these cards in your collection. After signing a reserves contract and featuring in six reserves games for Hawthorn, Ablett retreated back to his home in Drouin. His year ended on a sour note when he was suspended for striking St Kilda rover Nathan Burke in the first week of the finals, and he subsequently missed Geelong's finals defeats to Hawthorn and West Coast. Ablett, who finished with 3 goals, had again failed to finish the year with the same good form in which he had begun it. [5] Ablett's public acknowledgement of his faith, in particular the influence of God in his life, during his acceptance speech for the Norm Smith Medal in the 1989 Grand Final, was also much publicised. [citation needed], With his contract expiring at the conclusion of the 1987 season, Ablett shocked the VFL by signing a new five-year contract with his former club, Hawthorn. Ablett managed to kick only one goal in a disappointing 60-point loss. Ablett is the only player in VFL/AFL history to kick 100 goals and win the Coleman Medal in three successive seasons. After a "cooling-off" period, however, Ablett opted to remain with Geelong by agreeing to a lucrative five-year contract that tied him to the club for the long-term. In doing so, he became one of only four players (the others being Maurice Rioli −1982, Nathan Buckley −2002, and Chris Judd −2005) to win the medal playing for the losing side. He was also awarded both club and competition best and fairest awards for Drouin at the under-11s, under-12s and under-14s levels. In 1983, he moved with his young family to the country town of Myrtleford. Ablett once had a set of gates named in his honour, but he was upgraded to a terrace at the beginning of the 2006 AFL season. The following year, he was honoured yet again when he was voted as the Greatest Geelong player of all-time ahead of Graham Farmer. The Bombers humbled Geelong by 76 points to force the Cats into a sudden-death Semi Final showdown with Melbourne. [15], Despite his footballing achievements on the field, Ablett's induction into the Australian Football Hall of Fame was initially delayed. The Cats posted a 63-point win against the Demons. He went on to appear in the 1992, 1994, and 1995 grand finals, before officially retiring after the 1996 season. In early June, Ablett had still not recovered; he faced knee surgery. [7], In early 1996, Ablett was suspended for five games for striking St Kilda's 172 cm Kristian Bardsley with a raised forearm. Being chosen to be inducted into the Hall of Fame is one of the highest honours a player could dream of. [2] Although Ablett had developed a reputation for his laconic, lazy attitude to training under coach John Devine, this did not prevent him from earning top three placings in the best and fairest awards from 1985 to 1987. However, he was reported to have committed suicide on 10 July 2006 by jumping from a Melbourne high-rise apartment block the day before he was due to appear before the Geelong Magistrates court to defend the assault charges. Did he take it? In 2005, after many years of controversy and debate (see below), he was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame. Ablett kicked seven goals, and helped set up another meeting with Essendon in the Preliminary Final.

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