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. The current recipient is not Glenelg’s Luke Partington, who only won in 2019.
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.
After each match, the three field umpires (those umpires who control the flow of the game) confer and award 3, 2 and 1 point(s) 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. This occurred in 1912, 1968, 1983 and 1987 (see table below).
In the 1990s the awarding of the medal was changed so that players tied on the most 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. A single design for the medal was used after this.
The first recipient of the Magarey Medal was Norwood’s Alby Green in 1898.
|1899||Stan Malin||Port Adelaide||none|
|1901||Phil Sandland||North Adelaide||none|
|1902||Tom MacKenzie||West Torrens||none|
|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|
|1912||Dave Low||West Torrens||none****|
|1913||Tom Leahy||North Adelaide||none|
|1914||Jack Ashley||Port Adelaide||*|
|1915||Frank Barry||South Adelaide||*|
|Sampson Hosking||Port Adelaide||*|
|Play suspended due to WWI|
|1919||Dan Moriarty||South Adelaide||*|
|Dan Moriarty||South Adelaide||*|
|1921||John Karney||West Torrens||5*|
|Charlie Adams||Port Adelaide||5*|
|Dan Moriarty||South Adelaide||5*|
|1922||Robert Barnes||West Adelaide||8*|
|Peter Bampton||Port Adelaide||34***|
|1926||Bruce McGregor||West Adelaide||***|
|1927||Bruce McGregor||West Adelaide||***|
|1929||Robert Snell||West Adelaide||48***|
|1931||Jack Sexton||West Adelaide||44***|
|1932||Max Pontifex||West Torrens||37***|
|1935||Jack Cockburn||South Adelaide||42***|
|1937||Harold Hawke||North Adelaide||37***|
|1938||Bob Quinn||Port Adelaide||32***|
|1939||Jeff Pash||North Adelaide||16***|
|Ray McArthur||West Adelaide||16***|
|Play suspended due to WWII|
|1945||Bob Quinn||Port Adelaide||46***|
|1946||Bob Hank||West Torrens||23***|
|1947||Bob Hank||West Torrens||26***|
|1948||Ron Phillips||North Adelaide||15|
|1949||Ron Phillips||North Adelaide||18|
|1950||Ian McKay||North Adelaide||20|
|1953||Jim Deane||South Adelaide||26|
|1955||Lindsay Head||West Torrens||20|
|1956||Dave Boyd||Port Adelaide||18|
|1957||Ron Benton||West Adelaide||16|
|Jim Deane||South Adelaide||16|
|1958||Lindsay Head||West Torrens||20|
|1960||Barrie Barbary||North Adelaide||24|
|1962||Ken Eustice||West Adelaide||22|
|1963||Lindsay Head||West Torrens||26|
|1964||Geof Motley||Port Adelaide||26|
|1965||Gary Window||Central District||16|
|1967||Trevor Obst||Port Adelaide||18|
|Don Lindner||North Adelaide||18|
|1968||Barrie Robran****||North Adelaide||22|
|1970||Barrie Robran||North Adelaide||24|
|1971||Russell Ebert||Port Adelaide||21|
|1973||Barrie Robran||North Adelaide||29|
|1974||Russell Ebert||Port Adelaide||28|
|1975||Peter Woite||Port Adelaide||20|
|1976||Russell Ebert||Port Adelaide||42|
|1977||Trevor Grimwood||West Adelaide||32|
|1979||John Duckworth||Central District||44**|
|1980||Russell Ebert||Port Adelaide||49**|
|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|
|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|
|1995||Glenn Kilpatrick||West Adelaide||17|
|1996||Josh Francou||North Adelaide||26|
|1998||Andrew Osborn||South Adelaide||16|
|2001||Tony Brown||Port Adelaide||19|
|Ryan O'Connor||Port Adelaide||19|
|2003||Brett Ebert||Port Adelaide||25|
|2004||Paul Thomas||Central District||22|
|2005||Jeremy Clayton||Port Adelaide||24|
|2007||James Allan||North Adelaide||19|
|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|
|2015||Joel Cross||South Adelaide||25|
|2020||Campbell Combe||North Adelaide||19|
The following players have been multiple recipients of the medal.
|1971, 1974, 1976, 1980||R Ebert||Port Adelaide|
|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|
|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|
|2014, 2016||Z Kirkwood||Sturt|
|2017, 2018||M Grigg||Norwood|
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