Tony Russell

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Tony Russell
Personal information
Full name Anthony Russell
Date of birth (1961-01-13) 13 January 1961 (age 60)
Original team(s) Hamilton [1]
Height 188 cm (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 83 kg (183 lb)
Position(s) Full-forward
Playing career1
YearsClubGames (Goals)
1982–1984 Collingwood 008 0(17)
1986–1994 South Warrnambool 149 (792)
1996–1998 Koroit 056
1999–2001 Port Fairy 042
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2001.
Career highlights
  • Preston premiership: 1984
  • South Warrnambool premierships: 1990, 1991, 1994
  • HFL leading-goalkicker: 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994
  • HFL all-time leading goal-kicker: 1020 goals
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Anthony "Tony" Russell (born 13 January 1961) is a former Australian rules footballer who played for Collingwood in the Victorian Football League (VFL). He is also the most prolific forward in the history of the Hampden Football League, with a record 1020 goals. [2]

Originally from Coleraine, Russell was only a teenager when he kicked over 100 goals in a season for Hamilton in the Western Border Football League. [3]

Russell played seven VFL games in three seasons at Collingwood. [4] He kicked four goals when he made his debut, against Essendon, in the 1982 VFL season, but his best haul came the following year, with six goals, four of them in the final quarter, against the Sydney Swans at Victoria Park. [4] [5]

He crossed to Victorian Football Association club Preston during 1984 and was a member of their premiership team that year. Although he was kept quiet by the Frankston defenders in the grand final, Russell had played a large role in getting them there, with 10 goals in Preston's semi final win over Geelong West. [6] [7]

He left Preston at the end of 1984 and was linked to Williamstown during the pre-season. He finished the 1985 season playing for Cavendish in the South West DFL. In 1986 he signed with Beaufort in the Ballarat FL, but a disagreement with the coach and board lead him to request a clearance to South Warrnambool, where he would kick 792 goals, averaging over six a game. [2] He played in three premiership teams and was the Hampden Football League leading-goalkicker every season from 1986 to 1991, then for a seventh time in 1994. [2] [3]

During a stint at South Rovers in 1993, Russell set a Warrnambool District Football League record with 165 goals in a season. [3] That tally included a 25-goal haul against Merrivale. [3] His next best effort in a season was 157, which he kicked for Caramut in 1995. [3]

From 1996 to 1998, Russell played for Hampden club Koroit, then from 1999 to 2001 he was captain-coach at Port Fairy, where he brought up his 1000th league goal. [3]

He finished his career playing for the Deakin University sharks in the Warrnambool & District Football League.

Russell, who retired aged 43, is believed to have kicked in excess of 2000 goals over the course of his career and played in 15 grand finals, from which he finished on the premiership winning team nine times. [3]

He now works in Broome as a Prison Officer at Broome Regional Prison. [2]

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References

  1. Holmesby, Russell; Main, Jim (2007). The Encyclopedia Of AFL Footballers. BAS Publishing. ISBN   9781920910785.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Warrnambool Standard, "South Warrnambool puts Russell up for top honour", 7 July 2011, Greg Best
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 The Weekly Times ,"Bush legend: Tony Russell", 27 September 2012, Ken Piesse
  4. 1 2 AFL Tables: Anthony Russell
  5. Canberra Times , "Magpies turn on the style", 14 August 1983, p. 26
  6. The Age ,"Shaw leads the Bullants to victory", 24 September 1984, p. 28
  7. The Age ,"Russell's 10 goals seal Preston win" [ permanent dead link ], 10 September 1984, p. 23