TONY LOCKETT was recruited by the St Kilda Saints from the North Ballarat Roosters ( Victoria ) in 1983 and played 183 Games, kicking 898 Goals for the Saints until the end of the 1994 Season, when he accepted a highly publicised transfer to the Sydey Swans . He then played 98 Games kicking 462 Goals for the Swans until his retirement as a player at the end of the 1999 Season ( he aborted a playing comeback in 2002 due to injury). Lockett’s career Goalkicking tally of 1360 Goals is the highest number of Goals scored by any Australian Football Player in VFL/AFL history. Many of Lockett’s Australian Football Cards and those of many of his Saints and Swans team-mates are available at qualityafltradingcards.com.
Lockett showed his class from his first game and his size and bulk were intimidating to many opposition players. He had surprising speed over the first 5 to 10 metres, marked the ball with a vice-like grip and displayed surprising agility. Lockett’s kicking style was fluent and powerful, with his consistent accuracy proving to be a match-winner on very many occasions at both Clubs. Tony Lockett is the only Full Forward to have ever won the prestigious Brownlow Medal ( an honour he shared with joint winner John Platten in 1987). He also is one of only 2 players ( with Jason Dunstall), to have scored over 100 Goals in a Season on 6 separate occasions. The 1991 Season was considered Lockett’s dominant best, with his 127 Games in 17 Games ( 7.47 Goals per Game ), achieving the highest Game/Season average in VFL/AFL History.
Tony Lockett overcame many injuries throughout his career, missed some vital Games due to Tribunal Suspensions from rough play and succeeded against regular opposition tactical ploys to amass his incredible Career Goalkicking Record. His individuall honours include the St Kilda Saints Best and Fairest Awards in 1987 and 1991, the Sydney Swans Best and Fairest Award in 1995, Coleman Medallist in 1987, 1991, 1996 and 1998, the AFLPA Leigh Matthews Trophy as Most Valuable Player for Season 1987, regular Victorian State of Origin Selection, selection as an All Australian, Brownlow Medallist in 1987 and induction to the Australian Football League Hall of Fame in 2006.
Lockett has been inducted into the St Kilda Saints and Sydney Swans Teams of the Century and Halls of Fame in the last few years and the “Lockett End” at Etihad Stadium is named in his honour. He has enjoyed the pastime as a Greyhound Trainer post retirement, and has maintained his aversion to the Media, which seemed to treat him harshly at times. Tony Lockett was a powerhouse who could quickly turn a game on its head, and due to the accelerated changes sweeping Our Game, we are unlikely to ever witness a player of Lockett’s ilk again.
( Image courtesy of heraldsun.com.au ).