Leigh Matthews

Leigh_MatthewsA Legend in the AFL Hall of Fame and a member of the AFL Team of the Century, he played a pivotal role in the development of Australian Football in Queensland during a golden 10-year reign Brisbane Lions coach from 1999-2008. Voted ‘Player of the Century’ in 1999, he played 332 games and kicked 915 goals for Hawthorn from 1969-85, including 29 finals.

A member of the Hawthorn Team of the Century, he was club captain from 1981-85, played in four premierships in 1971-76-78-83, plus three losing grand finals in 1975-84-85. Also won eight Hawthorn Best & Fairest awards in 1971-72-74-76-77-78-80-82,and was the club’s leading goal-kicker six times in 1973-75-81-82-83-84. Won the AFL Coleman Medal in 1975, and six times finished top 10 in the Brownlow Medal.

Coached Collingwood from 1986-1995, shedding the dreaded ‘Colliewobbles’ when he guided the club to the 1990 premiership. After three years in the media he headed north to take charge of the Lions after they’d collected the 1998 wooden-spoon, masterminding the historic premiership hat-trick of 2001-02-03.

Became just the second person in AFL history

alongside Ron Barassi to enjoy premiership success with three different clubs when in 2001 the Lions became the first club from a ‘non-traditional football state’ to win the flag. A former Victorian captain, he was Victorian State of Origin coach in 1997-98, was All- Australian coach to Ireland in 1998 and was ‘Coach of the Year’ at the Queensland Sport Awards in 1999, 2001 and 2002.

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