Stephen Lawrence

Stephen Lawrence

A South African-born 200cm ruckman / key forward who was a member of Hawthorn’s 1991 AFL premiership side. A product of Mt Gravatt juniors, he won the Larke Medal as the best player overall in the 1986 Australian Teal Cup (U17) Carnival, and made his senior State debut for Queensland a week later against Tasmania in Hobart. Was snapped up by Hawthorn after a handful of QAFL games with Morningside and played 146 AFL games from 1988-98, including seven finals.

Kicked a career-best five goals on debut against North Melbourne in Round 5, 1988, when he stamped himself as a special prospect with 24 possessions, five marks and five hit-outs at centre half forward. Was injured the following week and didn’t play again that season. Playing mainly in the ruck after establishing himself in the side, he had his best years in 1990 (22 games) and ’91 (25 games). Played a key role in the ’91 grand final win over West Coast when runner-up to teammate Paul Dear for the Norm Smith Medal after collecting 21 possessions, 10 marks and 18 hit-outs.

It was an historic occasion – the only grand final ever played at Waverley Park, and the last game of AFL games record-holder Michael Tuck. In the same year he was best afield in Queensland’s historic win over Victoria in a powerhouse display at the Gabba, and played in the first AFL final outside Victoria – a qualifying final against West Coast in Perth.

His father Godfrey played Test cricket for South Africa.

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