Tuesday, 28 May 2024

AFL Brownlow Medal

The AFL Brownlow Medal, officially known as the Charles Brownlow Trophy, is a prestigious award presented to the player who is deemed the “fairest and best” during the AFL regular season, excluding finals matches. Named after Charles Brownlow, a prominent Geelong player and administrator during the early days of the Victorian Football League (VFL), the Brownlow Medal holds significant importance in Australian football.

Voting System

Initially, the media had the responsibility of determining the recipient of the Brownlow Medal for its first ten years. However, the voting system has since been changed to involve the field umpires. Over the years, there have been variations in the voting system. From 1924 to 1930, only one vote was awarded per game, while the current system awards six votes per game: 3, 2, and 1 for the top three players. In 1976 and 1977, there were 12 votes per game, with each of the two field umpires awarding 3, 2, and 1 votes.

Players who are suspended at any point during the season become ineligible for the award, although their votes are still counted.

Fascinating Facts

  • The inaugural winner of the Brownlow Medal in 1924 was Edward Greeves from Geelong.
  • Corey McKernan of North Melbourne (1996) and Chris Grant of the Western Bulldogs (1997) hold the distinction of achieving the highest number of votes while being suspended.
  • Four players have won the award three times, including Haydn Bunton, Sr. from Fitzroy (1931, 1932, and 1935), Dick Reynolds from Essendon (1934, 1937, and 1938), Bob Skilton from South Melbourne (1959, 1963, and 1968), and Ian Stewart from St Kilda/Richmond (1965, 1966, and 1971).
  • Five players have won the Brownlow Medal while representing different clubs, namely Ian Stewart (St Kilda in 1965, 1966, and Richmond in 1971), Peter Moore (Collingwood in 1979, Melbourne in 1984), Greg Williams (Sydney in 1986, Carlton in 1994), Chris Judd (West Coast Eagles in 2004, Carlton in 2010), and Gary Ablett Jr. (Geelong in 2009, Gold Coast Suns in 2013).
  • Graham Teasdale from South Melbourne holds the record for the highest number of votes polled by a winner, with 59 votes in 1977. This particular year featured two umpires giving votes for each game.
  • In 1992, Jon Dorotich from Carlton managed to receive two Brownlow Medal votes despite having only 3 disposals, 0 marks, and 0 tackles in a match against St Kilda. This recognition highlighted his impressive defensive performance in keeping Tony Lockett goaless in the second half.
  • Jobe Watson, the 2012 winner, was stripped of his Brownlow Medal in 2016 due to a doping violation.
  • Dustin Martin from Richmond, the 2017 winner, set a record with 11 “best on ground” (BOG) votes.
  • The 2021 Brownlow Medal count, held in Perth, made history with four players polling at least 30 votes.
  • In 2022, the players from the West Coast team collectively received only 15 votes, the lowest total in the AFL era.
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Q: Can suspended players still receive votes for the Brownlow Medal?
A: Yes, suspended players can still receive votes for the Brownlow Medal, although they become ineligible to win the award.

Q: How are the votes for the Brownlow Medal determined?
A: The votes for the Brownlow Medal are currently decided by the field umpires. They award 3, 2, and 1 votes to the top three players in each game.

Q: Who was the first-ever winner of the Brownlow Medal?
A: Edward Greeves from Geelong was the inaugural winner of the Brownlow Medal in 1924.


The AFL Brownlow Medal is an esteemed recognition bestowed upon the player who is considered the “fairest and best” during the AFL regular season. The voting system, which has evolved over the years, now involves the field umpires in determining the recipients of the award. With its rich history and fascinating trivia, the Brownlow Medal holds a special place in Australian football. For more information about the AFL Brownlow Medal, visit Auralpressure.