AFL HoF: Brad Hardie

What took so long? There are lots of great players but few can lay claim to changing how the game is played. Brad Hardie raised expectations of every back pocket that followed him. Considerably. No longer were they limited to just shutting down the resting midfielders, Hardie showed that the best form of defence was to attack. Whilst M Malthouse was pulling his hair out because Hardie’s bloke was unguarded near goal, Hardie was up the other end kicking goals. Sometimes he’d kick more goals than the small forward he was on. Played his best games on the best players in State of Origin clashes against Victoria and SA. A genuine star.


That’s a cracking ad!! I read the story on him, didn’t know that the reason he wore long sleeves was due to burns he suffered in an accident when he was young. I was too young to have watched him in full flight, but to win a Brownlow in your debut season is some feat.

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He won pretty much every individual medal there was to win. Some twice.

It’s hard to believe that a fat + slow redhead back pocket from WA could win a Brownlow Medal. And when you consider all the stars that were playing in 1985, it’s even harder to believe. And it wasn’t as if he was the only player at Footscray that year to get votes either. Footscray finished third and missed making the GF against Essendon by 6x points.

Prior to B Hardie, defenders guarded forwards but when he came along, forwards had to guard him because before you knew where he was, he was down the other end providing options or having a shot himself. Gavin Wanganeen took aggresive defending to another level in 1993 but Hardie led the way. A grossly underrated player.


That’s because he’s from WA, so no-one gives a ■■■■.


What’s the knock on being a redhead?


First time I saw him play was when Australia toured Ireland in 1984. He was running after a loose ball and there was a brawl on behind him so he ignored the ball and ran back to join the fight. Must say I was very impressed.


Good fella.

I remember back in 1990 I was in Brisbane playing U/12 rep footy. Got to meet him after one of our games and got an autograph etc. A couple of days later my family took me to see the Bombers vs Bears at Carrara for my birthday. We were hanging around pre-match outside the change rooms trying to get autographs from the players. Hardie, who wasn’t playing, recognised us and came over and said hello, then arranged to take me into the rooms and show me around. Introduced me to most of the players, including Big Roger (who I thought was impossibly tall as a 12 year old, until I met Paul Salmon later that night :slight_smile: ). Sent me on my way with some signed Bears gear. Was an incredible experience for a footy-mad kid, and one he did completely off his own bat cos he remembered me from a random encounter a few days earlier.

Nice guy, and a hell of a player. He was a favourite of mine as a kid even before the above happened.


That’s an interesting recollection. Jason Akermanis tells a similar story. He went to Brisbane training one night hoping to catch a glimpse of some players. As he went through a carpark, he saw Brad Hardie sitting in his car. Hardie called him over and they sat in Hardie’s car for about 20 minutes talking about Akermanis’ ambitions whilst waiting for the rain to stop. Akermanis mentioned it as one of his fondest moments as a kid.


Was supposedly getting paid about $3.75 p/w at footscray, whilst Mrs H was being paid about 250k to answer the phones one day a week.

She must have been very good at phone calls :wink:

and all is right with the world.


Redheads are funny looking.

I liked your first/initial post, but your frothing went a bit too far here, Digs. Hardie was never underrated, you gronk. I remember his first season with the Doggies. He won a Charlie. He was a gun & recognised as such. Mick had issues with him, but Brad ignored those. Wanganeen was better than Brad, but attacking/small defender was mastered by Brad in modern footy.

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You’ll never be underrated.

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I see that you have been talking with my wife again.