Main content

5. Simon Madden


One of the greatest ruckmen to play the game, he played in the last six games in 1974, slotting into the team as a forward pocket and relief ruckman and delighted fans with his big marking and goalkicking. He kicked 18 goals and won the best first year player award.

By the time he was twenty-two he was captain of Essendon, replacing Ken Fletcher. But a succession of injuries and illness sapped his strength and stamina in his first year as skipper and after a disappointing year in 1981 he was replaced as captain.

He won Essendon's best and fairest award in 1977, 1979, 1983 and 1984 and finished third in the award in 1978. Only Dick Reynolds and Bill Hutchison have collected the best and fairest more times. He headed the Dons' goalkickers in 1980 with 45 goals and in 1982 with 49 goals. He was second top in 1977, 1979 and 1981 and third top in 1976 and 1978.

He finished third in the Medal in 1983 with 22 votes and was also the Dons' top vote scorer in 1977 with 24 votes and in 1984 with 14 votes. He was in the ruck in the 1984 and 1985 premiership teams and he won the Norm Smith Medal for being best on the ground in the 1985 flag.

He was also on the interchange bench and captain of the 1981 night premiership team and was in the ruck in the 1984 night premiership team. He has always had difficulty adjusting to night conditions because he wears contact lenses.

He was chosen in the interstate team in 1977, 1978, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1987. This is the equal fourth most interstate years of any Essendon player. He played in nine interstate games. He was chosen in the All Australian team in 1983, 1984 and 1987.


Played 1974 -1992
Games 378
Goals 575
Premiership player 1984,1985
Final games played -20
Norm Smith Medal 1985
Top 5 Brownlow medal finishes -1983,84,88
Career Brownlow medal votes-139
EFC Best & Fairest 1977,79,83,84
Top 5 EFC best & fairest finishes 1977-79,83,88
EFC Captain 1980-81 (55 games)
EFC Vice Captain 1979,1989,1990
EFC Leading goalkicker 1980,82,91
All Australian 1983,84,87,88
Night Premiership appearances - 1981, 84,90