TONIGHT is the SANFL’s night of nights with the presentation of the 2019 Magarey Medal.
The Magarey Medal is named in honour of William Ashley Magarey, an active sports administrator who became the first SANFL Chairman in 1897 when the League was still known as the South Australian Football Association.
The Magarey Medal has been awarded to the finest and fairest player in every year of SANFL competition since 1898, with the exception of 1900 and 1904 and the World War I and World War II years.
After each match, the three field umpires award 3, 2 and 1 votes to the players they regarded the best, second best and third best on ground respectively.
The votes are tallied at the end of the minor round to determine the year’s Magarey Medallist.
A player becomes ineligible for the Medal if he is suspended for a reportable offence during the season.
Port Adelaide’s best hopes for this year’s medal are perhaps on-ballers Jack Trengove and Willem Drew, while young ruckman Peter Ladhams has also put in some eye-catching performances this season. Long-kicking defender Trent McKenzie is also likely to catch the eye of the umpires throughout the vote count.
The last time a Port Adelaide player won the Magarey Medal was in 2005 when Jeremy Clayton took home the prize after a fine season, although Louis Sharrad won the Reserves Magarey Medal in 2017 before moving to Woodville-West Torrens for more league opportunities.
Port Adelaide has a long and proud history of players winning the highest individual honour in the SANFL with 18 players taking home a total of 23 medals.
Stan Malin collected the second ever medal in 1899 but quit the game and moved to Sydney to study medicine. It’s believed he died in 1903 aged just 25 after a brief illness.
‘Shine’ Hosking was the first Port Adelaide player to win two Magarey Medals (1910 and 1915) with Bob Quinn repeating the feat, remarkably winning one medal either side of military service in World War II in which he suffered a terrible leg injury and won a Military Medal.
Some of the club’s most famous names have also taken home the medal including Davy Boyd, Geof Motley, Trevor Obst, Greg Anderson, Scott Hodges and Nathan Buckley.
But the most famous of them all is Russell Ebert who has won an unprecedented four Magarey Medals.
Seven players have won three Magarey Medals but Ebert is the only player to win four.
Ebert’s feats are legendary, earning him an Order of Australia Medal and a statue outside Adelaide Oval.
He won six best and fairest trophies and played in three premierships during a record 391 appearances in the prison bar jumper.
His first Magarey Medal came in 1971 in his fourth season with the club while his last came in 1980 after he spent a year commuting from Adelaide to Melbourne each week to play for North Melbourne.
He also captained and coached the club, and continues to work for Port Adelaide with its community programs.
Remarkably his son Brett Ebert also won the Magarey Medal in 2003.
Port Adelaide’s Magarey Medallists:
1899 - Stan Malin
1907 - Jack Mack
1910, 1915 - Samson ‘Shine’ Hosking
1914 - William John Ashley
1921 - Charlie Adams (1921)
1925 - Peter Bampton
1938, 1945 - Robert B. Quinn
1956 - Davy Boyd
1964 - Geof Motley
1967 - Trevor Obst
1971, 1974, 1976, 1980 - Russell Ebert
1975 - Peter
1986 - Greg Anderson
1990 - Scott Hodges
1992 - Nathan Buckley
2001 - Anthony Brown, Ryan O’Connor (tied)
2003 - Brett Ebert
2005 - Jeremy Clayton