Hardest man to play AFL/VFL

8.8.56 Brother!

May 9, 2007
AFL Club
I know the thread is about the whole AFL/VFL

But a couple of Richmond players who could perhaps get a guernsey for most courageous...The Kellaway Brothers.

Also, someone I remember as being pretty hard at it...Scotty Turner.


May 6, 2004
AFL Club
St Kilda
People might think this is a bit of a strange one by I would say the most courageous player I have seen in the Melbourne colours (or for any team for that matter) is the recently retired Nathan Brown. He weighed 76kg but was absolutely fearless, as you would have appreciated if you saw some of his last games this season. I've mentioned these things in other threads but he has been knocked out so many times for kamikaze acts that Doctors were close to ending his career.

My favourite example to back this up is when Buckley polaxed him just before half time of the Queens B'day clash in 2004. He was concussed, and at half time had pices of teeth pulled out from his cheek and had a hole in his tongue where he bit through it, stitched up. Danners asked him to lead the boys out onto the ground after half time as an honour for his courage and the boys come from behind and won it.

Its one thing to have the physical presence to be able to dish it out and most mentioned in this thread have. Nathan didn't and just kept putting himself in dangerous situations for his team time and time again. A bloody ripper!
You musn't have seen Trevor Barker Play

Anyway as for Bucks I remember a game that StKilda played which it won by a point and a critical moment the ball was lose and Buckley went for it and Nathan Burke from the Saints. Burke went through Buckley like he was rag doll


Club Legend
Oct 12, 2006
Far West SA
AFL Club
Other Teams
The Panthers, Double Blues
Just add Michael Wilson their and that list is about perfect :)

Stuffed up shoulders in 04, still hit harder then anyone.

Cant KPP be hard men too? Surely Brown, Tredrea Hall should get a mention....

You have got to be kidding, the question is the hardest man to play AFL you read that didn't you?

So in the rich history of the AFL and of all the hardmen your posts contain no less than five that have played for Port come on fella get real.

Carn Hawkas

Club Legend
Sep 5, 2007
AFL Club
Other Teams
Indianapolis Colts
Campbell Brown
He just doesnt feel pain. He gets smashed, he gets straight back up like nothing happened. He goes in to every contest as hard as anyone can and never thinks twice about it.

don vito of fitzroy

Club Legend
Nov 1, 2005
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
Other Teams
Fitzroy 1883-1996
If you want gutsy and courageous, Dipper and Archer are up there. If you want tough nuts who whack people, then there's David Rhys-Jones, Robbie Muir, Carl Ditterich and Rene Kink.


Club Legend
Mar 21, 2007
In the trees
AFL Club
Other Teams
Manchester United
Courageous modern day players, especially in marking contests- Nick Reiwoldt and Jonny Brown. Reiwoldts mark versus Sydney was possibly the most courageous of all time.


Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 23, 2007
Gold Coast
AFL Club
Other Teams
SUNS Maple Leafs Titans Liverpool
There appears to be a problem of defining what is "hard".

If "hard" is the definition then Archer pwns. Closely followed by J. Brown.

Vinnie Vegas

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 8, 2004
AFL Club
Other Teams
Collingwood VFL
Tony Shaw
Jesus - I thought I was living in bizarro-world with no one mentioning him in the thread.

One mention for a guy who literally had not a single attribute going for him ASIDE from his hardness?

I mean, he was short, slow, couldn't kick and was ugly to boot, but he would run all day and go in harder than any other player on the field, no matter what. There would honestly not be an instance in the history of the game where any player attacked a ball or a player with the ball harder than Tony Shaw did for every single one of his touches in the 1990 GF - He won that Norm Smith medal with sheer will-power, by simply refusing to yield.

He was a dominant force with absolutely no talent - That should testify to how hard he was.

Also, Des Tuddenham at 60 years old still has it in him to flatten Harry O'Brien - That has to count for something.


Premiership Player
Jul 4, 2006
AFL Club
West Coast
Who would be the toughest, most courageous, and most feared player that you have ever seen play football?

Leigh Matthews would be the first name that comes to mind- he played it tough, hard and dirty at times but when it came to his turn to take a hit he never backed down. Plus he was a great player and kicked over 900 goals.

hardest man would be graham "stiffy" johncock


Hall of Famer
Mar 23, 2007
Where Premiership dreams are made...
AFL Club
Other Teams
Man U, Canucks and 49ers
North 1999 backline

Pickett, Blakey, Martyn
Abraham, Archer, Pike.

You would go a along way to see a harder back six as named
I was waiting for someone to mention Pickett. He's spent his career running around taking his eyes off the ball to flatten blokes. He might hit hard, but to be a hard man, you've got to have courage and on that front he's a Lonie !!

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