Unfulfilled Destiny: careers cut short, or were ruined by injury

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Chewy

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Jan 16, 2006
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Saw the John Greening thread and thought this might make interesting idea for another thread. Greening was always spoken of in glowing terms by those who saw him play. He was on the verge of becoming one of the stars of the game when he was king hit behind play and never fully recovered.

Peter Motley's career was tragically ended because of a car crash. He had it all. Pace, courage, athleticism, skills and natural footballing ability. We only saw him for one season in the VFL, but Carlton fans had no doubt he was going to be a champion.

John Coleman, Essendon's legendary full forward, played 99 games and kicked 537 goals in 5 seasons, then his career was ended when he dislocated his knee. The kids who followed him from end to end probably saw his best football, but God knows how many goals he might've kicked.

John Todd from WA was regarded as potentially one of the greatest rovers ever. In his first season, at 17 years of age, he won the Sandover Medal. He injured his knee early in his second season, came back a year later and hobbled his way through another 100 or so games. He retired early in his mid 20's, but his was also a case of what might've been.

Darren Millane was AFL MVP in 1990. He was only 26 when he died behind the wheel in October 1991.

Peter Crimmins was Hawthorn's captain and he would have skippered our flags in the mid 70's, but he succumbed to cancer.
 

ManWithNoName

TheBrownDog
Apr 6, 2005
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Neale Daniher.

James Hird.

Adam Ramanauskas.

Only Danners was ruined, but Hird and Rama have had their careers cut down in their prime.
 

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Catsace

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Apr 15, 2007
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Peter Hudson may have kicked well over 1000 goals had he not done his knee in Rd 1 1972, in an era when knees were really still a death knell for a career. Really only played one season in VFL (1977) after that.

More recently we had Jamie lawson and Jason Snell who both had their careers ended with awful lower leg/ankle breaks that ended their careers, and in Snell's case has afflicted him with a permanent fused ankle joint.

Millane was a huge loss. In today's footy, and 1991 really doesn't seem as long ago as it actually is, he could have maybe played another 5-6 years, and had a reputation like a Voss, Harvey or a West.
 

BK Eaglesfan

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To a lesser extent than those above...Glen Jakovich.

Was never the same after he did his knee. Remember Carey turning him inside out on the boundary at Subiaco after he came back, and as good as Carey was, he'd never had that kind of agility advantage over Jako.
 

BK Eaglesfan

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A Hawks fan may be able to shed more light, but wasn't the Pickett hit on Krummel pretty much the end of him at AFL level? He was never going to be a superstar, but might have carved out a decent career.
 

a-dub

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One name: Brad Smith
I have no doubt that he would have won a coleman medal
The guy is a ready made footballer, and would have had the best midfield in the comp delivering the ball to him all day.
Only two knee recos and bias AFL bullshit prevented this from ever happening
 

gadj1976

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Sep 28, 2004
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Eckermann from Port - KO'd and hasn't been seen since. Currently running around in the magoos for my local mob Sturt.

I was also thinking Jamie Lawson and Jason Snell. Brad Boyd was another who was a player cut down possibly in his prime.

Caracella may not have been cut down in his prime but injury ruined what could've been.

Locally, Barrie Robran.

Dunno how good he was but Tex Walker from Collingwoods' career was ruined by injury.
 

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Roddy

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Jul 10, 2006
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Gary Ablett's Snr's career with Hawthorn.

Can you imagine the 80s Hawks with him, Dunstall and Dermie there in the forward line?

We woulda won every flag from '83 to '94....
 

Scotland

TheBrownDog
May 5, 2006
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From West Coast:

Brad Smith. Unfulfilled potential and a career cut short (well, prevented from starting) by injury. Who knows how well he could have gone as a 25 year old in a top AFL side prior to his knee injuries. Kicking bags in the WAFL now, but will never play at AFL level.

Michael Gardiner. At 24 was the dominant ruckman in the AFL when he went down with a serious knee injury. 'Other factors' have influenced the progression of his career, but from Rd 3 2004 onwards he was not the same athlete.
 

sharpie

Premiership Player
Jul 4, 2006
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John Todd

Could have played ruck, centre or KP!

at 17 to win a sandover in what was a strong competition - unheard of!

On pure talent - I think this would be it - Coleman at least got 98 games at his prime - Todd got about 30
 

Salopek31

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Oct 12, 2004
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Bowen Lockwood would've been every bit as good as Tredrea if not for a career ending back injury.
 

Smell The Glove

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Jun 26, 2006
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Anthony Koutoufides. That knee injury possibly cost him a Brownlow medal and Carlton (at least) a Grand Final appearance in 2000. Hasn't never been close to the same since, would have dominated the competition like few before or since had that not happened.
 

GhostofJimJess

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Jan 14, 2002
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Anthony Banik at Richmond. From his very first game at Tigerland as a 17 year old he stepped out on the ground like he belonged there. He had the balance and poise which showed up the older blokes around him in Richmond jumpers to be the frauds they were. Banik had a mature body when drafted which unfortunately didn't have too much more physical growth in it, but he still looked like he would have been a future captain before chronic back injuries and other health issues crippled his further development as a footballer.
 
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