Almanac Teams: The Magnificent 7s




The Magnificent Sevens


Another tough team to pick with many worthy candidates, although I found it hard to find great ruckmen and centre-half forwards from the VFL/AFL for this team.


Seven is a lucky number for some. Who are your favourites?



B:         Gary Ayres (Haw)             Harry Taylor (Geel)                 Shane Morwood (Coll)


HB:       Nigel Smart (Adel)               Denis Carroll (Syd)              Geoff Case (Melb)


C:           Lenny Hayes (StK)              Paul Couch (Geel)                   Doug Hawkins (Foots)


HF:       Wayne Johnston (Carl)       Fraser Gehrig (WCE)               Nicky Winmar (StK)


F:           Haydn Bunton (Fitz)                 Jock Spencer (Nth)                  Peter Burgoyne (Port)


Ruck:     Ben McEvoy (Haw)                    Scott West (WB)                                  Bill Hutchison (Ess)


IC:          Nat Fyfe (Freo) Scott McIvor (Bris) Adam Simpson (Nth) Brett Ratten (Carl)


COACH:      Mick Malthouse


Entertainment: Elmer Bernstein – Magnificent 7 Theme





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About Phillip Dimitriadis

Carer/Teacher/Writer. Author of Fandemic: Travels in Footy Mythology. World view influenced by Johnny Cash, Krishnamurti, Larry David, Toni Morrison and Billy Picken.


  1. Gary Brice (South & Port), Jarrod Molloy, Michael Gale, Bill Swan, Ian ‘Chops’ Rickman, to add a bit of VFA flavour to the team.

  2. You are a great coach with good team selection, Phil! I am happy to see Hayes, Winmar and McEvoy are in the team. Cheers – Yoshi

  3. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    Yay once more Phil.

    From 1997 (as are a few of yours)

    Nigel Smart (Ade)
    Scott McIvor (Bris)
    Brett Ratten (Carl)
    Robert Ahmat (Coll)
    Chris Daniher (Ess)
    Ben Allen (Fre)
    Paul Couch (Gee)
    Luke McCabe (Haw)
    Darren Kowal (Mel)
    Dean Laidley (NMel)
    John Rombotis (Port)
    Ashley Prescott (Rich)
    Nicky Winmar (St K)
    Brad Seymour (Syd)
    Fraser Gehrig (WC)
    Scott West (Foots)

  4. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Neil Craig and Keith Thomas both exceptional number 7s at the parade thanks Phil

  5. Rabid Dog says:

    RussLebert second pick after Bunton.

  6. Dave Nadel says:

    Ian Graham played at full forward and centre half forward during the 1960s. He won a Copeland in 1964. He played Full forward in the 1964 and 66 Grand Finals but I remember him better for his games at CHF Allowing for the difference in the way the game was played in the 60s and the 90s, you could definitely make a case for Graham ahead of Gehrig.

    Both Colliers and both Coventrys wore the number 7 in different years during the 20s and 30s. However because Collingwood used to renumber their players in alphabetical order at the start of each new season it may not be appropriate to count them as #7s. On the other hand Syd Coventry wore #7 in the 1927 Grand Final (as the first ruck) and his brother Gordon wore #7 at Full Forward in the 1928 and 29 Grand Finals. You might consider both of them in a team of number 7s.

  7. Phillip Dimitriadis says:

    Cheers Gerry. Billy Swan a great VFA nomination. Gary Bryce was very close. Why did they call Ian Rickman ‘Chops’?
    Thanks Yoshi – Nicky and Lenny stand out as two of the Saints great number 7s.

    Swish – How could I miss fellow Greek John Rombotis? Chris Daniher stiff to miss along with Nathan Van Berlo for the Crows.

    Thanks Book. Neil Craig a fine nomination.

    Rabid Dog – Ebert played every game in 1979. Bombed in the finals. What number did he wear at Port Adelaide?

    Dave – Ian Graham a solid Collingwood offering. If he’d taken that mark in the dying seconds of ’66 and won us the flag he’d be a shoe in. Good point about the Coventry’s. Gordon wore it during his most dominant period 1927-29 and then went to number 8 in 1930. Syd wore number 8 in 1927,28,29 according to AFL Tables. It says he wore number 7 in 1924-25.

    Les Hughes was our first number 7 in 1911-12. He went on to play 225 games which for the time was a magnificent effort. Had a a lot of admiration for Paul Medhurst as well. He played some fine big games for the Pies between 2007-09. George Hams wore 7 in the 1953 GF. Why did Chris Perry never kick on?

  8. Colin Ritchie says:

    “What’s his number, what’s his name? Number 7 Charlie Payne!”
    Whenever Charlie got near the ball at Windy Hill, we’d sing that little ditty. Great Bomber premiership player.

  9. Hi Phil. RussLebert wore 7 then moved to 1 when he became captain. IU think he was a better player earlier, when in 7. As his Vic career, I think he was like Cornes – went over too late.

  10. Phillip Dimitriadis says:

    Charlie Payne a fine nomination, Colin. Why did he wear number 8 in 1965? Frank Dunell another excellent number 7 for the Bombers and the Bears.
    Cheers Rabid. Ebert turned 30 in 1979. Did well to play all 25 games that year when you think about it.

  11. Colin Ritchie says:

    Being a keen Bomber support for all my life, I was totally unaware that Charlie Payne had changed to number 8 for a season. I cannot find any info on the web as to why that happened so I’m hoping you can enlighten me Phil. Cheers.

  12. Hello Phil

    Ricky Spargo – Footscray 1966-1971 64 games/65 goals. Debuted in #36, moved to #7 in 1969.

    Spargo joined Bob Skilton, Ron Barassi, Ian Collins and John Lloyd at Port Melbourne in 1972. Qualified for the final at Stawell in 1974. His nephew (?) Charlie was drafted by the Dees with pick #29 in the 2017 National Draft.

    Non- Aussie Rules #7 – Tom Raudonikis.

    The Footy Record of late May 1965 has Charlie Payne in #7 and Alan Noonan in #8. Noonan debuted the following year in #10 – Bluey Shelton wore #10 in 1965, his final year at Essendon.

    I reckon AFL Tables might have got that one wrong Phil.

    Take care, keep up the great work.


  13. Dave Brown says:

    A fine team as always. Bunton wore No. 7 at Norwood as well, so gets a double nomination. AFL HoFamer Wacka Scott (a CHB) also wore the number

  14. Phillip Dimitriadis says:

    Hi Colin and Mic,
    I also checked at and it checks out that Charlie Payne wore number 8 for the season 1965. No number 7 is listed. Hmmm..
    Alan Noonan wore number 10 from 1966 according to both sites.
    Ricky Spargo great get Mic.
    David Beckham best 7 for MAN Utd Mic?

    Cheers Dave. Nice link re: Haydn Bunton. Charlie Payne also played for North Adelaide. Will look up ‘Wacka’ which is also what I call my cat incidentally.

  15. Thanks Phil – is a marvellous website.

    Becks? Nah, I was more a Stevie Coppell man thanks.

    The chap who wore the #7 in the ’68 European Cup Final turned out to be pretty handy. Even found time to make a few appearances for the Brisbane Lions in the twilight of his career.


  16. You’re on a roll Phil.

    Charlie Payne came to mind, as did Ricky Spargo. Whilst wearing 7 Ricky Spargo played 33 games, kicking 36 goals.

    A few more names.

    What is the purpose of a side of sevens that does not have Teddy Hopkins on the bench? Phil i can accept your reservations but who else wearing number 7 came off the bench to have such an impact in a GF?

    Graeme John: what other number 7 took charge of Australia Post ?

    Ernie Hug, wore 7 early in his career. He apparently drove a Rolls Royce to training. Killed when a tree fell on him.

    Gary Farrant, one of the brothers who played at North Melbourne in the late 1960’s early 1970’s. His final game was the 1975 GF. I recall catching up with Peter Chisnall a few years back. He told us one of the Farrant brothers had the news agent in Cohuna but i can’t recall if it was Gary or Doug.


  17. Phillip Dimitriadis says:

    Haha Mic, yes Mario Coluna turned out to be a true champion at Benfica !!
    And, yeah Georgie Best wasn’t a bad number 7 either…

    Glen ! Could please refrain from ever mentioning that Carlton interchange player on my threads ever again !!

    Graeme John , Ernie and Gary Farrant ? Love your back stories. Ernie Hug played 15 games for South in 1971, too. Tragic way to go.
    Some more Catter 7s for you:
    Ben Graham
    Lindsay White
    Milton Lamb
    Bill McMaster – Back to back flags in 1951-52 and only 61 games.
    Kelvin Matthews
    Brian Peake
    Barry Primmer
    First Pivotonian 7 in 1912 was Les Fairbairn

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