Almanac Teams: More Fours (1980- )


A team of more obscure/lesser known players to wear the Number 4 jumper since 1980.


Here’s my second team of players to wear the Number 4, mostly from 1980 onwards but I have made exceptions, such as Max Walker in the Number 1 team.


It is a light-hearted team based on cult figures, forgotten/lesser known players or stats/cameos associated with them, players known for other deeds, sons, fathers & brothers and forgotten players.


My criteria, similar to my previous efforts was:

  • Attempt to include one player per club
  • I have tried to create as balanced side as possible but this was not a priority
  • Stats are based on their time in that number


Hope you enjoy.


FB:           Emmett Dunne (Foots)              Gary Pert (Coll)                    Brad Hardie (Foots)


CHB:       Barry Breen (St.K)                       Ron Andrews (Ess)             John Gastev (Bris)


C:              Geoff Ablett (Rich)                      Adrian Fletcher (Geel)       Ben Doolan (Syd)


CHF:        Peter Bosoutow (Carl)              Aaron Hamill (Carl)             Vin Catoggio (Carl)


FF:           Gary Ablett Jnr (Geel)                Kurt Tippett (Adel)                 John Mossop (NM)


Ruck:      Paul Salmon (Ess)                       Paul Morwood (St.K/Coll)   Dom Sheed (WCE)


Interchange:     Roger Delaney (Fitz), Israel Folau (GWS), Michael Long (Ess), Kelvin Matthews (Haw)


Skills/assistant coach David Wheadon (Coll)


No player from Hawthorn (Matthews), Melbourne, Port Adelaide or Gold Coast



Games in Number 4 (Years played)

Emmett Dunne 13 (1984)

Gary Pert 70 (1992-1995)

Brad Hardie 47 (1985-1986)

Barry Breen 158 (1973-1982)

Ron Andrews 144 (1974-1983)

John Gastev 94 (1990-1994)

Geoff Ablett 16 (1983-1984)

Adrian Fletcher 23 (1989-1991)

Ben Doolan 25 (1991-1992)

Peter Bosustow 65 (1981-1983)

Aaron Hamill 24 (2000)

Vin Catoggio 71 (1973-1980)

Gary Ablett Jnr 55 (2018-2020)

Kurt Tippett 104 (2008-2012)

John Mossop 37 (1987-1988)

Paul Salmon 15 (2002)

Paul Morwood 60 at St Kilda (1983-1985) 15 at Collingwood (1987)

Dom Sheed 119 (2014-2020)

Roger Delaney 1 (1990)

Israel Folau 13 (2012)

Michael Long 49 (1989-1990)

Kelvin Matthews 85 (1973-1978)



Emmett Dunne – Emmett is better known as Richmond premiership player, he crossed to the Bulldogs under Mick Malthouse in 1984. In 1986 he was Footscray reserves Captain Coach and Best & Fairest. Later became Assistant Commissioner of Victoria Police, member of AFL tribunal and is now Richmond Board Member. This year was honoured with AFL life membership.


Gary Pert – Better known as a Fitzroy player he was traded to Collingwood after Fitzroy delisted him when he did his knee for the second time. Later went onto to become CEO of Collingwood and is now CEO of Melbourne


Brad Hardie – Was a contender for best Number 4s for Footscray. Hardie had an eventful two years, winning a Brownlow in his first year in 1985 and playing finals. In 1986 despite winning Footscray’s Best & Fairest he had a fallout with coach Mick Malthouse, where after being dragged against Carlton in Round 21, Hardie removed his jumper and waved it at the coach. In 1987 Hardie was playing for the Brisbane Bears.


Barry Breen – Despite playing 300 Games, is best known for kicking one magical point in 1966 Grand Final. Breen wore Number 27 in 1966, but was given Number 4 in 1973 which he wore until he retired in 1982.


Ron Andrews – Andrews was a renowned Essendon tough man and club captain in 1982, he was left out of Essendon’s Grand Final team in 1983 after being suspended for the Preliminary Final. He then switched over to Collingwood in 1984. Andrews was also suspended for six weeks for his part in the 1974 Windy Hill Brawl.


John Gastev –  A cult figure born John Gastevich, John could have easily made the Best of Number 4s. John was good enough to win 1989 & 1992 Best & Fairest, but had cult figure status for his bravery, prominent nose and practice of nude yoga on Martin Leslie’s balcony from an interview with Leslie on SEN last year.


Geoff Ablett – Two time premiership player at Hawthorn, he crossed over to Richmond at age 28 to play two more years, though he did not win a Grand Final Sprint there.


Adrian Fletcher – Geelong was the start of Adrian’s AFL career, where he struggled for regular games between 1989-1991 with Paul Couch, Mark Bairstow and Garry Hocking all similar players ahead of him. Adrian then went onto St.Kilda, Brisbane and Fremantle.


Ben Doolan – Was a rising young Swans star in his two seasons before crossing to Essendon for 76 games in six seasons. Ben is best known for having his front teeth knocked in a crude hit from Craig Kelly at Victoria Park in 1992.


Peter Bosustow – ‘The Buzz’ could have made the Best of Number 4s side if he had played more than three years. In his three years he played 65 games, kicked 146 goals, won two premierships and claimed Mark and Goal of the Year in his first year 1981, a fair impact in a short time.


Aaron Hamill – Wore Number 36 in his first four years at Carlton before inheriting Stephen Kernahan’s Number 4  in 2000. However Hamill left Carlton after John Elliott said at the Best & Fairest that Hamill was expendable. When St Kilda played Carlton in 2001, several Carlton fans greeted Hamill on the interchange bench with the Number 4 Carlton jumper.


Vin Catoggio – Vin was part of the much loved Carlton mosquito fleet but was behind the likes of Rod Ashman, Ken Sheldon, and Alex Marcou and was swapped for Greg Wells. Vin was the Morrish Medal in 1972 and Gardiner Medal in 1973. Vin though had cult figure status, mainly because of his afro haircut.


Gary Ablett Jnr – ‘Gazza’ wore Number 29 for Geelong between 2002-2010, in his last three seasons  he wore the Number 4 jumper.


Kurt Tippett – While a very good player for Adelaide especially in the 2009 Finals, Kurt is also known for his trade to Sydney in 2013, which then was found to be an Adelaide salary cap breach. The fallout forced Tippett to be suspended for 11 weeks; Adelaide was fined and lost its first two draft picks in 2012 & 2013.


John Mossop – Very good ruckman, who could play forward at Geelong, Mossop won the 1982 Best & Fairest as he replaced Rod Blake. Was swapped to North Melbourne, he played two seasons before retiring aged 29 to return to the family farm at Penola. It is still something of a mystery as to why he was traded from/left Geelong


Paul Salmon – After being traded from Essendon in 1995 and retiring in 2000, Salmon answered Sheedy’s call for a ruckman after John Barnes’s retirement to play in 2002.


Paul Morwood – Originally played for St Kilda without a clearance in his first game and was a surprise selection as was not picked or even on St Kilda list at that stage. Was lured back to Sydney by Doc Edelsten in 1986 but form and salary cap issues saw him sacked mid-season. Played in 1987 with brother Shane at Collingwood.


Dom Sheed – A fine player in his own right, is best known for kicking the match winning goal in the 2018 Grand Final.


Roger Delaney – A very good player for Port Adelaide in the SANFL who played State of Origin against Victoria in 1989, was drafted by Fitzroy at age 23. Delaney played in Round 1 but sadly did his knee and never played another AFL match. Went on to play in four more SANFL premierships.


Israel Folau – A code-crosser several times over, Israel has played Rugby League and Union for Australia and was picked up by GWS in part as a marketing move but was found to be out of his depth at AFL level.


Michael Long – wore Number 4 in his first two seasons including 1990 Grand Final before handing it over to Gavin Wanganeen. Long then wore Number 13 to much success.


Kelvin Matthews – the lesser known brother of Leigh was still a fine player, kicking eight goals in one match (Leigh kicked six), winning a premiership and representing Victoria before crossing to Geelong.


Some ‘forgotten’ Number 4s are Sean Tasker (Adel), James Aish, Travis Johnstone and Jared Polec (Bris), Luke Livingston (Carl) Aaron James (Coll), Daniel McAlister (Ess), Maverick Weller (GCS), Scott Crow (Haw) Craig Ellis, Brent Grgic (Mel) Liam Anthony (NM), Ian Downborough (PA), Mark Eustice and Andrew Raines (Rich), Eli Templeton (St.K), Dean McRae (Syd), Darren Davies (Foots)




Rodney’s best ever team of Number 4s can be seen HERE.






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  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says
  2. Almanacas, I can’t let this opportunity go by. My hero as a young lad was the dynamic Goodwood Indians southpaw pitcher and dangerous batter, Peter Box who wore NUMBER 4 and batted number 3 in Indians line up. Pete won 3 shipway medals (night baseball) and 2 Capps medals (winter baseball ) and was the winning pitcher in 5 grand finals. He was also an automatic state selection for all the years he played Major baseball and was 1 of 4 South Australians to represent Aust in the ’56 Melbourne Olympics against a touring American baseball team. He was NO RELATION to the Footscray Brownlow Medalist. Pete and I became very good friends and Mrs Fisho and I were devastated when he passed away in 2014 just after his 85th birthday.

  3. Thanks Swish for the story, I hope you don’t think I am taking the pi$$ out of him, I am just acknowledging players that played a few games that maybe have being forgotten.

    Thanks for the story Fisho, was Baseball an exhibition sport at 1956 Olympics

  4. Luke Reynolds says

    Always loved Adrian Fletcher as footballer. For the 2002 season Collingwood had a choice of Fletcher or Scott Cummings for the last spot on our list. Grumpy Mick went with his old Eagles mate Cummings. 5 games for 6 goals a poor return. Fletcher would have been really handy in that wet 2002 GF.

  5. Same here Luke, Fletcher was a beauty. Glad you didn’t have him in 2002 for the same reason!

  6. Hi Rodney, yes Baseball was an exhibition sport in the ’56 Melbourne Olympics. An Armed forces team toured Australia beginning in those Olympics. The match was played in front of a huge crowd on the MCG. Although easily defeated, many of the Aussies impressed the Yanks including SA’s Chalky White who smashed a long home run. The Yanks then came over to SA for a series of 3 test matches under lights at the Norwood Oval.

  7. Cummings kicked 5 goals in Round 1 against us, so next 4 games were not good. I see Fletcher won Williamstown Best & Fairest that year. Is it because you had O’Bree, Lucuria and Burns why you didn’t get him.

    Thanks for the insight Fisho

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