Almanac Teams: The (not quite so) Famous Fives (1980- )



Ron Wearmouth of Collingwood [Source:]



A team of more obscure/lesser known players to wear the Number 5 jumper since 1980.



Here’s my second team of players to wear the Number 5, mostly from 1980 onwards but I have made exceptions, such as Rex Hunt.


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




FB:           Andrew Collins (Haw)                   Nathan Chapman (Bris)    Rex Hunt (St.K)


CHB:       Gerard Neesham (Syd)                  Terry Daniher (Ess)            Todd Ridley (Freo)


C:            Gilbert McAdam (St.K)                   Brad Ebert (WCE)               Peter Wilson (Rich)


CHF:        Ronnie James (Foots)                    Josh Kennedy (Carl)          Fergus Watts (St.K)


FF:           Ronnie Burns (Adel)                       Brendan Fevola (Bris)       Rod Owen (Bris)


Ruck:      Corey McKernan (NM)                  Nathan Buckley (Coll)        Ronnie Wearmouth (Coll)


Interchange: Bruce Abernethy (Adel), Pat Cash Snr (Haw), Earl Spalding (Mel), Travis Varcoe (Geel)



No player from Gold Coast, GWS or Port Adelaide.



Games in Number 5 (Years played)

Andrew Collins 88 (1993-1996)

Nathan Chapman 60 (1993-1997)

Rex Hunt 17 (1978)

Gerard Neesham 9 (1982)

Terry Daniher 294 (1978-1992)

Todd Ridley 21 (1995-1996)

Gilbert McAdam 53 (1991-1993)

Brad Ebert 44 (2010-2011)

Peter Wilson 19 (1987)

Ronnie James 9 (1988-1989)

Josh Kennedy 22 (2006-2007)

Fergus Watts 1 (2006)

Ronnie Burns 20 (2003-2004)

Brendan Fevola 17 (2010)

Rod Owen 15 (1992)

Corey McKernan 14 (2004)

Nathan Buckley 260 (1994-2007)

Ronnie Wearmouth 157 (1973-1981)

Bruce Abernethy 11 (1991-1992)

Pat Cash Snr 43 (1952-1955)

Earl Spalding 85 (1988-1991)

Travis Varcoe 138 (2007-2014)




Andrew Collins – Started in Number 40, then went to 4 and then 5. Collins made best of 4 team and very nearly the 5 team. He makes this side as he was the first player to wear the Number 5 jumper (in 1993) since Peter Crimmins in 1975. The jumper was retired after Crimmins passed away in the hope one of his two sons may play, after this looked not possible, the family wanted it to be awarded to the player who played most like Crimmins; in 1993 Collins was given this honour.



Nathan Chapman – Was taken with Pick 2 in 1992 AFL draft, he started off well as a key defender but is best known for being a great kick. Chapman after his career finished at age 25 went to the USA to try out as a punter for Green Bay and Chicago. He then coached Australians who wish to try out as a punter, both in the USA and Australia.



Rex Hunt – Is best known as a two-time Richmond premiership player, fisherman and radio broadcaster. He was swapped to Geelong in 1974 and then went to St Kilda in 1976 for three seasons. Rex wore number 5 at Richmond, 6 at Geelong and 2 in his first two seasons at the Saints before getting Number 5 in his last season, playing 17 Games for 38 Goals.



Gerard Neesham – Gerard is best known as Fremantle’s inaugural AFL coach and also for his time in the WAFL where he played in five premierships with Swan Districts, East Fremantle and Claremont and coached Claremont to four flags. Neesham had one season at the Sydney Swans for nine games after he had won two Best & Fairests for Swan Districts. Neesham played in six of the last seven games of the 1982 season for Sydney.



Terry Daniher – Champion player, captain and has always comes across well with his country character, Terry was picked in best of Number 5 team. Terry uncharacteristically knocked out Gavin Brown in the 1990 AFL Grand Final quarter time brawl and then cleaned up Craig Starcevich in the third quarter. Terry ended up with 12 week suspension.



Todd Ridley – Todd Ridley kicked the first ever goal for Fremantle in 1995. Todd also played at Essendon in 1994 and was traded to Fremantle with Tony Delaney and Dale Kickett for Pick 4 in the draft which netted Scott Lucas and a pre-draft compensation pick which ended up being Matthew Lloyd.



Gilbert McAdam – Played three seasons at St Kilda before transferring to Brisbane in 1994. Is best remembered for his work on the Marngrook Footy Show and also for kicking 5 goals and being awarded BOG against Collingwood in the 1993 match best known for Nicky Winmar lifting his jumper in response to racist taunts from the stands.



Brad Ebert – Best known as a Port Adelaide player, Ebert was drafted by the Eagles with Pick 13 and spent four years there before moving to Port Adelaide. Ebert wore Number 18 in his first two years.



Peter Wilson – Best known as Eagles premiership player and his role in the ‘cork in the ocean’ goal in the 1992 Grand Final. Wilson spent first three seasons with Richmond and wore Number 5 in his first season in 1987 before moving to Number 19.



Ronnie James  – Was picked for Williamstown in 1985 VFA Grand final as a 14-year-old and then went to Footscray in 1987 making his debut aged 16 playing 16 games before sadly passing away in water skiing incident in 1990.



Josh Kennedy – Was Pick 4 in the 2005 draft for Carlton and looked promising in his first two seasons playing 22 games for 11 goals. Kennedy was then traded to West Coast for Chris Judd where has since won two Coleman Medals, three All-Australian jumpers and played in one Premiership.



Fergus Watts – Was a high pick (14) for Adelaide and had two years there before requesting a trade to St Kilda where his Dad was the CEO. Fergus was swapped for Pick 17 but played only one game. He has had a successful business career since.



Ronnie Burns – Is better known as Geelong player of 134 games and Marngrook Show Member, Ronnie moved to Adelaide in 2003 alongside Wayne Carey but struggled for games and goals in his two seasons.



Brendan Fevola – Best known as a Carlton player, Fevola was traded to Brisbane after his 2009 season despite kicking 84 goals. Fevola played 17 games kicking 48 goals with Brisbane playing up forward with Jonathan Brown. Fevola was sacked after more off field controversies. Fevola would later win the reality show ‘I’m a celebrity get me out of here.’



Rod Owen – Started off as a 16-year-old at St Kilda and looked promising but had a lot of injuries. His form was enigmatic at times and he left St Kilda after eight years and 60 games. Owen would spend one season at Melbourne and then Brisbane where he wore Number 5 and played nine games for 21 goals.



Corey McKernan – Came back to North Melbourne in 2004 after two seasons at Carlton. Number 31 was taken by David Hale so Corey wore Number 5. In 2005 Corey did not play a game but was on standby for a game in the Elimination Final with Sav Rocca awaiting the birth of his child.



Nathan Buckley – Champion player who is picked in Number 5 best of team. Nathan is also picked in the obscure team for a bizarre incident with Cameron Ling where he wiped his blood on Ling’s jumper in 2002. Buckley was suspended for one week.



Ronnie Wearmouth – Collingwood cult figure/fan favourite was a great rover in the 1970s and early ’80s playing three Grand Finals but was best known for his long, blond curly locks.



Bruce Abernethy – A seven time Port Adelaide premiership player in the SANFL and good footballer for North Melbourne and Collingwood over 101 games, Bruce was the inaugural wearer of Number 5 for Adelaide and since retiring has carved out a successful media career for Channel 7 in Adelaide.



Pat Cash Snr – Was struggling for players since 1980 in this team, so I select a player from the 1950s in 1987 Wimbledon champ Pat Cash’s father.



Earl Spalding – A Carlton premiership player and very good CHF at Carlton over 102 games. Though I knew he played at Melbourne as a CHB/HF it surprised me he played more games for Melbourne than Carlton with 109.



Travis Varcoe – Was the first player to wear Number 5 after Gary Ablett Snr, 10 years after Ablett retired. Kicked the first goal of the 2011 Grand Final inside 15 seconds and is now known for being on 2021’s version of ‘I’m a celebrity get me out of here.’



Some forgotten Number 5s are: Billy Longer (Bris), Steve Da Rui (Carl), Graeme Atkins (Coll), Andrew Brockhurst, Brendan McCormack (Fitz), Ryley Dunn, Daniel Parker (Freo), Jimmy Toumpas, Robin White, Michael Young (Mel) Richard Dennis, Darryl Sutton, Doug Smith, Ben Warren (NM) Bruce Lennon, Wayne Peters (Rich), Damen Shaw (St.K), Jayson Daniels (Syd), Alan Daniels, Ian Williams (Foots)



Rodney’s best team of Number 5s since 1980 can be found HERE.




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  1. Corey McKernan in #5 ??

  2. Love it!

  3. Thanks Smokie and Matt

    I think Corey wore it in honour of McCartney from memory. Think moe people had number 31 on their jumper than 5

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