Almanac Teams: The (not-so) Magnificent Seven (1980- )



St Kilda’s Doug Cox [Source: Author]




A team of more obscure/lesser known players to wear the Number 7 jumper since 1980.



Here’s my second team of players to wear the Number 7, mostly from 1980 onwards but I have made exceptions, such as Geoff Blethyn.


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:           Michael Malthouse (Rich)        Ben Graham (Geel)                        Luke McCabe (Haw)


CHB:       Doug Cox (St.K)                          Fraser Gehrig (WCE)                     John Rombotis (PA)


C:             Russell Ebert (NM)                    Ben Allan (Freo)                              Peter Francis (Carl/Fitz/Rich)


CHF:       Brett Deledio (GWS)                 Jarrod Molloy (Fitz/Bris/Coll)     Warwick Irwin (Fitz/Coll)


FF:          Kerry Good (NM)                       Geoff Blethyn (Ess)                          Karmichael Hunt (GCS)


Ruck:     Brett Chalmers (PA)                   Brian Peake (Geel)                           Andrew Krakouer (Coll)


Interchange:  Dylan Buckley (Carl), Jeffrey Farmer (Freo), Kelvin Matthews (Geel), Graeme Whitnall (Carl)

There are no players from Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney or the Western Bulldogs




Games in Number 7 (Years played)

Michael Malthouse 121 (1978-1983)

Ben Graham 136 (1998-2004)

Luke McCabe 138 (1995-2004)

Doug Cox 36 (1981-1982)

Fraser Gehrig 99 (1996-2000)

John Rombotis 9 (1997)

Russell Ebert 25 (1979)

Ben Allan 47 (1995-1997)

Peter Francis 11 at Carlton (1981) 40 at Fitzroy (1981-1983) 52 at Richmond (1984-1986)

Brett Deledio 32 (2017-2019)

Jarrod Molloy 59 at Fitzroy (1994-1996) 52 at Brisbane (1998-2000) 49 at Collingwood (2001-2003)

Warwick Irwin 206 at Fitzroy (1970-1980) 16 at Collingwood (1981)

Kerry Good 53 (1980-1983)

Geoff Blethyn 14 (1976)

Karmichael Hunt 44 (2011-2014)

Brett Chalmers 25 (1998-1999)

Brian Peake 35 (1983-1984)

Andrew Krakouer 35 (2011-2013)

Dylan Buckley 39 (2013-2017)

Jeff Farmer 20 (2002)

Kelvin Matthews 58 (1978-1982)

Graeme Whitnall 55 (1974-1978)




Michael Malthouse – Mick was a Richmond premiership player in 1980 and had played every game in 1982 before dislocating his shoulder in the Semi Final against Carlton. Malthouse failed a fitness test on the Thursday before the Grand Final and missed the Grand Final loss. Malthouse would later coach Footscray, West Coast, Collingwood and Carlton, winning two premierships at West Coast and one at Collingwood. Malthouse holds the record for most games as coach with 718.



Ben Graham – Former Geelong captain, was one of the longest kicks in the AFL. His kicking ability led him to the USA as a punter for the New York Jets, New Orleans Saints, Arizona Cardinals and Detroit Lions playing from 2005-2012. Graham has the honour of being the only person to captain an AFL side and NFL side (New York Jets) and also to play in AFL Grand Final (1995) and a Superbowl (2009) with the Arizona Cardinals.



Luke McCabe – Was a reliable back pocket player for Hawthorn over ten years but is best remembered for being on the receiving end of an inspirational hip and shoulder from David Neitz that resulted in a goal to Neitz in Round 1, 2002.



Doug Cox – Was one of the recruits of the year for St Kilda in 1981 joining St Kilda from West Torrens. Richmond had found out during the 1981 season that Cox had lived and played for South Mildura (which was in Richmond zone) for three years and not the two years he had stated on his registration form. St Kilda were fined $4,000 and stripped of eight premiership points by the VFL. This was reinstated after St Kilda paid $75,000 to Richmond for his clearance. Cox left St Kilda for Essendon in 1983 over a dispute on his professional running career. Cox played three games for Essendon but did win the 1984 Grand Final Sprint.



Fraser Gehrig – Mainly a full forward at St Kilda, Gehrig was very much an athletic utility at West Coast; he could play either end and even on the wing. Gehrig’s career at West Coast spanned 115 games for 159 goals, in 1997 he was named All Australian.



John Rombotis – Looked set for a promising AFL career after playing every game for Fitzroy in 1996. Rombotis has the honour of being Port Adelaide’s first ever draftee, going Pick 6 in 1996. Sadly Rombotis’s career never reached high levels, playing nine games in 1997 before being traded to Richmond where he played 13 games in three seasons.



Russell Ebert – A champion SANFL footballer with Port Adelaide. His record includes 391 games for Port Adelaide from 1968-1985 (he missed 1979) three premierships, four Magarey Medals, positions in both the AFL and SANFL Halls of Fame. Ebert came to North Melbourne at age 29 for the 1979 season, travelled each week from Adelaide and played all 25 games for 15 goals and had the most disposals for North Melbourne that year averaging 22 per game.



Ben Allan – Hawthorn premiership player and Best & Fairest in 1991, Ben was the first captain of Fremantle for 1995-1996. He relinquished the captaincy for 1997 season due to injuries and retired at end of season aged 29.



Peter Francis – Played 158 games for four clubs over 10 years. The curly-haired wingman spent no more than three years at any club. He started off at Carlton in 1979 (wearing Number 47) where he played 23 games including the 1979 Premiership aged 21. Francis was traded to Fitzroy in 1981 for Fitzroy’s 1980 AFL recruit of the year Frank Marchesani. At his final VFL/AFL club Essendon, he wore Number 17. Francis would go on to be an Assistant Coach at St Kilda, coach Gippsland Power in the TAC cup for six seasons and remain as their talent manager for next 19 seasons.



Brett Deledio – A two time All Australian and Best & Fairest winner at Richmond, Deledio was traded to GWS for 2017 season. Unfortunately Deledio was hampered by calf injuries restricting him to 32 games over three years and missed the 2019 Grand Final.



Jarrod Molloy – Played 169 Games from 1994-2003 wearing Number 7 in all but one season; he wore Number 20 in his first year at Brisbane (1997). Molloy was a father-son selection for Fitzroy and when Fitzroy merged with Brisbane, he was one of eight players chosen to join Brisbane. Molloy swapped to Collingwood for 2001 in a trade which saw Mal Michael join Brisbane. Brisbane would win the next three premierships, Molloy played in the 2002 Grand Final and retired due to injuries aged 27 the following year.



Warwick Irwin – Irwin played 213 games for Fitzroy as a ruck rover/half forward. He won a Best & Fairest in 1975, played for Victoria in 1973, 1975 and 1978-1980. Was traded to Collingwood in 1981 with Graeme Allan for Leigh Carlson and Des Herbert where he played 16 games including the 1981 Grand Final. Warwick was injured for 1982 and then sacked by Collingwood. In 1983 Warwick rejoined Fitzroy aged 30 wearing Number 13 – he played seven more games.



Kerry Good – Kerry played 74 games over seven years at North Melbourne, kicking 150 goals which included a personal best of 10 against Melbourne in 1981. However his best known goal is not one of those 150. In the 1980 Escort Championship Night Series Grand Final against Collingwood, Good marked the ball in the forward line after the siren had sounded. The umpire did not hear it and the mark was allowed; Good kicked the goal to give North Melbourne the win by three points. At the time of the kick supporters had already run onto the ground – including a young Collingwood supporter named Glenn Archer. Good would go on to be a North Melbourne board member.



Geoff Blethyn – Is best remembered for playing his career wearing glasses. Blethyn wore Number 11 in 1972, the year he kicked 107 goals. The day he kicked his 100th the glasses were trampled by police horses who were on the field to protect him from supporters. Amazingly the next year aged 22 he moved to Claremont for work reasons and played there until 1975. He returned to Essendon for just one more season in 1976 wearing the Number 7. He again led the Essendon goalkicking with 39. Blethyn went on to join Port Adelaide in 1977.



Karmichael Hunt – Hunt played rugby league for the Brisbane Broncos between 2004-2009, playing 10 games for Queensland and 11 times for Australia. Hunt signed with the Gold Coast Suns for $3 million in a move hoping to generate interest in Queensland for the new club. Hunt played 2010 in the VFL before making his senior debut in the Suns’ first game in 2011. He is best remembered for kicking a winning goal after the siren in 2012 against Richmond in Cairns.



Brett Chalmers – Chalmers played 120 games and won four premierships with Port Adelaide’s SANFL side. Chalmers was drafted in 1989 with Pick 103 by Richmond. He showed a lot of promise at Port Adelaide but declined the offer to join Richmond when their hold on him expired; he was then drafted by Collingwood with Pick 10 in 1992. However it was found that clubs were advised not to draft him and he was found guilty of draft tampering. Chalmers was fined $30,000 and made ineligible to play for Collingwood for three years. In 1993 he was traded to Adelaide where he played 50 games in four years before being traded to Port Adelaide for the next two years. He is also known for being the father of Kyle Chalmers who won the 100m Freestyle at 2016’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics.



Brian Peake – Champion WAFL player who played 305 Games for East Fremantle, including three premierships and one Sandover Medal. Peake arrived at Geelong in 1981 aged 27. He made his debut in Round 13, 1981 after arriving at Kardinia Park by helicopter for his first training run. In 1982 he was made captain after 13 games but relinquished the captaincy in 1983. Peake never hit the same form as he had in the WAFL and was given an unkind but perhaps clever nickname of Pasties.



Andrew Krakouer – Son of Jimmy, played 102 games for Richmond between 2001-07. Krakouer spent time in prison in 2008-2009 for assault. In 2010 Krakouer played for Swan Districts where he won a premiership, Sandover Medal and Simpson Medal. Collingwood picked up Krakouer aged 28 where he then spent three years, playing in the 2011 Grand Final and kicking three goals. He also took Mark Of The Year in 2011.



Dylan Buckley – Son of triple premiership player Jim, Dylan had five seasons at Carlton and two at GWS for 41 games. He kicked a goal with his first kick in AFL.



Jeff Farmer – Best known for wearing Number 33 at Melbourne and Fremantle, in his first year at Fremantle he wore the Number 7 for 20 games and 29 goals. Andrew Shipp had the Number 33 jumper but only played one game in 2002 before being delisted.



Kelvin Matthews – Was picked in the Number 4 team for his Hawthorn stint. Kelvin is brother of Leigh and played at Geelong between 1978-1982 for 58 games, he was picked for Victoria in 1979.



Graeme Whitnall – Wore Number 7 between 1974-1978, then moved to Number 30 in 1980. Graeme played 66 games for Carlton but is better known as father of Lance.



Some other forgotten Number 7s are Jason Gram (Bris), Justin Davies (Carl), Michael Gardiner & Robert Pyman (Coll), Kevin Taylor (Fitz), Tim Callan (Geel), Jamie Bennell & Darren Kowal (Melb), Ben Lennon (Rich), Gary McDonald (St.K) Luke Brennan & Kevin Goss (Syd)




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  1. Mick Jeffrey says

    Karmichael is this year turning out for Souths Logan Magpies in the Queensland Cup Rugby League competition having left the Waratahs post 2020. Somehow don’t think he’ll be wearing the 7 jersey though this year.

  2. Russell Ebert played every game of North’s 1979 season.

  3. Thanks Mick and Smokie.
    Ebert must have being very good to play 25 games and travel each week from Adelaide

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