Higher than 58: A Brownlow medalist

Replacement jumper number 85 – Harry Taylor

Dependable Geelong key defender Harry Taylor, who has worn the number 7 guernsey with distinction since his debut in round 2, 2008, wore a very unusual number 85 replacement jumper in Geelong’s big win over Melbourne at the MCG in round 19, 2008.  Taylor was under heavy fire in this game, suffering both a bloodied lip and a cut above his eye.  In the process, Taylor went through both of his allocated special edition Geelong 150th anniversary celebration jumpers.  The property staff had to dig deep and had to resort to pulling out the number 85 from Geelong’s special edition guernseys for Taylor to use from midway in the third quarter.

Some players from other clubs to wear numbers higher than 58

CollingwoodAndrew Witts holds the record for wearing the highest jumper number at VFL/AFL level, other than replacement jumpers, with 65 when he played seven matches in 1985.  Pocket sized Stephen Anderson rolled out the number 60 in 1991.  Terry Keays also wore 60 in his early games in 1987, before moving down to number 14.

North MelbourneDarren Steele wore 59 in his first year of 1984.

St KildaNicky Winmar famously wore the number 60 jumper for part of the 1991 Elimination Final against Geelong after his regular number 7 had been ripped from his body in a ferocious tackle from ruckman Stephen Hooper.  Irish recruit Dermot McNicholl wore 60 in his three games in 1990.

Sydney – after four seasons out of VFL action, Craig Davis (formerly of Carlton, North Melbourne and Collingwood) made a comeback with the Swans in round 1, 1988 in the number 60, playing nine games for a return of 17 goals.  In reference to his unusual jumper number, one opposition supporter called out “Is that your age, Davis?”, to which Davis retorted “No, it’s your IQ”.

Western Bulldogs/Footscray – Tackling machine and 1990 Brownlow Medallist Tony Liberatore wore 60 in his debut year of 1986.

Tomorrow we publish James’ work in full.


  1. Skip of Skipton says

    I seem to recall Andrew Witts’ other claim to fame was being a stepladder for a Peter Knights special at Princes Park.

  2. Andrew Fithall says

    What? No Straughnie?

  3. 85!? That’s sensational! Wonder if there’s any photos lying around? And why on earth would Geelong have a no.85 lying around? Nice work

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