The Best AFL Player to Wear Jersey Numbers 1 – 9

We've picked the best AFL player for each jersey number in the modern era, beginning with numbers 1 through to 9.

There’s not many things we love more than a good old fashioned footy debate, so we dug deep to come up with the best AFL player for each jersey number in the modern era, beginning with numbers 1 through to 25.


Number 1 - Stephen Silvagni: Carlton

“SOS” was named as the fullback for the AFL Team of the Century, won two premierships with the Blues in 1987 and 1995, and played a total of 312 AFL games. But what we loved most about SOS was the fact that he could switch to the other end of the ground and play full forward. This was highlighted by his bag of 10 goals against Fitzroy in 1993.

Honourable mention: Paul Roos


Number 2 - Robert Flower: Melbourne

Flower was a Demons icon and was one of their only superstars in what were some tough years for the club in 1970s and 80s. Despite his small frame, Flower was a brave, yet classy footballer who copped plenty of punishment from the opposition, but barely let injury keep him off the ground.

Honourable mention: Greg Williams


Number 3 - Leigh Matthews: Hawthorn

“Lethal” Leigh Matthews was as tough as nails! The Hawthorn legend won four premierships, played 332 games and kicked 915 goals, but we like to remember him for snapping a point post at Windy Hill.

Honourable mentions: Ted Whitten, Chris Judd (WC), Michael Voss


Number 4 - Stephen Kernahan: Carlton

“Sticks” was a two time premiership player for the Blues, dominated at centre half forward and rocked a mullet. We could go on about his playing accolades, but we prefer to mention the time he famously sung “Stand By Your Man” the day after Carlton’s 1987 Grand Final triumph.

Honourable mentions: Dustin Martin, Norm Smith, Tony Lockett


Number 5 - Gary Ablett Sr: Geelong

“Yablett” was one of the greatest full forwards in AFL history, kicking 1021, winning three Coleman Medals and being named on the interchange bench for the Team of the Century. His famous mark against North Melbourne was officially recognised as the Mark of the Century.

Honourable Mentions: Chris Judd (Carl), James Hird, Nathan Buckley, Sam Mitchell


Number 6 -  Tony Modra: Adelaide Crows

Modra, or “God-ra” as his affectionately known as in Adelaide was an electric full forward who was worth the price of admission alone, but cruelty missed out on both of the Crows’ premierships in 1997 and 1998 due to an ACL sustained in the 97 prelim.

Honourable Mentions: Brad Johnson, Luke Power


Number 7 - Doug Hawkins: Footscray

Dougie Hawkins was a club legend down at Whitten Oval, and a lovable television identity from his roles on The Footy Show and Live and Kicking. Hawkins played 329 for the Bulldogs, and has the “Doug Hawkins Wing” named after him at both Whitten Oval and Etihad Stadium.

Honourable mentions: Lenny Hayes, Brett Ratten


Number 8 - Jack Riewoldt: Richmond

Definitely not the strongest number in AFL history, but “Jumpin Jack” managed to become a leader after many years of Richo-like tantrums. He’s a premiership player, but his finest came after the Grand Final where he jumped up on stage and to sing Mr Brightside with The Killers.


Number 9 - Shane Crawford: Hawthorn

Crawford was a Brownlow Medalist, a premiership player and an all round character who was not afraid to take the piss out himself on national TV. He also made the phrase “That’s what I’m talking about” famous after yelling it into the microphone following the Hawks’ 2008 Grand Final win.

Honourable mentions: David Neitz, Dipper, Brian Taylor

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Adrian Bortignon


Anthony Ierardi


Anthony Ierardi


Anthony Ierardi


Anthony Ierardi


Anthony Ierardi

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