|Jumper||47, 23, 2, 3|
|V/AFL Clubs||Hawthorn, Sydney, Collingwood|
There have been better all round footballers than Dermott Brereton, but few who have possessed both his flamboyance and his big game temperament. Both traits were evident from the moment he made his Hawthorn debut in the VFL 1st semi final of 1982: Brereton booted five goals that day in a near best afield performance that helped the Hawks overcome North Melbourne, and over the years it would be his performances in finals that would do most to etch his name among the all time greats of the code.
Much of Dermott Brereton's best football was played while he was suffering from injuries that other players would have found grossly incapacitating. He played for a couple of years witha cracked ankle bone, for instance, while his heroic performance in the 1989 grand final - won by Hawthorn over Geelong - came after he had been poleaxed by Mark Yeates at the opening bounce. Popularly known as 'The Kid', Brereton's body eventually sustained more in the way of pummelling than even he could take.
After missing the whole of the 1993 season with a serious hip injury Brereton crossed to Sydney in 1994, but neither there (seven games) nor at Collingwood (15 games in 1995) was he able to recapture his former brilliance, although the support he gave to the younger brigade while with the Magpies was invaluable.
Between 1982 and 1992 Dermott Brereton played 189 senior games for Hawthorn, winning a best and fairest award in 1985. He was a member of premiership teams in 1983, 1986,1988, 1989 and 1991, and represented Victoria in state of origin matches nine times, gaining All Australian selection once. Few if any players today come close to matching either the ferocity with which he attacked the football, or the level of dedication which he conferred on the Hawthorn cause.
Author - John Devaney