Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Craig Rex Holden

Known as
Craig Holden

14 August 1957 (age 65)

Football Administration

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 24y 225d
Last game: 31y 0d

Height and weight
Height: 178 cm
Weight: 80 kg

Senior clubs
Swan Districts; North Melbourne; Sydney; Australia

Jumper numbers
North Melbourne: 11
Sydney: 22

Recruited from
Swan Districts (1982); North Melbourne (1984)

Family links
Ray Holden (Brother)

Craig Holden

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
Swan DistrictsWAFL1976-198198260.27
North MelbourneV/AFL1982-19832920.0769%9.213.692.550
AustraliaIR1984, 19866
IR1984, 19866

AFL: 9,310th player to appear, 2,159th most games played, 3,342nd most goals kickedNorth Melbourne: 730th player to appear, 399th most games played, 633rd most goals kickedSydney: 1,125th player to appear, 191st most games played, 310th most goals kicked

Craig Holden was a talented defender who commenced his senior league career with Swan Districts in 1976. He went on to play the last of his 98 games for the club in 1981, meaning that he missed out on Swans' golden era of success which saw them capture a hat trick of flags between 1982 and 1984.

The 1982 and 1983 seasons saw Holden fronting up with North Melbourne in the VFL but he failed to settle in Melbourne and his form over 29 appearances was patchy. In 1984 he joined Sydney and his career suddenly blossomed. Over the course of 80 VFL games in five seasons he stamped himself as one of the most resolute defenders going around. He also played state of origin football for Western Australia and gained selection in the 987 All Australian team. In 1984 and 1986 he played a total of six International Rules matches for Australia against Ireland. In one such match a brawl erupted in which an umpire became involved and grabbed Holden by the throat.

After retiring as a player Craig Holden remained involved in football and spent time as Sydney's Development Manager as well as serving on the match committee. He was included in the official Swan Districts 'Team of the Century' and is a life member of the Sydney Swans.

Author - John Devaney


Encyclopedia of AFL Footballers by Russell Holmesby & Jim Main; Wikipedia article


* Behinds calculated from the 1965 season on.
+ Score at the end of extra time.