9 January 1965 (age 57)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 22y 79d
Last game: 28y 175d
Height and weight
Height: 196 cm
Weight: 98 kg
West Coast (1989)
|Club||League||Career span||Games||Goals||Avg||Win %||AKI||AHB||AMK||BV|
AFL: 9,783rd player to appear, 3,043rd most games played, 359th most goals kickedWest Coast: 3rd player to appear, 226th most games played, 161st most goals kickedMelbourne: 1,108th player to appear, 234th most games played, 24th most goals kicked
A big strong mark and an excellent kick, he can be unbeatable at times.¹
With his prodigious kicking ability and strength overhead Darren Bennett was arguably among the finest key position forwards of his generation, but he was prevented by persistent injury woes from making the most of his undoubted ability. He commenced his senior playing career with East Fremantle in 1982, but in half a dozen seasons with the club only managed to play 24 games, in which he registered 87 goals. In both 1983 and 1985 he failed to play a single match, which in the case of the latter season meant he missed the possible opportunity of playing in a premiership team.
Despite his injury concerns Bennett was drafted by West Coast as part of the club’s inaugural VFL pool of players. However, the injury worries refused to go away, and his two season stint with the Eagles yielded just four appearances for seven goals. Rather than retire, Bennett nominated for the 1988 National Draft, and to many observers’ surprise he was picked up by Melbourne.
As ever, there were injury problems to surmount, but for the first and only time in his career he also managed to produce some telling football, topping the Demons’ goal kicking list in 1989 with 34 goals, and 1990 with 87. Eventually, however, the injuries took their toll, and at the end of the 1993 season he retired after giving Melbourne 74 games of service, in which he registered 208 goals.
Bennett later transferred his kicking ability to the very different sport of gridiron, achieving considerable fame and success in the process.
Author - John Devaney
1. Who’s Who in WA Football 1987, page 2.