Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
James Shanahan

Known as
Jamie Shanahan

6 December 1967 (age 55)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 24y 121d
Last game: 31y 265d

Height and weight
Height: 194 cm
Weight: 99 kg

Senior clubs
St. Kilda; Melbourne

Jumper numbers
St. Kilda: 31
Melbourne: 1

Recruited from
St. Kilda (1998)

Jamie Shanahan

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
St. KildaAFL1992-199712500.0051%6.182.702.425

AFL: 10,310th player to appear, 1,100th most games played, 12,732nd most goals kickedSt. Kilda: 1,389th player to appear, 94th most games played, 1,598th most goals kickedMelbourne: 1,188th player to appear, 416th most games played, 1,351st most goals kicked

Jamie Shanahan made his senior league debut with Hobart as a sixteen year old in 1984 and went on to play 111 TFL games for the club. Interspersed with his time with the Tigers he spent the 1986 season at Fitzroy, but did not progress beyond the reserves. While with Hobart he won a best and fairest award in 1989 and was a member of the club’s 1990 premiership team, facts which understandably attracted renewed interest from the mainland. He was eventually taken in the 1990 National Draft by St Kilda and, after a season’s grounding in the twos, would go on to stamp himself as one of the finest full backs of his era.

Solidly built at 194cm and over 99kg he was physically capable of competing effectively with some of the bigger-bodied full forwards of the nineties such as Jason Dunstall and Sav Rocca. However, when opposed by quicker, more elusive opponents he could struggle. A case in point was the 1997 grand final when Adelaide’s Darren Jarman ran riot in the second half, leaving his opponent Shanahan all at sea. Shanahan was widely pilloried but there were some who felt that the real blame should lie with Saints coach Stan Alves who did nothing to rectify the situation.

When St Kilda only offered a single season extension to his contract (he wanted two) in 1998 he decided to seek pastures new and ended up being traded to Melbourne. He gave the Demons good service in 1998 but in his second season a combination of poor form and fitness concerns curtailed his effectiveness. In 2000 he missed the first sixteen weeks of the campaign before resuming with Sandringham, then Melbourne’s VFL affiliate. He never fronted up for the Demons again but he did have the satisfaction of helping Sandringham to victory against North Ballarat in the 2000 VFL grand final. This proved to be his last game of senior football.

Jamie Shanahan was a regular state of origin player, representing both Tasmania and the Allies three times apiece. He is a member of the Tasmanian Football Hall of Fame and was included in Hobart’s official ‘Team of the Century’. His AFL career comprised 125 games for St Kilda and 37 with Melbourne. He failed to register a single goal.

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.