Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Jim Jess

Known as
Jim Jess

The Ghost

25 January 1955 (age 68)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 21y 160d
Last game: 33y 173d

Height and weight
Height: 189 cm
Weight: 85 kg

Senior clubs

Jumper numbers
Richmond: 20

Jim Jess

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV

AFL: 8,850th player to appear, 450th most games played, 506th most goals kickedRichmond: 780th player to appear, 24th most games played, 30th most goals kicked

An ebullient, larger than life character who played football with verve, persistence and no small amount of 'devil', Jim Jess was a firm favourite among Richmond fans throughout a 223-game VFL career that ran from 1976 to 1988. Known as 'The Ghost', he excelled in both defensive and attacking key positions, often during the course of the same game.

Probably Jess's best and certainly his most eventful season was 1980, when he was a major driving force behind a Richmond surge to the premiership that culminated in a 23.21 (159) to 9.24 (78) Grand Final annihilation of Collingwood. That same year saw Jess make the All Australian side after a couple of vibrantly effective performances for the 'Big V' at the Adelaide state of origin carnival. Powerful overhead, and a prodigious kick, Jess, who was loathed as much by opposition fans as he was loved by Richmond's, was a major draw-card during a period when VFL football was declining in popularity. His loyalty to the Tigers was amply demonstrated late in his career when he agreed to accept reduced match payments in order to help the cash-strapped club.

After leaving Richmond Jim Jess played at various times at Balranald, Burnie, Avoca and Port Fairy. In 1992 he was a member of Burnie's NTFL premiership-winning team.

Author - John Devaney


Full Points Footy Publications


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