Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
John Patrick Platten

Known as
John Platten

The Rat

17 March 1963 (age 60)

Place of birth
Elizabeth, SA (5112)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 23y 14d
Last game: 34y 166d

Height and weight
Height: 170 cm
Weight: 70 kg

Senior clubs
Central District; Australia; Hawthorn

Jumper numbers
Hawthorn: 44

Recruited from
Central District (1986); Hawthorn (1998)

State of origin

Hall of fame
Australian Football Hall of Fame (2003); South Australian Football Hall Of Fame (2002)

John Platten

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
Central DistrictSANFL1981-1985, 19981132622.32
AustraliaIR1984, 19866

AFL: 9,680th player to appear, 226th most games played, 332nd most goals kickedHawthorn: 704th player to appear, 15th most games played, 24th most goals kicked

John Platten was the first player born in Elizabeth to play for its home town footy club, Central District. During a two decade, 371 game career with both Centrals (113 games) and Hawthorn (258), 'The Rat' proved himself one of the greatest rovers in the history of the game. He was also one of football'a most decorated and consistently successful players, winning both the Magarey and Brownlow Medals, four club best and fairest awards (two at each club), four premiership medallions (all with the Hawks), membership of three VFL/AFL night/pre-season premiership teams, All Australian selection on four occasions, AFL All Australian selection three times, and a record (shared with Craig Bradley) 15 state of origin appearances for South Australia.

The keys to his success were pace, ebullience, sure ball handling, effective disposal skills with both hand and foot, and an irrepressible, terrier-like ability to gain possession of the ball amidst, if the cliche can be excused, 'the heaviest of traffic'. Platten's exuberant style made him a firm favourite among fans in both his home and adopted states and his popularity among football supporters even extended to Ireland where he toured with Australia's successful International Rules side of 1984.

Platten returned to South Australia in 1998 in the hope of fulfilling a childhood dream of participating in a Central District premiership. However, his career was cruelly cut short by injury and he had to content himself with cheering from the sidelines and joining in the post-match celebrations when the Bulldogs finally broke through for a first ever senior flag two years later.

John Platten was included in both Central District's official 'Best All Time Team 1964 to 2003' and the official Hawthorn 'Team of the Century'.

Author - John Devaney


Full Points Footy's SA Football Companion


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