Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
John Longmire

Known as
John Longmire

31 December 1970 (age 52)

Place of birth
Corowa, NSW (2646)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 17y 114d
Last game: 28y 268d

Height and weight
Height: 194 cm
Weight: 102 kg

Senior clubs
North Melbourne

Jumper numbers
North Melbourne: 43, 35

State of origin

Family links
Robert Longmire (Uncle)Keith Williams (Grandfather)

John Longmire

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
North MelbourneV/AFL1988-1995, 1997-19992005112.5652%7.703.194.4433
Total1988-1995, 1997-19992005112.5652%7.703.194.4433

AFL: 9,936th player to appear, 643rd most games played, 62nd most goals kickedNorth Melbourne: 791st player to appear, 33rd most games played, 3rd most goals kicked

Something of a schoolboy prodigy, Longmire, who hailed from Corrowa-Rutherglen, was originally tied to Sydney, but in the end actually joined North Melbourne. Tall (194cm), powerful and, particularly early in his career, surprisingly quick, Longmire could adapt to a variety of positions with equal success. Excellent overhead, he was also a prodigious kick, qualities which came to the fore during 1990, arguably his best AFL season, when, with 98 goals, he topped the league list, despite playing in the backlines for some of the year. Aged only twenty at the time, he was the youngest player in V/AFL history to kick so many goals. He was rewarded with the North Melbourne best and fairest award.

The farcical nature of the rules determining state of origin eligibility was vividly highlighted during that same 1990 season when Longmire played for both Victoria against Tasmania, and for his home state of New South Wales against Victoria. In the latter game he booted eight of New South Wales' 13 goals and was a near unanimous choice as best player afield. To top things off, New South Wales won the match.

For most of the first half of the 1990s Longmire was used primarily in a key attacking role where, with Wayne Carey, he gave North Melbourne one of the most potent forward lines in the game. Between 1990 and 1994, as North gradually emerged from the doldrums to become arguably the team of the '90s, Longmire headed the club's list of goalkickers every year at an average of 81 goals per season. After unfortunately missing the 1996 Grand Final, in which North defeated Sydney, with injury, he capped off his career in style by helping the Kangas overcome Carlton in the 1999 flag decider in what was his 200th and final league game. He kicked 511 goals.

After serving a long apprenticeship under Rodney Eade and Paul Roos, Longmire assumed the senior coaching role at Sydney in 2011, leading the Swans to the semi-final stage in his first season and to the club's fifth premiership in his second in 2012. The Swans made another Grand Final under his coaching in 2014 but were soundly beaten by Hawthorn. In 2016 they went close again, but this time succumbed to the Bulldogs. 

Overall, Longmire's eight seasons at Sydney's helm have yielded eight consecutive finals appearances, a remarkable achievement unmatched by any other AFL club. Yet there are those who would argue that, having made finals in each of those years, the last five of those with arguably the game's greatest player of the time — Lance Franklin — in the side, the Swans should have won at least one more premiership in that period. Notwithstanding the veracity of those arguments, Longmire's achievements as player and coach would be the envy of many.

Author - John Devaney, with updates by Andrew Gigacz


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