Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Mark William Bairstow

Known as
Mark Bairstow

24 July 1963 (age 59)


Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 23y 247d
Last game: 31y 69d

Height and weight
Height: 180 cm
Weight: 87 kg

Senior clubs
South Fremantle; Australia; Geelong

Jumper numbers
Geelong: 3

Recruited from
South Fremantle (1987); Geelong (1990); Lake Grace Pingrup (1991)

Hall of fame
Western Australian Football Hall Of Fame, Inducted 2010

Family links
Toby Bairstow (Son)

Mark Bairstow

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
South FremantleWAFL1985-198640330.83
GeelongV/AFL1987-1989, 1991-19941461721.1860%17.907.793.3865
Lake Grace PingrupOFA1990

AFL: 9,758th player to appear, 1,373rd most games played, 516th most goals kickedGeelong: 868th player to appear, 86th most games played, 46th most goals kicked

Outstanding youngster who has the makings of a champion after only one season. His many eye-catching performances in the centre for South Fremantle saw him finish equal third in the (1985) Sandover Medal and gain state selection in his first year.¹

Bairstow commenced his league career at South Fremantle, where he won the best first year player award in 1985 and both the club fairest and best and Sandover Medal the following year. A smooth running, prolific ball-winning on-baller, he crossed to Geelong in 1987 and was an immediate success, achieving All Australian selection in his debut season, and earning a reputation as one of the premier midfielders in the game. 

Always a country boy at heart, however, he caused something of a stir immediately after playing in the losing grand final of 1989 against Hawthorn by returning to his home town of Lake Grace where he spent the entire 1990 season. 

In 1991, the Cats coaxed him back into the fold, and he made up for lost time by producing some of the best football of his career, earning AFL All Australian selection in both 1991 and 1992. By the time of his retirement in 1994, Bairstow had played 146 V/AFL games and kicked 172 goals. He captained the Cats in his last three seasons in league football.

Author - John Devaney


1. “WAFL Football Budget”, 21/9/85, page 34.


Full Points Footy's WA Football Companion, Crème de la Crème


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