Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Mark Mercuri

Known as
Mark Mercuri

21 February 1974 (age 49)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 18y 92d
Last game: 30y 203d

Height and weight
Height: 178 cm
Weight: 77 kg

Senior clubs

Jumper numbers
Essendon: 45, 2

Mark Mercuri

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV

AFL: 10,338th player to appear, 567th most games played, 290th most goals kickedEssendon: 972nd player to appear, 26th most games played, 20th most goals kicked

As a sublimely skilled half forward flanker or on-baller, Mark Mercuri was a key factor in Essendon's success in both the early and late 1990s. Hailing originally from Keilor Park, the same club as teammate Joe Misiti, he made his league debut in 1992, and was a member of the 'Baby Bombers' team that won the 1993 premiership. In that year's Grand Final against Carlton he booted three goals from a half forward flank and was some people's choice as the best player afield, although the Norm Smith Medal went to Michael Long.

Mercuri's career continued on an upward spiral in 1994 when he made his state of origin debut with the 'Big V', but over the next four seasons he experienced a horror run with injury, limiting both his appearances, and his effectiveness when selected. In 1999 he recaptured his best form as the Bombers emerged as a force to be reckoned with once more. Mercuri polled 22 Brownlow Medal votes that year to run second behind Hawthorn's Shane Crawford. He also won Essendon's best and fairest award, and was chosen in the AFL All Australian team. His good form continued during a 2000 season that culminated in his having 22 disposals during the grand final defeat of Melbourne, and he also played in the Grand Final loss to Brisbane a year later.

Recurring problems with injuries undermined Mercuri's effectiveness after that, and it was no surprise when, after a frustrating 2004 season which saw him make just nine league appearances, he elected to retire rather than struggle on. He had played a total of 207 games and kicked 242 goals during his 13-season AFL career, and at his peak was one of the most exhilarating players to watch in the game.

Author - John Devaney


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