Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Matthew Thomas Burton

Known as
Matthew Burton


19 May 1970 (age 53)

Place of birth
Perth, WA (6000)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 24y 317d
Last game: 33y 104d

Height and weight
Height: 210 cm
Weight: 103 kg

Senior clubs
Subiaco; Fremantle; North Melbourne

Jumper numbers
Fremantle: 24
North Melbourne: 22

Recruited from
Subiaco (1995); Fremantle (2000)

State of origin

Family links
Peter Burton (Father)Jay Burton (Brother)

Matthew Burton

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
North MelbourneAFL2000-200377330.4351%4.133.842.3212

AFL: 10,550th player to appear, 1,377th most games played, 1,662nd most goals kickedFremantle: 5th player to appear, 76th most games played, 68th most goals kickedNorth Melbourne: 876th player to appear, 181st most games played, 179th most goals kicked

Matthew Burton has received widespread publicity since his AFL debut with Fremantle this year - not just because of his rucking ability, but his awesome height. He stands at 210cm which makes him the tallest player in league history. He is nicknamed ‘Spider’ and was once listed by West Coast but didn’t play a senior game with that club.¹

At 210cm in height Matthew 'Spider' Burton was the tallest AFL footballer of his time, and one of the tallest ever. (His record was subsequently overhauled by three 211cm players.) Needless to say the was a more than useful at centre bounces but he was also more mobile than might have been expected, and his general skills improved appreciably the longer his career went on. That career commenced at Subiaco for whom he played 113 WAFL games and kicked 70 goals between 1990 and 1999. In 1990 he was drafted by West Coast but in four seasons with the club he failed to play a senior game and ended up being de-listed whereupon he was drafted by Fremantle, which was about to take its bows in the AFL. From 1995 to 1999 Burton's AFL career with Fremantle ran in parallel with occasional stints back at Subi.

After 70 AFL games and 33 goals for the Dockers Burton was traded to the Kangaroos where he enhanced his reputation as one of the finest tap ruckman in the game, earning cult status with the Kangas faithful in the process. Between 2000 and 2003 he added a final 77 games and 33 goals to his respective career tallies.

Author - John Devaney


1. 1994 Coca Cola Team Classics no. 8.


Encyclopedia of AFL Footballers by Russell Holmesby & Jim Main; Wikipedia article, Crème de la Crème


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