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Matthew Thomas Burton
19 May 1970 (age 52)
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
Subiaco; Fremantle; North Melbourne
North Melbourne: 22
Subiaco (1995); Fremantle (2000)
State of origin
Peter Burton (Father)Jay Burton (Brother)
|Club||League||Career span||Games||Goals||Avg||Win %||AKI||AHB||AMK||BV|
AFL: 10,550th player to appear, 1,341st most games played, 1,645th most goals kickedFremantle: 5th player to appear, 72nd most games played, 64th most goals kickedNorth Melbourne: 876th player to appear, 178th most games played, 178th 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.