Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Matthew Richard Primus

Known as
Matthew Primus

12 January 1975 (age 48)

Place of birth
Geelong, VIC (3220)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 21y 78d
Last game: 30y 227d

Height and weight
Height: 198 cm
Weight: 109 kg

Senior clubs
Norwood; Fitzroy; Port Adelaide

Jumper numbers
Fitzroy: 12
Port Adelaide: 2, 1

Recruited from
Norwood (1996); Fitzroy (1997)

State of origin

Hall of fame
South Australian Football Hall Of Fame (2014)

Family links
Reg Hickey (Grandfather)

Matthew Primus

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
Port AdelaideAFL1997-2005137760.5554%

AFL: 10,668th player to appear, 1,155th most games played, 1,320th most goals kickedFitzroy: 1,152nd player to appear, 461st most games played, 476th most goals kickedPort Adelaide: 19th player to appear, 32nd most games played, 32nd most goals kicked

Matthew Primus was a gargantuan ruckman whose contribution to the Port Adelaide cause was as immensely impressive as his 198 cm, 109 kg frame - which is somewhat ironic considering he commenced his senior league career with Port's long time SANFL rival Norwood. Primus, whose grandfather was former Geelong legend Reg Hickey, joined the Redlegs in 1994 from Geelong Falcons, having also played a handful of games with Geelong reserves. He spent two seasons at Norwood, where he developed into an extremely hard-working knock ruckman of the old school, winning the club's best and fairest award in 1995. 

In 1996 he furthered his progress when he played 20 games with Fitzroy during that club's final season in the AFL. Although the Lions lost every game bar one that year, Primus proved to be a highly consistent and effective performer, running second in the club's best and fairest award. In 1997 he crossed to Port Adelaide and went on to become one of the key figures in the Power's first nine AFL seasons, albeit that his impact was all too frequently undermined by injury, particularly after the turn of the century.

Ruggedly physical and team-orientated, at his best he was virtually unbeatable in one on one ruck contests, and he also became increasingly valuable around the ground as his career went on. Primus captained the Power from 2001 to 2005, but tragically for him missed the 2004 Grand Final when his team mates overcame Brisbane. He won the club's best and fairest award in 2002, and AFL All Australian selection for the second time the same year. 

After managing a total of just 10 games over the ensuing couple of seasons he enjoyed a more settled time in 2005, but nevertheless elected to retire at season's end, his 18 games for the year giving him a final tally of 137 with Port. Late in 2010, after Port Adelaide and Mark Williams parted ways, Primus assumed the mantle of senior coach. Sadly, his time at helm of the Power was not a happy one and he was dismissed after Port suffered an ignominious defeat to GWS in August 2012.

Author - John Devaney, with updates by Andrew Gigacz


Full Points Footy's SA Football Companion


* Behinds calculated from the 1965 season on.
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