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Nathan Gordon Brown
10 February 1978 (age 45)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 19y 47d
Last game: 31y 199d
Height and weight
Height: 181 cm
Weight: 80 kg
Western Bulldogs; Australia; Richmond
Western Bulldogs: 17
Bendigo Pioneers (1997); Western Bulldogs (2004)
|Club||League||Career span||Games||Goals||Avg||Win %||AKI||AHB||AMK||BV|
AFL: 10,740th player to appear, 478th most games played, 140th most goals kickedWestern Bulldogs: 864th player to appear, 77th most games played, 21st most goals kickedRichmond: 1,040th player to appear, 202nd most games played, 44th most goals kicked
Nathan Brown played 219 games for the Western Bulldogs and Richmond between 1997 and 2009.
Recruited from Golden Square and then the Bendigo Pioneers in the TAC Cup to the Western Bulldogs in the AFL, Brown made a name for himself as a dangerous medium-sized forward.
He played with the Bulldogs from 1997 to 2003, and left the club after a more lucrative contract was offered by Richmond. At the time the Western Bulldogs had asked many of their high profile players to take pay cuts to support the team financially. Nathan Brown's money-based move to Richmond led to some Bulldogs' fans labelling Brown "Judas".
In 2005 Brown continued to perform for the Tigers, due to the Tigers new coach Terry Wallace taking over, and put in a string of match-winning performances in the early part of the season, including a sensational last-quarter burst against Collingwood in Round 8. In this game, Richmond turned a 10-point deficit into a 35-point victory, thanks to Brown's five last-quarter goals. The following week against Brisbane, Brown added four goals to be one of the match winners along with Shane Tuck. With Richmond sitting in the top four, with seven wins and two losses following a rare interstate win, Brown proclaimed that the Tigers would now be aiming to consolidate their place in the top four in 2005. Brown being a key player, booting 32 goals in his nine appearances to that stage.
But Richmond's 2005 season turned ugly when Brown broke his leg attempting a left-foot kick as Melbourne Demons defender Matthew Whelan dived across him in a legitimate attempt to smother the ball. Brown's right foot became stuck on the Telstra Dome surface and tilted a bit to the right. Replays of the incident on the big Telstra Dome screen and on news highlights the following day and throughout the weekend shocked many viewers, even to the extent that it made Channel Ten presenter Robert Walls turn off his TV. Richmond lost the game by 57 points, and would only record three more wins in 2005, against the Sydney Swans (who ultimately went on to win the premiership) and Essendon in rounds 14 and 15, and a late-gasp win over Hawthorn in round 21. Some have suggested the incident effectively ended Brown's career as his time away from football meant that by time Brown returned, the game had passed him by, while the subsequent complications from the horrific injury considerably hindered the remainder of his career.
Brown had a titanium rod inserted into his tibia, and underwent extensive therapy and rehabilitation training over the following pre-season. Brown returned to the field for a clash with his old club the Western Bulldogs in late-March, which Richmond lost by 115 points, the first of three century losses Richmond suffered in 2006. The last, a 103-point loss to St Kilda in round 17, spelled the end of Brown's 2006 season as he suffered a hamstring strain during the match. Brown encountered complications from his broken leg early in 2007 which ruled him out for the first half of the season.
With Richmond languishing at the bottom of the ladder, Brown did not play a match at senior level until Round 12. He returned in a 49 point win over Melbourne (the first for the Tigers season), kicking three goals in the process.
Brown played his 200th game in 2008, against Melbourne at the Telstra Dome, the same team and venue of his infamous broken leg - but this time Richmond was the home team. He also lined up on Matthew Whelan, the man who broke his leg, but this time around the Tigers won comfortably.
In November 2009, Nathan Brown announced his retirement from the AFL. He stated that there was interest from other clubs to pick him up, although he believed a persistent groin injury would not stand up to another season of AFL football.