4 July 1964 (age 59)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 19y 271d
Last game: 26y 271d
Height and weight
Height: 182 cm
Weight: 81 kg
|Club||League||Career span||Games||Goals||Avg||Win %||AKI||AHB||AMK||BV|
AFL: 9,480th player to appear, 2,044th most games played, 1,053rd most goals kickedSydney: 1,124th player to appear, 214th most games played, 100th most goals kickedCollingwood: 907th player to appear, 393rd most games played, 242nd most goals kicked
Paul Hawke arrived at Sydney from Wagga Tigers and, after initially struggling to secure a place in the Swans' high quality midfield unit, which boasted the likes of Gerard Healy, Greg Williams, Barry Mitchell, David Murphy and Steve Wright, he developed into a useful player. Versatile and gritty, he might best be described as a utility, but there was little doubt that he produced his best football as a ruck-rover. Not blessed with tremendous pace, he did much of his best work in close and was capable of racking up 20-plus possessions almost unnoticed.
Between 1984 and 1987 Hawke played 72 games for the Swans before making a big money move to Collingwood ahead of the 1988 season. At the start of the year he represented New South Wales at the Adelaide Bicentennial state of origin carnival. Once the VFL season commenced he hit the ground running and one newspaper described him as “a vital cog in an engine room that has the splutters”. Over time, he actually improved, and the 1989 season turned out to be the best of his entire football career. Runner-up that year in the Magpies' best and fairest award he also polled well in the Brownlow, ultimately coming sixth.
Then, inexplicably, the wheels fell off. In 1990 Hawke failed to achieve senior selection even once, for reasons which are clouded in mystery, although there were rumours of a 'falling out' with Collingwood coach Leigh Matthews. Whatever the reason, after 41 VFL games his time at the Magpies was at an end, with the upshot being that he was traded back to the Swans in 1991 but after managing just a solitary senior appearance for the year he was de-listed and, after 114 senior VFL games, his time at the top was over.
Author - John Devaney
1. Hawke trailed Copeland Trophy winner Gavin Brown, who had featured in 3 more games during the year, by a single vote.