Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Ross Thornton

Known as
Ross Thornton

23 October 1956 (age 66)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 23y 172d
Last game: 32y 258d

Height and weight
Height: 179 cm
Weight: 81 kg

Senior clubs

Jumper numbers
Fitzroy: 49, 4

Family links
Fraser Gehrig (Nephew)

Ross Thornton

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV

AFL: 9,147th player to appear, 1,355th most games played, 3,186th most goals kickedFitzroy: 971st player to appear, 45th most games played, 185th most goals kicked

Ross Thornton joined Fitzroy in 1975, aged eighteen, but proved unable to break into the senior team. He therefore crossed to VFA first division club Prahran where he gradually built up his form and confidence. In 1978 he lined up in a back pocket in the grand final clash with Preston from which the Two Blues emerged victorious by 22 points. Team mates on this occasion included future Carlton star Wayne Johnston and former North Melbourne and Collingwood identity Sam Kekovich.

Returning to Fitzroy in 1980 Thornton quickly established himself as a permanent back pocket player of high quality, with his surging runs out of defence a trademark feature of his game. Between 1980 and 1989 he played 146 VFL games and kicked 26 goals for the Lions, and won a club best and fairest award in 1984. He was also club vice captain for a time.

In 2014 Ross Thornton, by this time a successful businessman of long standing, was elected to the post of Melbourne-based director with the Brisbane Lions.

Author - John Devaney


Encyclopedia of AFL Footballers by Russell Holmesby & Jim Main; Wikipedia article


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