Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Sean Denham

Known as
Sean Denham

29 April 1969 (age 53)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 18y 116d
Last game: 31y 98d

Height and weight
Height: 177 cm
Weight: 80 kg

Senior clubs
Geelong; Essendon

Jumper numbers
Geelong: 58, 18
Essendon: 38

Recruited from
Melton South (1987); Geelong (1992)

Sean Denham

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV

AFL: 9,890th player to appear, 770th most games played, 1,644th most goals kickedGeelong: 874th player to appear, 370th most games played, 281st most goals kickedEssendon: 966th player to appear, 86th most games played, 194th most goals kicked

Geelong recruited Sean Denham from Melton South and he made his debut in 1987, the first of 44 V/AFL appearances for the Cats, demonstrating good all round skills including a genuine ability to kick well with both feet. It was after moving to Essendon in 1992, however, that he really came into his own. In some ways Denham was a blueprint for a new type of midfielder, capable both of negating his opponents and setting up plays. If he was unobtrusive this was all to the good as it enabled him to undertake his work more effectively, albeit that he did not always garner the praise he deserved. Within the club, however, he was greatly respected, and his tough as nails approach made him inordinately popular with Essendon fans. He famously had a long running feud with Carlton's Greg Williams, a result of a broken nose sustained by Denham, courtesy of Williams, in the 1993 grand final. 

The twin highlights of Denham's career came first of all in 1993 when he helped the Bombers defeat Carlton in the aforementioned grand final, and secondly in 1997 when he won the Crichton Medal for club best and fairest. Denham ultimately played 142 games for Essendon, retiring after a 2000 season which had seen him struggle with injuries and indifferent form, as a result of which he missed participation in another premiership as the Dons overcame Melbourne in that year's grand final. He captained Essendon's reserves combination after his retirement from the seniors.

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.