Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Shane Ellen

Known as
Shane Ellen

1 January 1973 (age 49)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 20y 99d
Last game: 27y 91d

Height and weight
Height: 188 cm
Weight: 82 kg

Senior clubs
Footscray; Adelaide

Jumper numbers
Footscray: 47, 20
Adelaide: 13

Recruited from
Footscray (1996)

Shane Ellen

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
FootscrayAFL1993, 19951110.0945%5.271.451.270
AFL1993, 1995-200065160.2543%6.583.082.721
Total1993, 1995-200065160.2543%6.583.082.721

AFL: 10,403rd player to appear, 3,540th most games played, 4,117th most goals kickedFootscray: 832nd player to appear, 637th most games played, 764th most goals kickedAdelaide: 70th player to appear, 96th most games played, 125th most goals kicked

Shane Ellen played 65 games for Footscray and Adelaide between 1993 and 2000 but is remembered almost universally for just one of those games - the 1997 Grand Final, in which kicked five goals - a remarkable achievement considering he had kicked only 11 others in his 64 previous and subsequent games. Having managed just 11 games for Footscray in three seasons from 1993 to 1995, the unspectacular but workmanlike defender was delisted by the Bulldogs but given a lifeline by the Adelaide Crows via the 1996 pre-season draft. He played 17 games in that season and 10 the following season, never quite establishing himself as a regular in the side.

Notwithstanding his inability to become a permanent member of the team, Ellen made a happy knack of being part of it at just the right moments. An injury sustained by superstar Tony Modra in the 1997 Preliminary Final saw Ellen an unlikely choice as a full forward in the first half in that season's Grand Final against St Kilda. Ellen kicked two goals before half time before switching back to a more familiar defensive role but, as the Crows swarmed to victory in the second half, Ellen drifted forward on several more occasions and kicked three further goals, establishing himself as an unlikely premiership hero. 

Ellen played 17 games in 1998, missing from rounds six to nine, but was again on hand as the Crows went back to back against North Melbourne, becoming a dual premiership player despite having limited influence on the day. After just ten further games across the next two seasons, Shane Ellen's career ground to a halt after 65 games early in 2000. In all likelihood, his name would have been - as it has been for sundry other "50-gamers" - largely forgotten in the mists of time  but for his remarkable "day out" on the occasion of the Crows' first ever flag.

Author - Andrew Gigacz


Encyclopedia of Australian Footballers, Wikipedia


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