Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Stephen Lawrence

Known as
Stephen Lawrence

22 April 1969 (age 54)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 19y 8d
Last game: 28y 361d

Height and weight
Height: 200 cm
Weight: 100 kg

Senior clubs
Morningside; Hawthorn

Jumper numbers
Hawthorn: 31, 12

Stephen Lawrence

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV

AFL: 9,941st player to appear, 1,394th most games played, 2,965th most goals kickedHawthorn: 718th player to appear, 74th most games played, 182nd most goals kicked

As a teenager, Steve Lawrence was Queensland's first winner, in 1986, of the Larke Medal for best and fairest player at the Teal Cup national under 17 championships. Tall, mobile and athletic, he had many of the assets necessary to become a truly great player. Sadly, after a highly promising start to his senior career as a ruckman, he failed to 'kick on', and perhaps the kindest assessment of his 11-season, 146-game V/AFL career would be "could have done better".

Having said that, Steve Lawrence's best was very, very good indeed, and this was never better exemplified than in 1991 when he was a key performer for the Hawks in both their night and day premiership successes, as well as the best player afield for Queensland in its 23.14 (152) to 15.18 (108) state of origin defeat of Victoria at the Gabba. Lawrence was also prominent in the Queensland/Northern Territory combined state of origin side's comfortable win over Tasmania at Bellerive a couple of seasons later.

As the 1990s wore on, however, Hawthorn's decline in fortune was mirrored by that of its 200 cm, 100 kg South African-born stalwart whose primacy in the ruck ended after the arrival at Glenferrie of former Essendon great Paul Salmon in 1996. Forced to reinvent himself, the lanky, deceptively awkward looking Lawrence went on to play some of the most consistent football of his career over the next couple of years as a resolute, strong marking defender. After featuring in the Hawks' opening four games of the 1998 season, however, Lawrence was dropped to the reserves where he sustained back and cheek injuries which ultimately brought his senior AFL career to an end.

Author - John Devaney


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