2 December 1964 (age 57)
Place of birth
Hobart, TAS (7000)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 17y 115d
Last game: 30y 219d
Height and weight
Height: 178 cm
Weight: 87 kg
State of origin
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After playing his early senior football with Clarence in the TFL Stephen ‘Supa’ MacPherson was picked up by Footscray in 1981 and, after an initial grounding in the under 19s and reserves, was handed his senior debut in the opening round of the 1982 season. He soon booked himself a permanent place in the Bulldogs midfield alongside such luminaries as Doug Hawkins, Andrew Purser and Steven Wallis. Not tall at just 178cm, he was solidly built and adopted a ferociously aggressive approach to the game, much to the delight and respect of the club’s fans.
The 1985 season was probably MacPherson’s best as he helped his side reach the preliminary final whilst amassing over 400 possessions for the year. Subsequent campaigns tended to be memorable for the wrong reasons though as he missed numerous games through injury. Between 1986 and 1991, Macpherson would play just 78 of a possible 132 senior V/AFL games, with the only comparatively bright note coming in 1988 when he was a member of the Bulldogs’ reserve grade premiership team. (He would repeat this achievement in 1994.)
The 1992 season saw MacPherson temporarily shake off the injuries to be one of the key factors in Footscray’s rise up the premiership table. However, it proved to be a fleeting reprieve.
Stephen MacPherson continued with Footscray until 1995, by which time he had played 188 games and kicked 152 goals, totals which would both have been considerably higher had he not fallen victim to a succession of injuries. He also played five interstate matches for Tasmania. His brother Rod also played for Footscray for a time as well as having a brief stint at Brisbane.
After retiring as a player MacPherson turned his hand to coaching and development roles, including a two season stint in charge of VFL club Coburg.
Author - John Devaney