Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Charles Brownlow

Known as
Charles Brownlow


25 July 1861

Place of birth
Geelong, VIC (3220)

23 January 1924 (aged 62)

Place of death
Geelong, VIC (3220)


Senior clubs

State of origin

Hall of fame
Australian Football Hall of Fame

Charles Brownlow

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV

Known today as the man who lent his name to Australian football's most prestigious individual award, the Brownlow Medal, Charles Brownlow was a one of the early game's outstanding figures. Debuting with the immensely powerful Geelong team of 1880, Brownlow was forced to play under the alias of 'Green' so as to hide his real identity from his father, none too keen on his son wasting his Saturday afternoons on such frivolous matters as football. [1] Eventually gaining the support of senior, junior forged a successful playing career over twelve seasons, establishing a reputation as a footballer of the first order and as a leader of men. 

He captained the team in 1883 - a premiership year -  and in 1885 assumed the position of club secretary, a post he held for the next 38 years. This was the first of numerous administrative roles he was to assume, in football, cricket, and in rowing, not least of which was serving as President of the VFL in 1918-1919. Upon his death in January 1924, it was decided to name a new award in his honour - for the fairest and best player in the VFL. It was a fitting tribute to a man so widely respected throughout the footballing fraternity. 

Author - Adam Cardosi


1. 'The late Charles Brownlow', by 'An Old Chum', Sunday Times, 10 February 1924, p.5s.


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