Christopher Stephen McDermott
4 November 1963 (age 59)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 27y 138d
Last game: 32y 301d
Height and weight
Height: 182 cm
Weight: 92 kg
Hall of fame
South Australian Football Hall Of Fame (2002)
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An inspirational amalgam of courage, toughness and determination, Chris McDermott deserves to be remembered as one of the most noteworthy and important players of the 1980s and 90s. Recruited by Glenelg from Brighton High, he made his SANFL debut in 1981 and suffered the disappointment of playing in losing Grand Final teams in his first two seasons. In the 1981 loss to Port Adelaide, he was, by common consensus, the Bays best player.
By the mid-1980s, McDermott was regarded as one of the finest players in South Australia. Hard at the ball and capable of using it sublimely, if often almost invisibly as far as the vote-bestowing men in white were concerned, he won club best and fairest awards in 1986, 1987, and 1988 and made the 1986 and 1987 All Australian teams. When the Tigers won consecutive Grand Finals in 1985-6 he was listed high among the best players both times.
A natural leader by example, Chris McDermott was appointed captain of Glenelg after Peter Carey's retirement at the end of the 1988 season. When Adelaide was admitted to the AFL, he became the fledgling club inaugural skipper, a role he retained until 1994. With his hyper-aggressive, intense approach to the game, McDermott might have been born to play AFL football. He enjoyed a particularly noteworthy 1992 season, achieving both AFL All Australian selection and the Crows best and fairest award.
Injuries slowed McDermott down towards the end of his career, and after struggling somewhat in 1995 and 1996, he retired from AFL football. All told, he played 117 games for the Crows, 227 with Glenelg, and 14 for South Australia.
In 1997 he was appointed playing coach of North Adelaide, adding a final 10 league games to his tally as he led the Roosters as far as the first semi final. McDermott continued as non-playing coach of North from 1998 to 2000 but was unable to get the side higher than eighth place on the ladder. It is for his feats as a player, however, rather than as a coach, that he will be remembered.
Author - John Devaney