Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Wayne Carey

Known as
Wayne Carey


27 May 1971 (age 52)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 18y 14d
Last game: 33y 16d

Height and weight
Height: 192 cm
Weight: 97 kg

Senior clubs
North Melbourne; Australia; Adelaide

Jumper numbers
North Melbourne: 40, 18
Adelaide: 2

Recruited from
North Melbourne (2003)

Wayne Carey

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
North MelbourneV/AFL1989-20012446712.7562%12.224.967.01126
V/AFL1989-2001, 2003-20042727272.6760%11.834.686.73127
Total1989-2001, 2003-20042757272.64

AFL: 10,048th player to appear, 173rd most games played, 21st most goals kickedNorth Melbourne: 801st player to appear, 15th most games played, 1st most goals kickedAdelaide: 131st player to appear, 144th most games played, 48th most goals kicked

When Wayne Carey's career controversially stalled prior to the start of the 2002 season, he had established a reputation, not only as one of the finest footballers of his era, but as one of perhaps the dozen greatest players of all time. Hailing originally from Wagga Wagga, Carey played junior and reserve grade football with North Adelaide before joining North Melbourne in 1989. It was clear right from the outset that the Kangaroos had managed to get their hands on someone special. Powerfully built even then, Carey could mark strongly even under the most extreme pressure, and his kicking either to position or at goal was impeccable. He was also surprisingly quick, both over the ground, and in terms of his decision making and use of the ball. Carey won the first of his four North Melbourne best and fairest awards in 1992, and the following year was appointed captain.

North's emergence as one of the power clubs of the AFL during the mid to late 1990s was attributable in no small measure to Carey's presence and contribution. It is arguable that no footballer in history has ever been capable of winning a game entirely off his own boot, but Carey at his peak perhaps came as close as anyone. On a purely objective measure, he was probably worth at least three players - which, coincidentally, is sometimes the number of opponents he had to contend with. Named an AFL All Australian in 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000, Carey was selected as captain of the side on four occasions. In both 1996 and 1999 he was a pivotal member of his club's two most recent premiership sides. For personal reasons, Carey elected to stand out of football in 2002, but the 2003 season brought his return to a game which his absence had left the poorer when he fronted up with Adelaide. After just a season and a half with the Crows, however, Carey was forced to retire from football owing to a persistent neck injury.

Wayne Carey's V/AFL career comprised 244 games and 671 goals for North followed by 28 appearances and 56 goals for the Crows.

Author - John Devaney


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