Chris Grant – Australian Football Hall of Fame
Chris Grant was a former player of AFL and is considered a legendary player of Western Bulldogs club.
Christopher Lee Grant, popularly known as Chris Grant made it to the Australian Football Hall of Fame, making his name immortal in the world of AFL. He is one of the very few players who have played more than 300 games. Chris Grant actually played 341 games and kicked 554 goals.
Footscray Football Club, now known as Western Bulldogs recruited Chris in 1988 VFL Draft. However, his playing career actually started two years later in 1990 when he made his AFL debut at the age of 17.
Throughout the 1990 season, Chris Grant kicked 51 goals, making him the youngest player in AFL/VFL history to achieve that remarkable feat. He became the leading goal kicker of Footscray during the 1990 season.
In the years that followed, Chris became one of the most respected half-forward players. In years 1994 and 1996, he earned the best and fairest award of Footscray. In 1997, he failed to win the Brownlow Medal despite the fact that pulled a total of 27 votes as opposed to 26 by winner Robert Harvey.
Chris failed to qualify for the award because during 1997 season he was suspended for one match because of striking Nick Holland of Hawthorn club. However, in 1997 he did earn the All-Australian honour, repeating the same achievement in 1998 and 1999 seasons.
Despite the fact that Chris was a centre halfback player during his career, he actually played more than 300 games ending up kicking 500 plus goals. Considering his actually playing position, this was a remarkable achievement.
Chris was honoured with the captaincy of the team in 2001 but finally stepped down from the position in 2004. As a captain, he did achieve something remarkable. He became a member of the Team of the Century for Footscray and Western Bulldogs.
In 2003 he sustained an ACL injury in Round 1, which forced him to stay benched for the rest of the season. In 1997, 1998 and 1999 he ended up with the second position for Western Bulldogs’ best and fairest award. In 2001, he ended up in the third position.
Apart from 1990, Chris was also the leading goal kicker for his club in 1994.
On August 5, 2006, Chris Grant eventually broke the long-standing record of Doug Hawkins for playing the most number of games for Western Bulldogs. That day Chris played his 330th game. This new record set by Chris was held until 2009 when Brad Johnson eventually surpassed Chris’ record.
1996 – A Touch of Emotion
In 1996, time when Chris had already stirred up the entire AFL/VFL world with his performance, he received an offer to move to Port Adelaide against a huge sum of money. Chris almost decided to take the offer but eventually turned it down because of a letter from a little boy named Ryan Adam.
Ryan sent a 20-cent coin with the letter and wrote that that was all he had and if Chris Grant stayed with Western Bulldogs, Chris Grant can keep that 20-cent coin. Chris was so moved by the incident that he turned down the offer of joining Port Adelaide and continued to play for Western Bulldogs.
Chris Grant announced his retirement on October 2, 2007. After retirement, Chris started representing Daylesford Club. Chris used to play for Daylesford before he was recruited by Footscray in 1988.
Awards And Achievements
Throughout his playing career, Chris earned a few awards and achievements that made his name immortal in the history of AFL/VFL. Here is a quick list:
• 1994 and 1996 – Won Footscray Best and Fairest Award.
• 1997, 1998 and 1999 – Became a member of All-Australian Team.
• 2001-2004 – Became the captain of Western Bulldogs.
• 2006-2009 – Record holder of most games played for Western Bulldogs.
• 2012 – Inducted into Australian Football Hall of Fame.
There is no doubt that Chris Grant’s will be remembered as long as AFL will continue to exist. His extraordinary achievements will continue to inspire players for ages to come.