Matthew Lloyd – Retired AFL Player
Known by the nickname ‘Lloydy’, Matthew Lloyd was one of the most decorated AFL players of all time.
Born on April 16, 1978, Matthew Lloyd holds the record of being the seventh highest goal kicker in the history of AFL/VFL.
Matthew Lloyd belongs to the list of players who kicked a goal with their very first kick after debut. He also kicked more than a 100 goals in a single season twice throughout his career. Of the total of 270 games he played, he kicked 926 goals.
Essendon was granted a ‘compensatory selection’ in 1995 Pre-Season Draft because they lost Tom Ridley when Fremantle Football Club was formed. That is when Essendon picked up Matthew Lloyd and little did they know that Lloyd was about to become one of the greatest players for Essendon. V made his AFL debut in Round 14 of 1995 season and with his first kick, he scored a goal and kicked another two for the match. Lloyd was known for his extremely powerful marks.
Matthew Lloyd had a very unusual ritual of taking shots. He would go back far behind his mark, pull his socks and throw some grass in midair to understand the wind direction and then run a long way to take his mark. This became so popular that it became known as ‘Lloyd Rule’.
Many players followed his trademark style and because of this AFL introduced, what is known as ‘shot clock’ to limit the amount of time that can be taken by players to take shots. Matthew Lloyd did adjust himself with the new rule but did not give up the grass throwing style till the end of his career.
From 1997 to 2009 except for 2006, Matthew Lloyd remained the top goal scorer of Essendon in every season. The ‘Champions of Essendon’ list lists Lloyd as the 22nd greatest player who ever played for the club. In 1999, Lloyd broke the record of John Coleman for kicking maximum number of goals against Sydney Swans.
Lloyd retired in 2009 after playing only one match following a suspension he received for hitting Brad Sewell of Hawthorn. That incident led to a fist fight between the players of Essendon and Hawthorn. Sewell was knocked unconscious and was left with facial injuries because of Lloyd’s hit.
After retirement, Lloyd became assistant coach of AIS-AFL academy. Though he was eligible for taking up the position of an AFL coach, he did not go for it.
Matthew Lloyd made several media appearances during and after his AFL career. He was a co-host of Auskick’n Around, a children’s AFL show hosted by Fox Footy Channel from 2003 to 2005. He was also a weekly panelist for White Line Fever of Fox Footy.
He also became a panelist on The AFL Footy Show. In 2009, Lloyd became a regular panellist of Network Ten’s newly launched show named ‘One Week at a Time’. He was also a regular columnist for the newspaper named ‘The Age’. From 2010 to 2012, he was associated with a number of other media houses. In 2013, he became a panelist of Footy Classified alongside Caroline Wilson, Craig Hutchison, and Gary Lyon.
Awards And Achievements
Lloyd was one of the most decorated players of Essendon. Here is a quick list of his achievements and awards:
- 2000, 2001, 2003 – Winner of Coleman Medal.
- 1997-2005 – Leading goal kicker of Essendon.
- 2007-2009 – Leading goal kicker of Essendon.
- 2000 – Premiership Player of Essendon.
- 2007 – Kicked the Goal of the Year.
- 2008 – Mark of the Year.
- 2001 – Won the Jim Stynes Medal.
- 1998-2001 and 2003 – Member of All-Australian Team.
- Listed as No. 22 on Champions of Essendon list.
- 2013 – Inducted into and earned Legend status in Essendon Football Club Hall of Fame.
- 2013 – Inducted into Australian Football Hall of Fame.
Matthew Lloyd’s greatest goals ever was his 2007’s back heel goal while being surrounded by opponents. His skills and his extraordinary marking capabilities will be remembered throughout the history of AFL. His achievements will continue to inspire new players for years to come!