Russell Ebert Among the Greatest in Aussie Rules Football

Russell Ebert is one among the greatest players ever in VFL History

The South Australian-born superstar began his career as an 18 year old with the Port Adelaide Football Club in the SANFL or South Australian National Football League in 1968. Russell Ebert

First Impressions Last

Right from the beginning Russell Ebert established himself as a brilliant goal-kicker, leading the club’s tally in his debut season.

Several honors came his way soon after, which included the Magarey Medal for the fairest and most brilliant player, and the club’s best and fairest award in 1971.

Not surprisingly, Russell Ebert holds the SANFL record for 4 Magarey Medals that came his way in 1971, 1974, 1976 and 1980. He also increased his tally of the club’s Best and Fairest award to finish with a career best of 5 medals that came his way in 1972, 1974, 1976, 1977 and 1981.

Russell Ebert was also instrumental in his team’s premierships in 1977, 1980 and 1981

Most Sought After

Russell Ebert was one of the most sought after players in the Victorian Football League. Port Adelaide finally agreed to release Russell Ebert to North Melbourne for the 1979 season. He was taken on in exchange for Mark Dawson with Russell Ebert receiving $35,000 in addition to travel costs between Adelaide and Melbourne.

The feisty goal-scorer flew every Thursday from Adelaide to Melbourne and returned on Sunday. He played 25 games for North Melbourne, which is a record for the most games by a player in one season.


After a successful season with North Melbourne, Russell Ebert was back at Port Adelaide who enjoyed his services for 392 games, which is again a club record. He took over the responsibility of leading the Port Adelaide from 1974–1978 and 1983–1985.

He captained the South Australian side for three seasons in 1975, 1977, and 1986. Russell Ebert hung up his boots in 1985 and chose to coach Port Adelaide until 1987. He moved on to coach the SANFL Woodville Football Club between 1988 and 1990.


Russell Ebert ended his playing career with 452 games that included matches for Port Adelaide, North Melbourne, and South Australia. This is considered the seventh highest tally by a player in top-level senior football.

Barrie Robran was often regarded as Russell Ebert’s chief rival as the greatest player in South Australia. Russell Ebert is one of the most unassuming players never to be involved in controversies, a player who let his football do the talking.

For the most part, Russell Ebert is one of the players to have mastered more than just the essential skills of the game.

He was a brilliant mark, attacker, and was adept at handling the ball in the most gruelling situations and was equally brilliant when it came to disposals by foot and hand.

Accuracy was his second name and his defensive qualities made him stand out from the rest. Russell Ebert was a player his team could count on to turn out a winning performance.


Whether it was tackles, smothering, spoiling, or checking, they all came to him naturally and through hard work as well.

A superstar, uber-champion in every right, Aussie Rules may not see the likes of Russell Ebert for a while.

Russell Ebert played 417 games between 1968 and 1985, out of which 392 were for Port Adelaide, and the remaining 25 in that single season with North Melbourne in 1979.

He represented South Australia 29 times and also won the Jack Oatey Medal for best afield after the 1981 Grand Final triumph over Glenelg. Statistics is enough to prove Russell Ebert’s prowess on the field.

Hall Of Fame

However, his fans will always remember his often-impossible feats on the field. He had a great influence on young future stars like Bradley and Anderson playing under his captaincy.

He coached Port Adelaide that came close to success in the 1984 Grand Final and played a major role in South Australia’s State of Origin victories in 1996 and 1998 over Western Australia. Russell Ebert was officially inducted into the South Australian Sporting Hall of Fame in 2012.

« « Back to Football Articles