Dane Swan speaks after being inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame. Image by Daniel Pockett/AAP PHOTOS
  • Australian rules football

Collingwood cult hero Dane Swan joins Hall of Fame

Shayne Hope June 18, 2024

Brownlow medallists Dane Swan and Kelvin Templeton have been honoured for their glittering contributions to the game with induction into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.

On a night when Hawthorn’s champion goal-kicker Jason Dunstall was officially elevated to Legend status, Swan and Templeton were named among six new inductees at Tuesday’s gala event in Melbourne.

Inaugural Adelaide Crows captain Chris McDermott, Indigenous speedster Michael Graham, West Perth great Ray Schofield and New South Wales pioneer Ralph Robertson were also acknowledged.

Foundation Crows skipper Chris McDermott was among the inductees.

Much-loved by a legion of fans in the Magpie Army, Swan was a leader of Collingwood’s famous “rat pack” during their successful period under coaching legend Mick Malthouse and his successor Nathan Buckley.

Swan was at times criticised for not looking like a professional athlete, and courted his share of off-field controversy, but was a genuine star of the competition on the field.

The prolific midfielder was a key contributor in the Magpies’ 2010 premiership under Malthouse and won the Brownlow Medal the following season, with what was then a record 34 votes under the 3-2-1 system.

He was also an All-Australian in five consecutive seasons from 2009-2013 and won the Copeland Trophy – Collingwood’s best-and-fairest award – for three straight years from 2008-10.

Malthouse insists Swan’s approach to football behind the scenes belied his public persona, and was crucial to his success.

“Dane is the sort of player that gives the impression that he’s a bit loose … but he’s a very, very proud person. I can see the other side of Dane,” Malthouse said in a video tribute to Swan.

“What a lot of people don’t realise is he’d go into the altitude room, put the heaters on to 30 degrees, pump it up to nearly 4000m, he’d get on the running machine and didn’t publicise it, and come away knowing that he could get through a match with the speed and power that he could take on any tagger and anyone in the middle.

“That was his secret.”

Swan retired in 2016 because of a serious foot injury after 258 games in black-and-white.

Templeton won his Brownlow in 1980 during a brilliant stint with Footscray that reaped 494 goals from 143 games.

He won the Coleman Medal in successive seasons (1978-79) as the VFL’s leading goal-kicker and is a two-time Bulldogs best-and-fairest winner (1978, 1980).

Kelvin Templeton addresses the Hall of Fame audience after his induction.

Templeton captained the Bulldogs in 1982 before adding 34 games and 99 goals in a three-year stint with Melbourne, retiring in 1985.

He later served as the Sydney Swans’ chief executive officer from 1995-2002, and helped the club develop into an AFL powerhouse on and off the field after its shaky start to life in the Harbour City following the relocation from South Melbourne.

McDermott was a two-time SANFL premiership player and captain of Glenelg before being called on to lead the Crows for four years, starting with their inaugural AFL season in 1991.

He is a four-time best-and-fairest winner – three Glenelg (1986-1988) and one Adelaide (1992) – and also went on to coach North Adelaide in the SANFL from 1997-2000.

Indigenous Team of the Century member Graham is regarded as one of the fastest and most skilful players of his generation, known as ‘The Flash’, and was central to Sturt’s success in the 1970s.

A two-time SANFL premiership player, the half-forward flanker was also part of three NTFL premiership teams with St Mary’s.

Robertson, who was killed on active service in 1917, played a total of about 150 games for East Sydney and North Shore in NSW, captaining both clubs and winning a premiership with each of them.

He captained NSW at the national carnival in three separate years and also played 14 games for St Kilda in the newly-formed VFL in 1899-1900.

Schofield is a West Perth great, having played 277 games for the club and 21 times for Western Australia.

He played in two premierships with the Cardinals – as they were then known – in 1949 and 1951, and won five best-and-fairest awards in a career that spanned 16 years.

Schofield captained West Perth in 1952 and 1957-58, also coaching the club in his final season.

Dunstall’s elevation as the game’s 32nd Legend was confirmed in April.

A four-time premiership player with Hawthorn, Dunstall kicked 1254 goals in a glittering 269-game AFL/VFL career before injuries forced him into retirement in 1998.

Only Tony Lockett (1360) and Gordon Coventry (1299) are higher on the competition’s all-time list of leading goal-kickers.

Dunstall was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002, as soon as he became eligible.