Even though their primary purpose is that of a weapon, when quizzing the average layman about boomerangs, most would recognise these symbols of cultural endurance for their colloquial ability to return to their point of origin.

Apart from playing AFL football, each of the 10 names on this list have at least one thing in common – they all came back to their original clubs after spending time with another.

Although names like David Cloke and Warwick Capper completed their careers back at their first clubs and within the bounds of the AFL era, we have ruled them ineligible due to their peaks arising prior to 1990.

Like Elvis’ love letters in the early sixties, these are the 10 best players that were returned to their senders.

John Barnes


After being plucked from country club Cobram prior to the 1986 season, John Barnes was jettisoned from the Bombers’ list after just five seasons, due to coach Kevin Sheedy viewing the big man as a distraction.

Barnes then spent a prosperous eight-year period down the highway in blue and white hoops.

Although integral part of the Geelong teams that ran second on Grand Final day in 1992, 1994 and 1995, Barnes was eventually delisted by the Cats prior to the millennium.

Despite their previously unharmonious relationship, Sheedy coaxed the ruckman back for a further pair of years in a red sash, allowing him to retire as a premiership player at the end of 2001.

Due to the head knocks he suffered across his 202 games at AFL/VFL level, Barnes is said to suffer from unannounced mood swings, memory loss and even epileptic symptoms.

It is for this reason that the 51-year-old is heading a class action against the league in regard to their concussion compensation protocols.