It was March 9th, 1965, when the most prolific sharpshooter in V/AFL history was born.

Anthony 'Plugger' Lockett was a behemoth up forward for St Kilda and Sydney, powering his way to an unstoppable goal tally of 1360. 

Tony Lockett's physical strength equally matched his explosive pace off the mark. The hot-tempered forward only had to stand in the square and let his aura do the rest. Defenders were on high alert 24/7, ever cautious of his presence.

The Ballarat native was a big bustling full-forward to the naked eye, yet he was so much more for many fans who watched him. Lockett's unnatural ability was emphasized by his record-breaking season in 1987 when he became the only full-forward to win the most prestigious award in V/AFL history, the Charles Brownlow Medal.

Adding to his Brownlow from that year, Lockett also won the Leigh Matthews Trophy as the MVP of the competition.

At 21-years-of-age, Tony Lockett was on the brink of a goal-kicking stretch of monstrous proportion. 

Over a 50-game period between Round 1, 1989 to Round 13, 1992, Lockett kicked 339 goals at an average of 6.78 per game. Staggeringly, 'Plugger' kicked 41.94% of St Kilda's total goals across this period.

339 goals.
6.78 average.
41.94% of team's total goals.
24 seven-plus goal hauls. 

9 10 8 5 5 6 6 9 12 3
5 10 9 2 7 7 5 7 5 3
3 4 3 12 10 12 4 7 5 8
5 8 5 2 5 1 13 10 11 9
7 3 4 6 3 6 10 3 12 15

*Lockett's 50-game period between Round 1, 1989 and Round 13, 1992

To truly put that into perspective, the Gold Coast Suns have kicked 445 goals in their last 50 games.

To add another layer to this brilliance, there have only been 24 seven-plus goal bags since 2017, 'Plugger' equaled that within this 50-game period alone.

Regarded by many pundits as the one true king of the goalsquare, history would attest that there haven't been many sharpshooters who have edged close to Lockett's 339 mark.

Let's have a look at the top five's 50-game stretches below.

Peter McKenna (Collingwood

333 goals.
6.66 average.
41.31% of team's total goals.
27 seven-plus goal hauls.

9 9 12 7 9 9 6 4 9 3
10 4 10 6 7 6 5 8 1 10
12 6 2 8 1 8 6 4 4 6
4 8 1 11 7 1 1 12 5 13
7 3 7 1 6 9 9 11 8 8

*McKenna's 50-game period between Round 18, 1970 and Round 1, 1973

With his Beatles-like mop of hair and straight drop-punt, Peter McKenna was the poster boy for many adoring fans throughout his career as the leading sharpshooter at Victoria Park. 

McKenna's rivalry with Hawthorn full-forward, Peter Hudson, is a testament to how close they are on this list. McKenna finished second to Hudson in back-to-back years between 1970-71, even though he kicked 128 and 130 respectively during each home-and-away season.

Despite this, McKenna's 50-game period between that time was the second most prolific ever.

His reliability was unbelievable, 27-times he kicked more than seven goals in a game. McKenna started his best 50-game stretch with bags of 9, 9, 12, 7, 9 and 9 between Round 18, 1970, to the semi-final against Carlton. He even had six to half-time against the Blues the following week in the famous 1970 Grand Final, when the Magpies coughed up a 44-point lead.

Within a club once renowned for developing elite full-forwards, McKenna deserves the same recognition alongside Gordon Coventry, as Collingwood's greatest full-forward.

Peter Hudson (Hawthorn

330 goals.
6.60 average.
41.93% of team's total goals.
24 seven-plus goal hauls.

9 9 6 6 6 8 8 4 8 3
6 8 3 13 6 5 7 3 3 9
8 11 2 9 6 4 9 11 5 4
1 7 5 3 10 7 5 5 5 6
9 7 12 6 9 6 6 3 9 10

*Hudson's 50-game period between Round 15, 1969 and Round 22, 1971

Near Glenferrie Oval at the Immaculate Conception Church stood a sign stating, "What would you do if Jesus came to Hawthorn today?"

Underneath the sign, scribbled in graffiti, was the statement "Move Peter Hudson to centre half-forward."

Peter Hudson is the most prolific full-forward in state-league football, having kicked 1687 goals for New Norfolk, Hawthorn and Glenorchy, plus 288 goals for various representative teams. 

Hudson's rapid rise to superstardom shared parallels to the great John Coleman, and, like the Essendon great, a knee injury derailed his trajectory to be the most prolific full-forward in V/AFL history. 

Remembered for his record-equalling 150-goal season in 1971, his efforts the year before were even better. 

In a side that finished 8 out of 12, Hudson kicked 146 goals and 44 behinds during the home-and-away season, including 43.71% of Hawthorn's total goals. 146 out of 190 scores is ridiculous by today's goal-kicking accuracy standards. 

Maybe Huddo's ugly flat-punt has more merit to it than first thought?

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Bob Pratt (South Melbourne

328 goals.
6.56 average.
41.10% of team's total goals.
23 7-goal hauls.

5 3 9 5 7 6 10 11 6 5
5 7 4 3 8 10 15 6 7 4
6 5 8 7 9 8 11 11 12 3
3 5 4 6 2 4 3 4 6 7
9 5 8 3 7 6 10 8 5 7

*Pratt's 50-game period between Round 5, 1933 and Round 16, 1935

Bob Pratt was a goal-kicking prodigy, becoming the youngest footballer in history to reach the 400- and 500-goal milestones, an achievement he ticked off at only 23 years and 245 days old.

Pratt's 1934 season is regarded as one of the greatest by a full-forward. With 150-goals from only 21 games at an average of 7.14, Pratt was unstoppable for the Bloods.

It only took Pratt 13 games to reach the century - a record that still stands today.

In Round 13, against Carlton, Pratt kicked eight goals in the third quarter alone on his way to 11 for the match, another record that still stands today. Between Rounds 9 to 13, Pratt kicked 8, 7, 9, 8, 11, 11, and 12. This hot streak remains the game's highwater mark for the most games in a row kicking seven or more.

Pratt's record of 150 would have been far more significant if he didn't also kick 94 behinds. Imagine averaging 11.62 scores a game.

Jason Dunstall (Hawthorn) 

316 goals.
6.32 average.
37.89% of team's total goals.
21 seven-plus goal hauls.

3 3 7 9 17 6 7 3 7 7
6 4 9 2 1        - 12 2 12 6
6 3 6 5 5 9 7 3 5 8
5 4 6 5 7 9 6 5 1 8
10 6 9 5 4 10 9 6 10 11

*Dunstall's 50-game period between Round 3, 1992 and Round 12, 1994

With 25 kicks, 18 marks, four handballs, 29 disposals, 17 goals, five behinds, Jason Dunstall produced the greatest stat-line in football history in Round 7, 1992 against Richmond.

The 'Chief' was a goal-kicking colossus up forward for the Hawks and finished the 1992 season with 145 goals and 84 behinds.

Unfortunate not to reach the 150-mark, Dunstall kicked 12.8 in Round 20 and 12.6 in Round 22, Dunstall still finished the season with the Leigh Matthews Trophy, All-Australian Selection, the Coleman Medal, and Hawthorn's best and fairest (in two games against Richmond, Dunstall kicked 29 goals and 11 behinds).

During Dunstall's most dominant 50-game period, he kicked double digits in a game seven times and finished with 46 goals in his last five games.

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Gary Ablett Sr (Geelong

300 goals.
6.00 average.
36.94% of team's total goals.
20 seven-plus goal hauls.

8 14 4 12 7 3 7 10 5 11
5 5 10 8 3        5 2 7 3 5
7 5 14 8 7 6 7 4 2 10
3 5 3 2 3 4 6 6 6 3
1 6 3 7 5 5 9 5 7 7

*Ablett Sr's 50-game period between Round 5, 1993 and Round 9, 1995

I'm not sure if you know, but Gary Ablett Sr kicked nine at full-forward in a losing grand final in 1989.

A natural-born wingman/half-forward, Ablett was thrown to the goal square with devastating effect with then Cats coach Malcolm Blight desperate to extend the mulleted champion's career.

A successful switch from the get-go, Ablett kicked 52 goals as a full-forward in his first six games, including his famous tally of 14 goals and seven behinds in a losing effort against the Bombers. 

At nearly 32-years-of-age, you'd think most footballers are slowly verging on retirement, not Ablett. He finished 1993 with 124 goals at 7.29 per game, won the Leigh Matthews Trophy, and kicked a whopping 516 majors in his thirties. 

John Coleman (Essendon

Although the great John Coleman misses out on a top-five spot, his efforts as Essendon's linchpin can not go unnoticed.

291 goals.
5.82 average.
43.82% of team's total goals.
20 seven-plus goal hauls.

8 5 6 7 10 4 6 3 8 7
10 4 4 7 3 1 2 4 4 6
5 4 6 7 7 2 5 5 7 7
1 4 8 4 6 13 5 - 4 1
3 4 7 5 9 13 9 10 11 10

*Coleman's 50-game period between Round 7, 1950 and Round 3, 1953

Between Round 7, 1950, and Round 3, 1953, Coleman kicked 43.82% of Essendon's total goals during this period.

Ridiculous.

Throughout his career, Coleman kicked 51.25% of Essendon's goals during the home-and-away rounds, finished fifth in the 1954 goals tally despite playing only six games, and kicked 12 out of the 19 ten goal bags during this period. He was truly ahead of his time.

Across two seasons, Coleman hit a rich vein of form. He finished the 1952 season with 9, 13, 9 and then came out of the blocks flying in 1953 with 10, 11, and 10. Across six consecutive weeks, Coleman kicked more than nine goals. This record, I can safely say, will never be broken. 

 

The best of the modern-era forwards (2000 to the present day)

  • Matthew Lloyd (Essendon) - Round 1, 2000 to Round 4, 2002.
    232 goals. 4.64 average. 25.44% of team's total goals. 9 seven-plus goal hauls.
  • Brendan Fevola (Carlton) - Round 16, 2007 to EF 2009.
    206 goals. 4.12 average. 27.99% of team's total goals. 10 seven-plus goal hauls.

  • Lance Franklin (Hawthorn) - Round 5, 2007 to Round 7, 2009.
    201 goals. 4.02 average. 26.73% of team's total goals. 6 seven-plus goal hauls.
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 03: Lance Franklin and Ben Dixon of the Hawks celebrates a goal during the round 22 AFL match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Geelong Cats at the Telstra Dome September 3, 2006 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)