With the AFL award season upon us and the Brownlow just a few weeks away, we decided to have a look at some of the most contentious, controversial and unbelievable Brownlow Medal moments throughout history.
5. Robert Harvey (1997)
St Kilda legend and 383-game player Robert Harvey is a player whose career deserved a Brownlow Medal, but perhaps he didn’t deserve the 1997 award. The hard-working midfielder averaged over 30 disposals a game and even kicked 18 goals, the best tally of his career, but the Western Bulldogs’ Chris Grant was hot on his tail after a stellar year.
Grant finished with 27 votes to Harvey’s 26 but was ruled out due to suspension. The Bulldogs forward was given a controversial one-match suspension for slapping Hawthorn’s Nick Holland, which was not reported by the umpires, but by an AFL official.
The questionable circumstances of Grant’s suspension makes Robert Harvey’s 1997 Brownlow success one of the medal’s most shocking outcomes and somewhat tainted.