Wayne Carey joins AFL Hall Of Fame - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wayne Carey joins AFL Hall Of Fame

By Roger Vaughan 03/06/2010 10:39:04 PM Comments (0)

North Melbourne great Wayne Carey is finally in the AFL Hall Of Fame, reaffirming his status as one of the game's all-time greats.

Carey became eligible for selection two years ago, but had to wait because of his much-publicised off-field troubles.

The two-time North Melbourne premiership captain and seven-time All-Australian was among six inductees this year, with the 23rd official legend also to be named at the end of Tuesday night's function.

Collingwood premiership captain Tony Shaw, Brownlow Medallists Ross Smith and Gavin Wanganeen, five-time Melbourne premiership player Brian Dixon and WA football legend Stan Heal also joined the Hall Of Fame.

Like Gary Ablett, Carey had to wait for induction had to wait because of the character clause in the Hall Of Fame selection criteria.

Carey, 38, is one of the game's greatest players and he captained North to their 1996 and '99 premierships.

When new coach Denis Pagan made Carey skipper in 1993, he was not yet 22 and the second-youngest captain in AFL history.

He played 244 games for the Kangaroos between 1989-2001 and then 28 for Adelaide between 2003-04 before a neck injury forced him into retirement.

His 671 goals for North is a club record, plus he won the club best and fairest award five times.

Carey won All-Australian honours seven times, three times as captain.

In between Carey's time at North and the Crows was his year in the wilderness after he was forced to leave North in disgrace.

Carey was caught having an extra-marital affair with Kelli Stevens, the wife of then team-mate Anthony Stevens.

His private life became even more turbulent after he retired and Carey has admitted to alcohol and drug abuse.

Carey was charged with assaulting his girlfriend in Miami three years ago and a year later police subdued him with capsicum spray at his Port Melbourne apartment.

When news of his impending induction broke last month, it predictably had a mixed reaction from the community.

He was inducted into North Melbourne's Hall Of Fame last year, using the occasion to publicly apologise for mistakes in his private life.

Wanganeen, the 1993 Brownlow Medallist, won premierships at Essendon and Port Adelaide and joined the Hall Of Fame as soon as he became eligible.

Shaw is the Collingwood games record holder with 313 and he led them to their drought-breaking 1990 premiership.

Dixon played 252 games for the Demons and was named on the wing in their team of the century.

Heal is a legend in the WAFL Hall Of Fame and the three-time West Perth premiership player was named on the wing in the WAFL and West Perth teams of the century.

Smith played in St Kilda's 1966 premiership team and a year later won the Brownlow.

Carey was the last of the six inductions and a ripple went through the room when his name was announced.

"I would have been more than happy to wait five years," he said of the delay in his induction.

In a moving and often-amusing acceptance speech, Carey made a point of paying tribute to his team-mates.

"I would not have (been successful) if I did it by myself," he said.

He also singled out Pagan and former North Melbourne chief executive Greg Miller, who were massive influences on his stellar career.

"I should also thank him (Pagan) for constructing a game plan around centre half-forward," Carey said.

"Pagan's Paddock" was a famous strategy of the 1990s where North tried to have Carey and his direct opponent isolated in their forward 50.

Carey thanked his older brother Dick, whom he lived with and trained him when he was a teenager.

On Monday, Wayne gave character evidence for Dick in a drugs trial.

The last person Carey thanked was his ex-wife Sally, the mother of their daughter Ella.

"It certainly wouldn't be possible to do what I did without her," he said.

Carey said the only reason Sally did not come to the Hall Of Fame function was they did not want their photo in the newspaper gossip pages.

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