Carey inducted into AFL Hall of Fame - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Carey inducted into AFL Hall of Fame

By Roger Vaughan 04/06/2010 09:21:41 AM Comments (0)

Kevin Murray is an AFL legend, but Wayne Carey remains The King.

As Murray became the 23rd official legend of the game, Carey was among six inductees to the Hall Of Fame on Thursday night in Melbourne.

After several off-field scandals, Carey, nicknamed King during his playing days, was again an imposing figure as he accepted the accolades for one of the game's greatest playing careers.

In an often-humorous and touching acceptance speech, the last person the centre half-forward paid tribute to was his ex-wife Sally, the mother of his daughter Ella.

"We've had discussions over the last couple of weeks, would she come, wouldn't she come - in the end, she said it would be a little bit too emotional for her," he said after the function.

"I totally understand that, if I had been there, it may have been too emotional for me.

"She's been a great support - it goes without saying, without a partner's support, when you play football it's a very selfish game at times ... a lot of sacrifices and she did so much.

"The other reason, as I said, she wasn't there was we didn't want any rumours or anything going around the next day either."

Carey has battled alcohol and drug abuse but the 38-year-old looks extremely fit and was thrilled to receive the honour.

"As an individual honour, this is definitely No.1 ... I'm absolutely thrilled and honoured to be now a part of it," he said.

"As I said in my speech, you play football to play in premierships and they'll always outweigh pretty-much everything you achieve, but as an individual honour, I'm rapt.

"The last couple of years have been great, it's ongoing and I'm glad to be back in Melbourne.

"I travel back to Queensland but back in Melbourne and around my daughter a lot and keeping busy, which is something I'm enjoying."

Carey became eligible for Hall Of Fame induction in 2008 but the character clause in the selection criteria meant he had to wait.

He admitted the induction was even better than he expected.

"The build-up, i never really felt it, to be honest ... it's not something that when you retire, you think 'oh well, I might be inducted into the Hall Of Fame'," he said.

"There was always speculation about it, when I got the phone call, the letter actually went to the wrong house, so I actually got a phone call and was told about it.

"But when I got that, I must admit, I was thrilled and everyone I spoke to before coming here tonight said it will be a marvellous night.

"I must admit, you come in preparing what I may be like and when I got here, it was even more so."

Pivotal people in his career, including his long-time North Melbourne coach Denis Pagan, former Kangaroos chief executive Greg Miller and his former manager Ricky Nixon were on Carey's table for the induction dinner.

"They've been there through the good and the bad - I thought it was important to have people who were instrumental in my football career," Carey said.

The other inductees were Brownlow Medallists Gavin Wanganeen and Ross Smith, WA football legend Stan Heal, Collingwood premiership captain Tony Shaw and five-time Melbourne premiership player Brian Dixon.

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