Nicky Winmar will remain an icon of our game forevermore after being inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.
The mercurial Saint was bestowed the honour at tonight’s ceremony, joining fellow inductees Matthew Pavlich, Terry Cashion, Bill Dempsey, Mike Fitzpatrick, Ted Tyson, Brent Harvey, Michael Taylor and newly inducted Legend Russell Ebert in being awarded one of the game’s most respected and distinguished achievements.
Winmar becomes the 21st player from St Kilda Football Club to be inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame, standing alongside club champions and teammates Tony Lockett, Trevor Barker, Nathan Burke and Robert Harvey.
A proud Noongar man from Pingelly, Winmar was admired across his 251-game career for his exceptional skills and aptitude for the extraordinary both by foot and his high-flying theatrics. But many would say his most significant contribution was his powerful stand against racism at Victoria Park in 1993.
“I’m black and I’m proud”, were his words in the aftermath of the stirring win after he and Gilbert McAdam were subjected to horrific racial abuse from the Collingwood home crowd, with the subsequent photograph of Winmar pointing to the colour of his skin engrained into Australian sporting history.
Its significance to a nation and people is without equal from a footballing sense, even being the focal point of the award-winning documentary The Ripple Effect, released in 2021. A statue immortalising his proud stance now lies in his native Western Australia out the front of Optus Stadium.
A gifted footballer whose natural skills covered the full range of the champion's repertoire, Winmar proved to be an inspired recruiting selection. The No. 7 came to the Saints with a reputation for inconsistency, but in his first two years ran second in the club’s Best & Fairest, before taking out the award in 1989.
He was a superb kick, was armed with electric pace and had the capacity to soar for huge marks from only a couple of steps. Growing up as a youngster in Western Australia, he would practice on a muddy piece of ground that had been thoroughly hosed to replicate the wintry conditions in Melbourne.
The understanding he developed with Tony Lockett made them one of the most formidable combinations in the game and a consistent highpoint during a time of limited on-field success for St Kilda.
Winmar was the first Indigenous footballer to reach the coveted 200-game milestone at VFL/AFL level, paving the way for the next generation of Indigenous talent to thrive and flourish.
He played 251 senior games from 1987-1999, finishing his illustrious career with one season at the Western Bulldogs before retiring as one of the most skilful and exhilarating players to ever pull on a guernsey.
Tonight’s inclusion into the Australian Football Hall of Fame is another revered distinction to Winmar’s legacy, with previous inductions into St Kilda’s Hall of Fame and Team of the Century, West Australian Football Hall of Fame and Indigenous Team of the Century.
251 games (St Kilda 1987-1998, Western Bulldogs 1999)
8 x Western Australia representative
2x All-Australian (1991, 1995)
2 x St Kilda Best & Fairest (1989, 1995)
1 x St Kilda Hall of Fame inductee (inducted 2003)
1 x St Kilda Team of the Century (named 2003)
1 x Indigenous Team of the Century (named 2005)
1 x West Australian Football Hall of Fame (inducted 2009)
1 x VFL Team of the Year (1990)
1 x St Kilda leading goalkicker (1988)
1 x Mark of the Year (1992)
1 x Michael Tuck Medal (1996)
St Kilda’s AFL Hall of Fame Legends
Darrel Baldock (inducted 1996)
Roy Cazaly (1996)
Alex Jesaulenko (2008)
Tony Lockett (2015)
Ian Stewart (1997)
Darrel Baldock (inducted 1996, inaugural Legend)
Trevor Barker (2019)
Nathan Burke (2021)
Roy Cazaly (1996, inaugural Legend)
Vic Cumberland (1996)
Carl Ditterich (2004)
Wels Eicke (1996)
Les Foote (1996)
Barry Hall (2017)
Robert Harvey (2012)
Lenny Hayes (2020)
Verdun Howell (2016)
Alex Jesaulenko (1996, Legend 2008)
Tony Lockett (2006, Legend 2015)
Dave McNamara (1996)
Bill Mohr (1996)
Neil Roberts (2015)
Ross Smith (2010)
Ian Stewart (1996, Legend 1997)
Colin Watson (1996)
Nicky Winmar (2022)
Allan Jeans (1996)