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Matthew Burton
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Personal information
Birth 19 May 1970 (1970-05-19) (age 39)Perth, Western Australia
Recruited from Subiaco
Playing career┬╣
Debut Round 1, 1 April 1995, Fremantle. vs. Richmond., at MCG
Team(s) West Coast (1991-1994)

0 games, 0 goals

Fremantle (1995-1999)

70 games, 33 goals

Kangaroos (2000-2003)

77 games, 33 goals

┬╣ Statistics to end of 2005 season
Career highlights

  • Former tallest player in the AFL

Matthew "Spider" Burton (born 19 May 1970) was an Australian rules footballer. He played as a ruckman and began his Football career at Subiaco. "Spider" Burton, as he's commonly known, because of his towering 210 cm frame, was formerly the AFL's tallest player (He has since been eclipsed by another Docker in Aaron Sandilands and Western Bulldog Peter Street. They both stand at 211 cm tall).

Matthew Burton's skill level was a bit unusual for someone of his height. He regularly executed perfect half-volley pick ups, clever handballs in tight situations or first-grab marks low down. He displayed these acts of skill too regularly during his career for them to be considered flukes.


West Coast

Selected by West Coast with pick #36 in the 1990 National Draft, Burton spent 4 seasons on the Eagles' senior list before he was eventually de-listed (without playing a game for the club) at the end of the 1994 season (under an AFL ruling that clubs cut list numbers back from 52 to 40).

Fremantle Dockers

In 1994 Fremantle saw something in this 210 cm giant and he was picked up in the pre-season draft. He played in Fremantle's first match and developed a cult following. In 1999 he was made vice-captain of the club but played only seven games that year before being de-listed.


In 1999 Burton was thrown a lifeline by the Kangaroos when they picked him with selection 74 in the pre-season draft. Burton then took off for where he left and continued to carve out a successful AFL career. He once again became a cult figure and enjoyed enthralling the crowds with his tap work and surprisingly ability to collect the footy from below his knees. A highlight came in 2003 he had the chance to ruck against Aaron Sandilands, Seeing the two big men go toe toe at the Telstra Dome was a sight to behold.

External links



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