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Paul Salmon
Personal information
Full name Paul Salmon
Date of birth 20 January 1965 (1965-01-20) (age 45)
Recruited from North Ringwood
Height/Weight 206cm / 112kg
Position(s) Forward
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
209 (509)
100 0(41)
015 0(11)
324 (561)   

1 Playing statistics to end of 2002 season .

Paul Salmon (born 20 January 1965) is a former Australian rules footballer. Recruited from North Ringwood, the 206cm (6' 9") Salmon was, at the time, along with Carlton's Justin Madden, the tallest man to play AFL football. Affectionately known as "Fish", Salmon was a well known ruckman over a very long period of time in the Australian Football League.[1]


Essendon career

He made his debut in 1983 with Essendon, however it was during the '84 season in which he established himself as the league's leading full forward kicking 63 goals in 12 games. His effectiveness in the position was due to his athleticism and ability to win one-on-one marking contests using his height and mobility. Despite leading the goalkicking, half way through the season a serious knee injury which required a full reconstruction left him sidelined for over a year, he recovered to kick 6 goals 4 behinds in the '85 premiership side. From this point onward he would rotate between full forward and his favoured ruck position with all time great Simon Madden. He endured further minor complications with his knee injury and numerous soft tissue injuries over the next few years and was never allowed to settle in a specific role on field, despite this he played a vital role for the team becoming Vice Captain in '92 and culminating in 7 leading goalkicker awards and the '93 premiership where he kicked 5 goals. After serious injuries to his achilles and groins in '93 and '94, and with the knowledge time was running out, he decided his time as a 'Bomber' was over at 31 years of age so he requested a new home and was subsequently traded to Hawthorn, the club whom he supported as a child. He was selected in Kevin Sheedy's best team of his 27 years as coach and at number 26 in the 'Champions of Essendon' which was a list of the best of the past century who wore the red and black.

Hawthorn years

At the end of 1995, Salmon moved to Hawthorn, where he played from 1996-2000, and revived his career winning the Best and Fairest in '96 and '97 as well as the Most Consistent Award in '98. He became Vice Captain in '98 and also finished in the top ten in every best and fairest in each of his five years at the club. After 5 season's and 100 games with the Hawks he retired at the age of 35 and not long after was named in Hawthorn's 'Team of the Century'.

In 1997, Salmon achieved All-Australian selection after also gaining selection for Victoria that year as first ruck.

In 1999, he won the Michael Tuck Medal for a best on ground performance in the winning Hawk's night Grand Final.

Retirement and comeback

He was named in their Team of the Century and won two Peter Crimmins Trophys. At the end of 2000, Salmon announced his retirement after playing in two day and three night premierships and being selected as Best and Fairest twice.

But that wouldn't be the last of Salmon at AFL level. In 2002, he made a comeback, drafted by Kevin Sheedy in a fairytale move that would see him finish his career at his original club. He re-entered the league at 37 years of age, but was still one of the best tap ruckmen in the league, and helped Essendon to the finals, as well as teaching younger ruckmen such as David Hille the nuances of ruckwork.

At the end of his career, Salmon had amassed a total of 324 league games, 2 day premierships and 3 night premierships, 3 All Australian selections, 14 times a Victorian State of Origin representative, 7 times leading goalkicker for Essendon, 2 times Best and Fairest at Hawthorn, a Tassie medal and Michael Tuck medal were highlights. But maybe the most significant achievement of all was his standing amongst the best players for both clubs of the past century, Hawthorn 'Team of the Century' and a 'Champion of Essendon'.

Career after football

Salmon has also worked in the media co hosting 'Sportsworld' for the Seven Network and 'Time Out for Serious Fun' for the Nine Network, and has released several books. He released an autobiography called The Big Fish : Paul Salmon's Own Story in 2001, and Fish Tales, a book recalling humorous on and off field incidents, in 2002. He followed up in 2003 with another titled called More Fish Tales.

He also worked as a coach of the First XVIII Football team at Carey Baptist Grammar School, he retired from that position in 2008 to spend more time with his family, and help his son Lachlan. In addition he owns a real estate agency in North Melbourne.

Preceded by
Darren Jarman
Hawthorn Best and Fairest winner
Succeeded by
Shane Crawford
Preceded by
Wayne Carey
Michael Tuck Medallist
Succeeded by
Mark Mercuri




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