Leigh Matthews is a former Australian rules footballer and coach. He played for Hawthorn in the Victorian Football League(VFL) and coached the Collingwood Magpies and the Brisbane Lions.

Known as lethal Leigh there was nothing elegant about how he went about the game.  He was a very physical player and even if what he did on field did not look pretty, the skill that was required to perform some of these acts was like no other. Matthews began a long and highly successful coaching career after he retired from football in 1985 which spawned AFL premierships with Collingwood in 1990, and Brisbane in 2001-2-3 (A three peat which is a feat in itself).

Leigh Matthew will be remembered as one of the toughest player of his era, who could turn a game in a flash. Few players were as capable of lifting to another gear so regularly and destroying opponents while at the same time inspiring his team mates to play at the same level. His tough man status was made legendary in 1982 in a match against Essendon when he crashed in to one the point post and famously snapped the post in half.

Playing Career

1969-85 Hawthorne

Games

332

Goals

915

Playing Honours

  • 4× VFL premiership player: 1971, 1976, 1978, 1983
  • 8× Peter Crimmins Perpetual Memorial Trophy: 1971, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1982
  • VFLPA MVP Award (Leigh Matthews Trophy): 1982
    • Award renamed in 2002 in Matthews honour
  • All-Australian team: 1972
  • 2× VFL Team of the Year: 1982, 1983
  • Coleman Medal: 1975
  • 6× Hawthorn leading goal kicker: 1973, 1975, 1981, 1982. 1983, 1984
  • Hawthorn captain: 1981–1985
  • AFL Team of the Century (forward pocket)
  • Australian Football Hall of Fame – legend status: (inaugural legend)
  • Hawthorn Team of the Century (rover)
  • Hawthorn Hall of Fame: Legend Status
  • Championship of Australia Championship: 1971
  • NFL Night Series championship: 1976
  • AFC Night Series premiership: 1977
  • VFL Night Series premiership: 1969
  • 2× Australian National Football CarnivalChampionship: 1972, 1975
  • Captain of Victoria

Coaching

  • 4× AFL premiership: 1990, 2001, 2002, 2003
  • 3× All-Australian team: 2001, 2002, 2003
  • AFL team of the year: 1990
  • Collingwood Hall of Fame
  • Brisbane Lions Hall of Fame

Coaching Career

1986-95 Collingwood, 1999-2008 Brisbane

Games Coached

461

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