Robert Harvey was one of the true greats of Australian rules football. He played for the St Kilda Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL) for an amazing 20 seasons.

Harvey was one of those workhorses who was happy to do all the grunt work. He was known for his running ability and considered one of the best short passes of 15 to 30 meters in the history of the game. He holds St. Kilda’s record for most career games. At his retirement, at the end of the 2008 AFL season, he had played the third-highest total career games in league history with 383 games. Currently, Robert Harvey ranks fifth in games played (behind Dustin Fletcher, Kevin Bartlett, Michael Tuck and Brent Harvey), Harvey was also the final active player from the VFL era of the league (pre-1990) to retire.

Harvey won numerous individual awards and medals during his playing career. He won consecutive Brownlow Medals, the league’s highest individual honour, in 1997 and 1998. He won St Kilda’s best and fairest award – now called the Trevor Barker Award – in 1992, 1994, 1997 and 1998. He was selected in the All-Australian team eight times, with his first All-Australian award being in 1992 and his last in 2003. He won three E. J. Whitten Medals, awarded to the player judged best player on the ground for Victoria in State of Origin matches; the 1997 AFL Players Association Most Valuable Player Award (now known as the Leigh Matthews Trophy); and the Michael Tuck Medal for player judged best on the ground in the 2004 pre-season cup final. In 2012 he was inducted in the Australian Football Hall of Fame. 

Robert Harvey’s career highlights reel might not feature the spectacular aerial feats of a Wayne Carey, the sublime skills of Peter Daicos and Gary Ablett or the prolific and deadly goalkicking efforts of a Tony Lockett, but it is hard to argue that his standing in the game is any less than those great names. It might be hard for all but the most die-hard of St Kilda fans to recall more than a handful of moments from Robert Jeffrey Harvey’s career that stand out, but that merely serves to emphasis the hardworking consummate team man that he was.

A superb athlete blessed with innate dodging skills which could extricate him from even the most crowded situations on a football field, Harvey was a sight to behold in a career that spanned 21 seasons. He had the rare touch of magic in the way he could dodge through seemingly impenetrable circumstances and emerge with the ball to set up something further afield.

Harvey won numerous individual awards and medals during his playing career. He won consecutive Brownlow Medals, the league’s highest individual honor, in 1997 and 1998. He won St Kilda’s best and fairest award – now called the Trevor Barker Award – in 1992, 1994, 1997 and 1998. He was selected in the All-Australian team eight times, with his first All-Australian award being in 1992 and his last in 2003. He won three E. J. Whitten Medals, awarded to the player judged best player on the ground for Victoria in State of Origin matches; the 1997 AFL Players Association Most Valuable Player Award (now known as the Leigh Matthews Trophy); and the Michael Tuck Medal for player judged best on ground in the 2004 pre-season cup final. In 2012 he was inducted in the Australian Football Hall of Fame. On 24 September 2013, Harvey was named the AFL’s Assistant Coach of the Year at the AFL Coaches Association

Playing Career

1988 – 2008 St Kilda

Games

383

Goals

215

Playing Honours

Representative

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