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Who is the next Legend?

Mark Macgugan  May 31, 2013 9:15 AM

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Barry Cable was elevated to Legend status as part of the 2013 AFL Hall of Fame ceremony

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ON TUESDAY night, a great of Australian football will be elevated as the 25th Legend in the AFL Hall of Fame.

Only the very highest achievers and greatest contributors to the game receive the honour, with names such as Ted Whitten, 'Jock' McHale, Roy Cazaly and Leigh Matthews among the group's number.

Click here to view the current Legends in the Hall of Fame

The identity of the new Legend, who will come from the existing list of Hall of Fame inductees, will remain a secret until it is announced at the League's Hall of Fame dinner in Canberra.

In the meantime, AFL.com.au has come up with a shortlist of the eight men we believe are most likely to earn the honour (in alphabetical order):

Gary Ablett Snr (Hawthorn/Geelong)
Inducted to Hall of Fame: 2005
Often lauded as the most talented player of all time, Ablett thrilled fans again and again with his freakish exploits in the air and in front of goal. In a 248-game career (six with Hawthorn, 242 for Geelong), he booted 1030 goals. He was the Cats' leading goalkicker eight times, and a seven-time All Australian. Ablett famously won the 1989 Norm Smith Medal after kicking nine goals in a losing side. He is in both the Geelong team of the century and the AFL team of the century.

Malcolm Blight (Woodville/North Melbourne)
Inducted to Hall of Fame: 1996
A brilliant footballer who could play forward or further afield, Blight won a Magarey Medal as the SANFL's best and fairest before moving to Victoria and building an outstanding record with North Melbourne. He was the Kangaroos' leading goalkicker four times, played in two premierships, and won both a Coleman and Brownlow Medal. A progressive thinker, he went on to coach Geelong to three Grand Finals, and Adelaide to back-to-back premierships in 1997-98. His 80-metre torpedo after the final siren to win a game against Carlton in 1976 stands as one of the game's most famous moments.

Jason Dunstall (Hawthorn)
Inducted to Hall of Fame: 2002
Explosive on the lead and a deadly accurate set shot, Dunstall was one of the game's great full forwards. In a 13-year career at Hawthorn, he booted 1254 goals, ranking third on the all-time tally behind Tony Lockett and Gordon Coventry. The Queenslander was also famous for being incredibly unselfish in front of goal. He played in five premierships, and won four club best and fairest awards, three Coleman Medals and four All Australian selections. Having retired in 1998, Dunstall would be easily the youngest Legend if named, given the most recent player currently with the status is fellow Hawk Matthews, who retired from playing in 1985.

Ken Farmer (North Adelaide)
Inducted to Hall of Fame: 1998
A goalkicking machine in South Australia, Farmer's tally of 1419 goals stands alone at the top of the SANFL records. In a 224-game career between 1929 and 1941, he was never once held goalless, and he kicked at least 100 goals in 11 straight seasons. He won the SANFL goalkicking award in every year between 1930 and 1940, and went on to coach North Adelaide to two premierships after his playing days were finished. Farmer passed away in 1982.

Royce Hart (Richmond/Sturt)
Inducted to Hall of Fame: 1996
Alongside Wayne Carey, Hart is regarded as the greatest centre half-forward of all time. It remains up for debate as to which of the pair was better. A dominant aerial player and one of the early masters of the drop punt, Hart booted 369 goals in 187 games for Richmond, playing a key role in the 1967, 1969, 1973 and 1974 premierships. He was named at centre half-forward in the Richmond and AFL teams of the century, and captained the Tigers from 1972-75.

Dick Lee (Collingwood)
Inducted to Hall of Fame: 1996
A star forward in the early years of the VFL, Lee was Collingwood's leading goalkicker 11 times between 1906 and 1921, finishing his 230-game career with 707 goals. He was the first player to reach 500 VFL goals, played in three premierships with the Magpies, and captained the club for two years near the end of his career. A member of the Collingwood team of the century, Lee passed away in 1968.

Tony Lockett (St Kilda/Sydney Swans)
Inducted to Hall of Fame: 2006
Nicknamed 'Plugger', Lockett is one of the most imposing figures ever to set foot on a football field, and gave opposition defenders nightmares. He is the VFL/AFL's all-time leading goalkicker, booting 1360 goals in a 281-game career with St Kilda and the Sydney Swans. He is a six-time All Australian, four-time Coleman medallist, 15-time club leading goalkicker (10 for the Saints, five with the Swans), and won the 1987 Brownlow Medal.

Roy Wright (Richmond)
Inducted to Hall of Fame: 1996
A champion ruckman with the Tigers between 1946 and 1959, Wright won two Brownlow Medals (1952 and 1954), and finished runner-up in 1957. Known as an extremely skilful player for a big man, he also won four Richmond best and fairests, and played 18 games for Victoria. He died in 2002.