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Thanks a million: New membership benchmark

Rory slams Tex critics Nat Edwards with the latest news

AFL CLUB membership has cracked one million for the first time, with 13 teams breaking their all-time records this season.  

The final tally for 2018 stood at 1,008,494 members by the July 31 deadline.

It was an 11 per cent increase on last season and the 18th consecutive year of growth.

Reigning premier Richmond led the way after becoming the first club to sign up 100,000 members – an increase of nearly 39 per cent following last year's drought-breaking flag.

Hawthorn and high-flying West Coast rounded out the top three, with both clubs exceeding 80,000 members for the first time.

Only Collingwood (-372) and the Western Bulldogs (-4407) failed to grow their membership bases.    

"One in every 24 Australians is now a member of an AFL club, a sign that the national reach of Australian football has never been greater," League CEO Gillon McLachlan said.

"Whether you have been a member for decades or just signed up this year, on behalf of the AFL I want to thank every single one of you. 

"The commitment members make to their clubs is the key reason why our game continues to prosper. 

"Our clubs give us a connection. Our games fill us with hope, despair and joy, and today it makes us proud." 

AFLW memberships also climbed in the competition's second season, up more than 30 per cent to 9,406.