The AFL today announced the Allen Aylett Medal would be presented to the number one selection at the men's national draft, to honour the life of former North Melbourne champion and VFL President, Dr Allen Aylett.
AFL Commission Chair Richard Goyder made the announcement this morning at the North Melbourne Grand Final Breakfast, the leading Grand Final morning event that was instituted by Dr Aylett in the 1970s when he was a visionary administrator who changed the face of football.
Dr Aylett died in September last year, in the days before the 2022 Grand Final, after a lifetime in the game in which he starred both on and off the field.
A Tassie Medallist, multiple Best and Fairest winner, member of the North Melbourne Team of the Century and inaugural inductee into the Australian Football Hall of Fame, Dr Aylett's presidency led the Kangaroos to their maiden premiership and his time leading the VFL saw the introduction of live Grand Final broadcasts, Sunday football, Friday night football and the first steps to the national competition.
Mr Goyder said Aylett was one of the key figures in the successful growth of Australian football as the nation's leading sport and the AFL Commission had moved this year to formally recognise his position as godfather to the national competition.
At this morning's breakfast, the AFL Commission Chair thanked Aylett's wife Marj and the wider Aylett family for his vast contribution to the game.
The Aylett Medal will be presented to the No.1 selection at the men's draft, going forward, to recognise both Allen's talents as a player and his national view of football.
"Allen was the first key driver to the building of a national competition and his vision was to take our game to every part of the country," Mr Goyder said.
"Allen was truly great – Team of the Century, Tassie Medallist, carnival All Australian, multiple Best and Fairest Winner and member of the Hall of Fame – and his time as an administrator saw many of the initiatives begun that are now pillars of our game's success.
"In a year in which we celebrated eight million attendees for the first time, and more than a million people sign up as members of our club, our game can thank Dr Allen Aylett for where we are today."
The AFL will continue to work with the Barassi family on a fitting tribute to Ron. Incoming AFL CEO Andrew Dillon and his team will do that during the off season.