Jason Dunstall kicks for goal in Hawthorn's clash with Sydney in round five, 1997. Picture: AFL Photos

HAWTHORN champion Jason Dunstall will become the 32nd player elevated to Legend status in the Australian Football Hall of Fame. 

Dunstall finished his career in 1998 as the third-most prolific goalkicker in VFL/AFL history with 1254 majors, trailing only St Kilda and Sydney great Tony Lockett (1360), and Collingwood sharpshooter Gordon Coventry (1299).

Dunstall was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002, and both Coventry and Lockett are already Legends in the Hall of Fame. 

HALL OF FAME The greatest figures in Australian Football's history

He reached the fabled 100-goal mark in six seasons (1988, '89, '92, '93, '94 and '96), with a best of 145 goals in 1992, the same year he booted a personal-best 17 goals in a single game (against Richmond in round seven at Waverley Park). 

Dunstall captained the Hawks in the later years of his career, before moving into the media as a respected commentator and analyst across radio and television, where he still works today.  

"It's an incredible privilege. I feel very humbled, almost to the point of embarrassment," the 59-year-old told reporters on Monday.

"When you consider there's just a tick over 30 Legends in the game, it's the highest honour you can imagine.

"I feel incredibly grateful to the AFL. It's been a massive part of my life and to sit amongst names that are synonymous with the game now is incredibly humbling."

Richard Goyder congratulates Jason Dunstall after announcing Dunstall's elevation to Hall of Fame Legend on April 15, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Over a 13-year career at the Hawks from 1985-98, Dunstall established himself as one of the finest full-forwards the game has ever seen. His combination of strong marking, explosive pace on the lead and accurate goalkicking was a key driver in the Hawks claiming four premierships in his time at the club. 

"I was at the end of the production line at Hawthorn," he said.

"When you're full-forward and you've got all these great players further afield that continue to pump the ball down to you ... I always defer to my teammates.

"I was blessed to be on the receiving end of some of the most skilful players to have ever played the game."

Jason Dunstall (centre) celebrates Hawthorn's win over Melbourne in the 1988 Grand Final with teammates. Picture: AFL Photos

AFL Commission chair Richard Goyder said the League preferred to celebrate Dunstall's achievements ahead of the official Hall of Fame induction night on June 18, rather than keep the decision secret. 

“As a four-time premiership player for Hawthorn, four-time club best and fairest, three-time Coleman Medallist and 12-time leading goalkicker for the Hawks, he is a Legend by any measure in our sport," Goyder said. 
“It is extraordinary to think he kicked double figures in 16 separate games and his 17 goals against Richmond at Waverley in 1992 is the equal second-highest tally in a VFL/AFL game in history.
“Forwards have always held a special appeal for footy fans through the generations and he sits easily alongside the great goalkickers of the past like Coventry, Pratt and Coleman, and names across the game like Robertson, Naylor and Farmer.
“Football congratulates Jason on his brilliance and thanks him for everything he has given football, as our next official Legend of the Game.”



Playing career: 1985-1998
Games: 269. Goals: 1254

Player honours

  • 2nd (equal) Brownlow Medal 1988, 1992, 3rd (equal) Brownlow Medal 1989
  • Hawthorn Best & Fairest 1988, 1989, 1992, 1993
  • Hawthorn captain 1995-98;
  • Premierships 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991
  • Club leading goalkicker 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998
  • Coleman Medal 1988, 1989, 1992
  • Hawthorn Team of the Century
  • All Australian 1988, 1989, 1992, 1994
  • State of Origin - Victoria (3 games, 14 goals); Queensland (4 games, 10 goals); Allies (1 game, 0 goals). E.J. Whitten Medal, 1989
  • Queensland Team of the Century