SYDNEY co-captain Dane Rampe has been crowned club champion for the first time after winning the Bob Skilton Medal in front of 900 guests at The Star on Tuesday night.
Rampe had an outstanding year in defence for the Swans and was unlucky not to be named All Australian for a second time after making the Virgin Australia extended squad of 40 players.
He was a rock on the last line for the Swans and was rarely beaten throughout the season.
Rampe's best and fairest triumph continues to add to his incredible football story.
The 29-year-old overcame the disappointment of being overlooked in multiple drafts to fight his way onto the Swans' rookie list in 2012, and he's gone on to play 159 games in seven seasons to become one of the game's elite key defenders.
Rampe played all but one game in 2019 and averaged 20.1 possessions, and 6.7 rebounds 50s for the season.
It was a memorable year for Rampe despite the Swans missing the finals, with the gun backman named best clubman and the players' player at Tuesday night's function, and receiving life membership.
The Sydney local was also named in the greatest NSW team of all time in May.
Rampe polled 581 votes to win easily from young midfielder George Hewett (461), with fellow co-captain Luke Parker (458) rounding out the podium.
Tom Papley, the Swans' leading goalkicker in 2019 with 37 majors, finished fourth on 457 votes, followed by defender Callum Mills (429).
Sydney coach John Longmire was full of praise for Rampe.
"From the moment Dane walked into the club you just couldn’t miss him," he said.
"Not only did you see a blond-headed surfer from Clovelly, he just worked so unbelievably hard and had this burning desire to get the best out of himself and his teammates.
"Appointed as a co-captain this year alongside Josh and Luke, Dane’s influence around the group went up another level.
"He really embraced the role and led from the front brilliantly.
"Dane’s an incredibly popular player, he’s a fierce competitor, he’s a hard trainer and he’s someone who our first-year recruits to seasoned campaigners look up to and respect tremendously.
Now a well-deserved club champion, Dane will no doubt continue to be a great leader around the club and do everything possible to put the team in a position to challenge again. - John Longmire
It was an emotional night for the Swans as 2012 premiership heroes Jarrad McVeigh, Kieren Jack, Heath Grundy and Nick Smith said their goodbyes and officially started their retirements.
2019 Bob Skilton Medal Top 10
Dane Rampe – 581 votes
George Hewett – 461 votes
Luke Parker – 458 votes
Tom Papley – 457 votes
Callum Mills – 429 votes
Isaac Heeney – 420 votes
Jake Lloyd – 408 votes
Aliir Aliir – 388 votes
Jordan Dawson – 383 votes
Josh Kennedy – 351 votes
Note: Club Champion votes were awarded by five coaches: John Longmire, Brett Kirk, Dean Cox, Tadhg Kennelly and Steve Johnson. A player can be awarded a maximum of 50 votes per game, and coaches can allocate up to 10 points for as many or as few players as they deem appropriate, per match.
Other awards presented on the night
Most Improved: Jordan Dawson
Rising Star: Nick Blakey
Best Clubman and Players’ Player: Dane Rampe
NEAFL Player of the Year: James Bell
Life Members: John Blakey, Dane Rampe, Dave Pearlman, Brad Spillane