The leading individual award in the game is the Brownlow Medal, which has been awarded since 1924 to the Fairest and Best player in the AFL competition each season. The first winner was Geelong star Edward “Carji” Greeves, which was fitting because the award was named in honour of respected Geelong administrator Charles Brownlow, who had died earlier that year.

Voting for the Brownlow Medal is conducted by field umpires, immediately after each home-and-away match, with three votes awarded for the player they believed to have been the best on the ground, two votes for the second best player and one vote for the third best player on the day, in their opinion.

The Brownlow Medal count, traditionally held on the Monday night before the Grand Final, is the social highlight of the AFL calendar with a long tradition of high fashion and dramatic vote-counts.

From 1930, a countback system was used if players tied for the most votes over a season, with the winner decided by who had the most “three vote” games, but in 1980 the countback system was abandoned and players who had tied for the most votes were retrospectively awarded Brownlow Medals. Now, if two or more players finish tied for first, they are joint-winners.

Only four players in the history of the League have won three Brownlow medals. They are Haydn Bunton (Fitzroy), Dick Reynolds (Essendon), Bob Skilton (South Melbourne) and Ian Stewart (St Kilda and Richmond). Another eight players have won two Brownlows.

Brownlow Medallists: 1924 - Present

 

Year

Player

Club

Votes

Recruited From

2019

Nat Fyfe

Fremantle

33

Claremont (WA)

2018

Tom Mitchell

Hawthorn

28

Claremont (WA)

2017

Dustin Martin

Richmond

36

Bendigo Pioneers

2016

Patrick Dangerfield

Geelong

35

Geelong Falcons

2015

Nat Fyfe

Fremantle

31

Lake Grace/Claremont

2014

Matt Priddis West Coast

26

Subiaco

2013

Gary Ablett Gold Coast

28

Modewarre/Geelong U18

2012

Trent Cotchin Richmond

26

PEGS/Northern U18

2012

Sam Mitchell Hawthorn

26

Mooroolbark/Eastern U18

2011

Dane Swan Collingwood

34

Westmeadows/Calder U18

2010

Chris Judd Carlton

30

Caulf Gram/Sandr U18