Hawthorn Football Club (Player)
Collingwood Football Club (Coach)
Brisbane Lions Football Club (Coach)
Australian Football Media Association Most Outstanding Special Commentator – Television 2010
Four-time premiership player (1971, 1976, 1978, 1983 (Captain))
Eight-time Hawthorn Best and Fairest (1971, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1982)
Hawthorn Captain 1981-85
Coleman Medallist 1975
Six-time Hawthorn Leading Goal Kicker (1973, 1975, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984)
VFLPA MVP Award 1982
All-Australian Team 1972, 1982, 1983
Victorian representative on 14 occasions (Captain 1980)
Inaugural Legend of Australian Football Hall of Fame
Forward pocket in AFL Team of the Century
Rover in Hawthorn Team of the Century
With more then 5 decades in Australian Football, Leigh Matthews is arguably the best to have played the game, while also being a celebrated coach and respected voice in the media.
Originally from Chelsea Football Club in Victoria, Matthews was recruited by Hawthorn in 1969. In his 16 year playing career, Matthews played 332 games and amassed a list of accolades that rank him amongst the games elite.
A player in four Premierships, Matthews was an eight-time Best and Fairest, won the VFL’s leading goalkicker and MVP award, was a three-time All-Australian and a Victorian representative on 14 occasions.
Upon retiring, Matthews moved into coaching as an Assistant with Collingwood. Elevated to the senior role before the end of 1986, Matthews would go on to coach the Magpies for nine years. The highlight of his time at the helm being the drought-breaking Premiership in 1990, ending a 32-year drought.
Matthews spent the next three years in the media, where his experience and knowledge of the game was integral to Seven’s AFL coverage. His work in radio and print was also highly respected.
Lured back to coaching in 1999, Matthews accepted the main role at the Brisbane Lions. Again, success quickly followed, with the Lions climbing from last in 1998 to a Preliminary Final in his first year in charge.
The Lions made the early part of the 21st century their own under Matthews, becoming the first side since Melbourne in the 1950s to win three consecutive titles, triumphing in 2001-2003.
The eighth longest serving coach in AFL history, Matthews resigned from the Lions at the end of 2008. He was immediately back in the media fold, impressing in a special comments role with Seven and 3AW which he continues today.