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Hall of Fame: Tony Modra

David Burtenshaw  April 29, 2015 9:09 PM

Hall of Fame: Tony Modra Coleman Medallist and fan favourite Tony Modra has been inducted into the Adelaide Football Club Hall of Fame
AFL 1997 1st Qualifying Final - Adelaide v West Coast

Tony Modra of Adelaide kicks for goal during the AFL First Qualifying Final between the Adelaide Crows and the West Coast Eagles at Football Park in Adelaide on September 7, 1997.

The second Crows player inducted into the Hall of Fame is goalkicking sensation Tony Modra.

Tony Modra took the leap from South Australian country football to an extraordinary level of AFL fame within two spectacular seasons.

Reluctant to leave the country life to play for West Adelaide in the SANFL, Modra dominated Riverland football with Renmark in 1990 before finally making a commitment to West the following year. From there, he was picked up by the Crows as a concession selection at the end of 1991 and at the age of 23 he made his AFL debut during the 1992 season.

The full forward showed some promise in eight games, kicking 21 goals. But Modra-mania exploded in 1993 when he kicked 10 goals against Richmond in the opening round. He went on to kick 129 goals that season, including a Club record 13.4 against Richmond in Round 16, and finished third in the best-and-fairest. Only Jason Dunstall (Hawthorn, 145 goals in 1992) and Tony Lockett (St Kilda, 132 goals in 1992) have kicked more goals in a season in the last 25 years. From earning about $200 a week to play at Renmark with his brothers, Kym and Rick, in 1990, Modra’s mix of good looks and remarkable talent made him one of the game’s most popular and marketable players.

Modra began 1994 by booting 13 goals against Carlton and although he finished the season with 70 goals, he struggled to with the fame and nearly walked away from the Club (and the AFL) several times. However, he led the Club’s goalkicking for five consecutive seasons through until 1997, when he won the AFL’s Coleman Medal and earned All Australian selection for the second time.

Cruelly, Modra’s season ended early in the preliminary final when he severely injured his knee and missed the grand final win the following week. He made his comeback late in 1998 but was overlooked for most of the final series including the 1998 Grand Final, leading to his move to Fremantle. Modra’s 440 goals for Adelaide remains a Club record.

Adelaide Football Club service
118 games and 440 goals (1992-1998)
Five time Leading Goalkicker (1993-1997)
Three time AFL “Mark of the Year” winner
Most goals in a match for Adelaide (13, twice)
All Australian 1993, 1997
Coleman Medallist 1997
Life Member of Adelaide FC 2008
Club career goals record holder