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Hall of Fame: Mark Ricciuto

Hall of Fame: Mark Ricciuto Brownlow Medallist, three-time Club Champion and premiership player Mark Ricciuto has been inducted into the Adelaide Football Club Hall of Fame
Mark Ricciuto for Adelaide kicks at goal during the round 20 AFL match between the Kangaroos and the Adelaide Crows at the Colonial Stadium in Melbourne on August 17, 2001.
Mark Ricciuto

Adelaide’s only Brownlow Medallist, Mark Ricciuto, is the eighth and final inductee to the Club’s inaugural Hall of Fame.

Adelaide hit the jackpot when it used a draft concession to secure a 16-year-old country footballer at the end of the 1991 season.

Waikerie’s Mark Ricciuto was a wise choice for a new AFL club anxious to secure its long-term future with South Australian talent. Although Ricciuto had not played any football at SANFL level, he was an All Australian at under-17 level and had played senior country football in the Riverland, starring in Waikerie’s 1991 premiership.

Even after he was signed by the Crows, Ricciuto continued to live at home while finishing high school in 1992 and travelling to the city to train and play for West Adelaide. Then, in round six of 1993, he played the first of 312 AFL games for the Adelaide Football Club.

He earned All Australian selection in 1994 but it was not until 1997 that his career took another step under new coach Malcolm Blight. Fitter and lighter, Ricciuto was a vital player in the club’s push towards the finals and was named in the All Australian side but cruelly he suffered a groin injury late in the season and could not play in September. He returned in 1998 with extra motivation and this time was successful in collecting a premiership medal, also clinching his first Club Champion title and third All Australian selection.

Ricciuto took over as Adelaide captain in 2001 and continued to be one of the game’s premier players for many years. In 2003 he became the club’s first Brownlow Medallist, sharing honours with Sydney’s Adam Goodes and Collingwood’s Nathan Buckley by polling 22 votes in 10 games.

He claimed further Crows best and fairest awards in 2003 and 2004, selection in a total of eight All Australian teams, and won the club’s goalkicking award after booting 44 goals in 2006. Back and leg injuries restricted him in his last two seasons but he starred in his 300th game before becoming the club game record holder (312) in what turned out to be his last AFL appearance. Ricciuto returned to the Club in an official capacity as a Board director during the 2014 season.

Adelaide Football Club service
312 games and 292 goals 1993-2007
Captain 2001-2007 
Member of 1998 premiership team
Member of the 2003 pre-season premiership team
Three time Club Champion (1998, 2003, 2004) 
All Australian 1994, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004 (Captain), 2005 (Captain) 
Brownlow Medal winner 2003 (Runner up 2004)
AFL Rising Star Nominee 1993 
AFL Players Association Best Captain 2005, 2006 
Leading Goalkicker 2006 (44 goals) 
Best Team Man 1994, 2003 
Player life member
Inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame 2011
Quickest ever in duration to reach 300 career games (13 years 82 days) 

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs