Anthony "Tony" Russell (born 13 January 1961) is a former Australian rules footballer who played for Collingwood in the Victorian Football League (VFL). He is also the most prolific forward in the history of the Hampden Football League, with a record 1020 goals.
|Full name||Anthony Russell|
|Date of birth||13 January 1961|
|Height||188 cm (6 ft 2 in)|
|Weight||83 kg (183 lb)|
|1986–1994||South Warrnambool||149 (792)|
|1999–2001||Port Fairy||42 (81)|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2001.
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
Originally from Coleraine, Russell was only a teenager when he kicked over 100 goals in a season for Hamilton in the Western Border Football League. At the time Hamilton was tied in the VFL Country zone to Collingwood.
Russell played seven VFL games in three seasons at Collingwood. He kicked four goals when he made his debut, against Essendon, in the 1982 VFL season, but his best haul came the following year, with six goals, four of them in the final quarter, against the Sydney Swans at Victoria Park.
He crossed to Victorian Football Association club Preston during 1984 and was a member of their premiership team that year. Although he was kept quiet by the Frankston defenders in the grand final, Russell had played a large role in getting them there, with 10 goals in Preston's semi final win over Geelong West.
He left Preston at the end of 1984 and was linked to Williamstown during the pre-season. He finished the 1985 season playing for Cavendish in the South West DFL. In 1986 he signed with Beaufort in the Ballarat FL, but a disagreement with the coach and board lead him to request a clearance to South Warrnambool, where he would kick 792 goals, averaging over six a game. He played in three premiership teams and was the Hampden Football League leading-goalkicker every season from 1986 to 1991, then for a seventh time in 1994.
During 1992 Russell was unhappy with the way things were being run at the so he decided to seek a clearance to local district club South Rovers in 1993, Russell set a Warrnambool District Football League record with 165 goals in a season. That tally included a 25-goal haul against Merrivale. Lured back to South Warrnambool for the 1994 season Russell realised the people he had issue with were still there. In 1995 he was lured to Caramut in the Mininera League because of his friendship of Jason Misfud. He kicked 171 goals for Caramut.
In 1996 Misfud was appointed Captain-Coach of Hampden club Koroit, recruiting Russell to play under him. 3 seasons at Koroit then Russell became captain-coach at Port Fairy, where he brought up his 1000th league goal.
Russell, who retired aged 43, is believed to have kicked in excess of 2000 goals over the course of his career and played in 15 grand finals, from which he finished on the premiership winning team nine times.
- Holmesby, Russell; Main, Jim (2007). The Encyclopedia Of AFL Footballers. BAS Publishing. ISBN 9781920910785.
- Warrnambool Standard, "South Warrnambool puts Russell up for top honour", 7 July 2011, Greg Best
- The Weekly Times,"Bush legend: Tony Russell", 27 September 2012, Ken Piesse
- AFL Tables: Anthony Russell
- Canberra Times, "Magpies turn on the style", 14 August 1983, p. 26
- The Age,"Shaw leads the Bullants to victory", 24 September 1984, p. 28
- The Age,"Russell's 10 goals seal Preston win"[permanent dead link], 10 September 1984, p. 23