WEST Coast and Collingwood AFL premiership coach Mick Malthouse’s extraordinary career has been saluted with his induction into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.
Malthouse was among six inductees at Tuesday night’s ceremony in Melbourne, where 1985 Brownlow Medallist Brad Hardie and Carlton champion Ken Hunter were also recognised.
St Kilda legend Trevor Barker, SANFL great Jim Deane and former AFL chairman and Essendon president Ron Evans were inducted posthumously.
The all-time record holder for most VFL/AFL games coached, Malthouse’s tenure spanned three decades and 718 games at Footscray, West Coast, Collingwood and Carlton.
Malthouse also played 174 VFL games for St Kilda and Richmond, where he was a premiership player in 1980.
But it was as a coach that he truly made his mark, leading fledgling West Coast to the grand final in 1991 then premierships in 1992 and 1994.
Malthouse coached the Eagles throughout the 1990s and remarkably led them to the finals in every season.
He took over at Collingwood in 2000 and guided the Magpies to grand finals in 2002, 2003 and 2010, when the Pies famously drew with St Kilda before prevailing in the replay a week later.
With club president Eddie McGuire having engineered a succession plan for the coaching reins to be handed to Nathan Buckley, Malthouse departed on acrimonious terms after Collingwood lost the 2011 premiership decider to Geelong.
An ill-fated stint at Carlton ended with Malthouse sacked midway through his third season in 2015, having overtaken Jock McHale’s record for most games coached.
Footscray, Brisbane and South Fremantle utility Hardie was the most recent retiree among the playing inductees.
Fellow West Australian Hunter was best and fairest in Carlton’s 1981 premiership season and went on to win flags in 1982 and 1987.
Former Saints captain Barker was a favourite son at the club who was lauded for his loyalty in sticking with the club despite its prolonged lack of success.
Barker died in 1996, aged just 39, with the Saints subsequently naming their best and fairest award after him.
Deane’s post-war SANFL career included six best and fairest awards for South Adelaide, while Evans served as AFL chairman from 1998 until 2006.
Brisbane triple-premiership star and 2002 Brownlow Medallist Simon Black was unanimously endorsed by the selection committee but an “overseas commitment” – believed to be the filming of a reality TV show – means he will instead be inducted next year.
Troubled former West Coast star and 2005 Brownlow Medallist Ben Cousins was snubbed again and appears destined to remain on the outer.
The AFL will elevate an existing Hall of Fame member to Legend status at next year’s ceremony.
© AAP 2019