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North's greatest numbers

Thomas Loftus  December 14, 2017 5:20 PM

New Year, New Numbers (Dec 14, 2017) North Melbourne has released it's list of player numbers for the 2018 AFL season.

The most recent list of jumper numbers has been confirmed, and there has been plenty of movement in this department for 2018.

The full list of number changes for 2018 can be viewed here.

With Jy Simpkin, Nick Larkey, Majak Daw, Mitch Hibberd and Taylor Garner all transitioning into more recognisable jumpers, thought it was time to revisit some of the most famous numbers in the club’s history.

Number 6

Appearances - 1288
Goals - 1276
Names - Shannon Grant, John Dugdale, Ian Fairley, Arnold Briedis

Taylor Garner will be taking on the number 6 for 2018 and if the history of this number is anything to go by, we can look forward to plenty of goals from the dynamic forward.

Among others, Shannon Grant, John Dugdale and Arnold Briedis have contributed to the #6 being responsible for the most goals out of any number at North Melbourne, with the trio bagging 960 goals between them.

Number 9

Appearances - 1291
Goals - 790
Names - Andrew Swallow, Barry Cable, Ken Dean, Bill Findlay, Matthew Larkin

The most capped number in club history, the number 9 has a long history of club stalwarts to its name. Bill Findlay was one of the first to champion the 9 back in the 30’s, with premiership hero Barry Cable donning it in the 70’s, and recently retired club champion Andrew Swallow being among the leading contributors to the guernsey’s 1291 appearances.

Pick 4 at the 2017 National Draft, Luke Davies-Uniacke will be hoping to continue the legacy of the #9 as he takes it on for 2018.

Number 11

Appearances - 1261
Goals - 501
Names - Glenn Archer, Michael Firrito, John Burns

The number championed by the ‘Shinboner of the Century’ is always going to be a popular one.

Glenn Archer wore the number 11 guernsey in each of his 16 seasons with North Melbourne, notching up 311 appearances as he became an integral member of the premiership winning teams in 1996 & 1999, winning the Norm Smith Medal in the first triumph.

After Archer’s retirement in 2007, fan-favourite Michael “Spud” Firrito took on the #11, with 193 of his 275 appearances for North coming in the famous number. 

Luke McDonald is the latest defender to don the number 11, adding 22 appearances to the tally in 2017, and he will be looking to add many more in the coming years.

Number 18

Appearances - 1090
Goals - 1109
Names - Wayne Carey, Paul Feltham, Shaun Atley

The number 18 is the only number at North Melbourne to currently average over a goal per game, and this is largely down to one man.

A dual premiership-captain and a seven-time All-Australian, Wayne Carey kicked a whopping 671 goals in his 240 appearances in the number 18, and is widely regarded as one of the finest footballers the game has seen.

Number 20

Appearances - 1243
Goals - 1008
Names - Wayne Schimmelbusch, Drew Petrie, John Brady

It’s a rare enough feat for one number to have a single player represent it in 300 games, let alone two. The #20 at North Melbourne is an exception to that rule.

Club legend Wayne Schimmelbusch wore the 20 on 306 occasions in his career, kicking 354 goals as he established himself as a key member of the 1975 and 1977 VFL winning sides.

After Schimma, the number 20 seemed somewhat unlucky with the next four players only managing 75 appearances between them. In 2001, Drew Petrie took on the number, and after 16 seasons, 316 appearances and 428 goals later, the ‘curse’ was lifted.

Nick Larkey will be hoping to continue the proud history of the #20 as he takes it on in 2018.

Number 29

Appearances - 1191
Goals - 946
Names - Brent Harvey, Peter German, Phil Baker

1970’s Premiership winner Phil Baker and 183-gamer Peter German were early contributors to the tradition of the North Melbourne #29, but its iconic status was achieved by one of North’s favourite sons.

Brent “Boomer” Harvey sported the #29 jumper on 432 occasions, breaking the AFL/VFL games record in the process.

A 1999 AFL Premiership winner with North, Boomer kicked 518 goals for the club and his legend status at the club has been cemented with the number being retired in his honour.