The shortest-priced favourite in Brownlow Medal history saluted, as Dustin Martin kicked off what could become one of the most storied weeks in Richmond history by claiming the medal in a thrilling count at Crown Casino on Monday night.
Ineligible Geelong superstar Patrick Dangerfield nearly became the third man to miss a medal despite topping the count, drawing level with Martin in the final round on 33votes, but Martin avoided the much-feared awkward moment with three votes against St Kilda, the final votes to be read out by AFL chief Gillon McLachlan, to break Dangerfield’s one-year-old medal mark of 35 votes, which had been the most polled under the 3-2-1 system.
Dusty made an emotional speech, here it is in full:
"A friend wrote it for me, but hopefully I can read the writing. I was going to try and say a gag but I'm not very funny, so I'll just leave that. Here we go. Obviously to get where I am today has taken a heap of support from some great people I really trust in my life. Obviously mum and dad, you have always supported me with my footy and Icouldn't have got mere without you both. I'm so grateful for everything you have done for me. To dad, I know it is tough for you not being here this week, but I know how much you love me and I love you very much. I look forward to coming over in a couple of weeks and celebrating. To my manager and good friend, Ralph Carr. You are like family to me and always looked after my best interests. I appreciate everything you have done for me. Nearly there. To everyone at the Richmond Football Club, the coaches, the staff, the sponsors, Jeep and Shaun from Puma - he wanted me to get his name in there - what have I got here - what a week we have got in front of us. I can't thank you enough and I can't wait to finish it off with success this week, hopefully. And to my team mates, I'm so proud of you all and I'm so proud of what we have been able to achieve together. This medal is because of each of you and the connection we have and the support we give each other. I couldn't think of a better group of guys to go into a grand final with. We have worked hard all year for this moment, and I'm excited for what we are about to do. Thank you."
Dusty’s record-breaking night
- Most three vote games = 11
- Most votes in a Brownlow Medal count = 36
- Biggest margin to win a Brownlow = 11 (Dangerfield's haul of 33 not counted because ineligible, Tom Mitchell second on 25)