123. Alastair Lynch

123. Alastair Lynch - ICONICON – Player Inductee

Wynyard/Hobart/Fitzroy/Brisbane
1987-2004

> Over 300 games and more than 600 goals for Fitzroy and Brisbane, 1988-2004
> Brisbane premierships, 2001, 2002 and 2003
> Fitzroy leading goalkicker, 1993
> Fitzroy best and fairest, 1996
> Brisbane co-captain, 1997-2000
> Brisbane leading goalkicker, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003
> Tasmanian State of Origin representative,1988-93
> Member of Fitzroy’s ‘Team of the Century’ 
> Member of Tasmanian ‘Team of the Century’

Alastair Lynch will be remembered as one of the all-time greats of AFL football after a career that spanned 17 years and 306 games at the highest level. He was a former captain and key member of the history-making Brisbane Lions team that won an extraordinary three premierships in 2001, 2002 and 2003 to be rated arguably the best team of all-time.

But Lynch’s career—which had its beginnings in Tasmania and was split between Fitzroy and the Brisbane Bears/Lions—went far beyond pure football. In 1995 he defied a career-threatening illness, later diagnosed as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, to become an inspiration to the thousands of people with CFS in Australia. Not only did he return to playing football at the elite level after missing all but one game in 1995, but he took his game to a new level and played some of his best football as the oldest player in the competition in his later years.

Born in Burnie and raised in Wynyard in north-western Tasmania, Lynch was selected at pick 50 from the Hobart Football Club in the 1986 VFL Draft, and began his senior football career at Fitzroy in 1988. He was an intimidating player in defence, playing full back and centre half back. In his early years his notable abilities were strong marking—he won the 1989 Mark of the Year award—and heavy tackling. His titanic battles with key forwards such as Tony Lockett were highlights. In 1993 Fitzroy coach Robert Shaw moved Lynch to full forward, where he lead the club’s goalkicking with 68 goals and won the best and fairest award. Lynch also played fullback in the 1990 Tasmanian State of Origin team, the first Tasmanian team to defeat Victoria in 30 years.

The powerhouse key position dominance of Alastair Lynch saw him play six years at Fitzroy and 11 years in Brisbane. An All Australian selection in 1993, he was Lions co-captain from 1997 to 2000 and remained a highly regarded leader of the star-studded Lions outfit despite the selfless decision at the end of 2000 to stand down from the captaincy, allowing Michael Voss to do the job solo.

He stamped his indelible mark on the AFL record books in his final season in 2004 when he became the 23rd player to kick 600 AFL goals, the 43rd player overall, and the first Tasmanian to play 300 AFL games.

Lynch also ranks equal fifth for all-time AFL finals goals. In recognition of the high regard in which he is held by the football community, he was chosen in the Fitzroy Team of the Century and the Tasmanian Team of the Century, and was further honoured part-way through 2004 when Tasmanian football’s highest individual award, formerly the William Leitch Medal, was renamed the Alastair Lynch Medal. In 2005 Alastair Lynch was an inaugural inductee into the Tasmanian Football Hall of Fame. 2006 saw further recognition, with his elevation to ‘Legend’ of Tasmanian football.