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122. Stephen Febey

Player Inductee

Devonport/Melbourne, Half Back, 1986-2002

> 258 games, 40 goals for Melbourne, 1988-2001
> 1 game for Devonport, 1986
> Melbourne VFL grand final teams, 1988, 2000
> Melbourne VFL pre-season premiership, 1989
> Two State of Origin matches for Tasmania, 1989, 1993
> One State of Origin match for Victoria, 1990
> One State of Origin match for ‘The Allies’, 1995

A no-nonsense and courageous running defender, Steven Febey was a consistent performer for Melbourne for more than 15 years.

Born in 1969 Steven Febey was one of twin sons born to Neil Febey, a legend of the Devonport Football club who had won a Best and Fairest and played a club record 232 games. Making his senior debut for Devonport in 1986, Steven played just a single senior game for the Magpies before he was selected by Melbourne with Pick 3 in the inaugural National Draft in 1986. Unlike modern draftees however, Febey’s services came with a condition: either Melbourne drafted both Steven and twin brother Matthew together or neither would come. The Demons agreed, taking Matthew with Pick 16, and both brothers joined Melbourne ahead of the 1987 season. While it took his brother a number of years to find his feet at VFL level Steven’s development was much faster, and after spending 1987 refining his game in the reserves, Febey made his senior debut for the Demons in Round 7 1988 against Hawthorn at the MCG, contributing 19 disposals and a goal in a 21-point win. He would go on to play 12 games for the season, including the preliminary final win over Carlton and the record 96-point grand final hammering at the hands of Hawthorn.

Between 1989 and 1995 Febey was a consistent performer in Demons sides that made finals appearances in 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1994. Not the most skilful player around but possessing incredible courage and determination, Febey would earn representative honours not only for his home state of Tasmania (1989 and 1993), but also for ‘The Allies’ (1995) and Victoria, playing in the Big V side that was sensationally defeated by NSW in Sydney in 1990. A severe knee injury during the 1996 pre-season was a turning point in his career, and from 1997 Febey’s outstanding form made him an almost automatic selection. He enjoyed a career-best season in 1998, playing all 25 games, earning 12 Brownlow votes and finishing third in the ‘Bluey’ Truscott Medal count for Melbourne’s Best and Fairest award. His 1999 season was ruined by multiple injuries, including a shattered eye socket, but in 2000 he was back to close to his best and featured in his second grand final, although as it had 12 years earlier the day ended in heavy defeat for the Demons, this time at the hands of the rampaging Essendon.

After being dropped mid-way through the 2001 season the now 32-year old Febey responded strongly to finish fourth in the Best and Fairest award, however after signing on for another season, injuries ruined his 2002 campaign. After only a few games with Sandringham in the VFL Febey announced his retirement from AFL football after 258 games, at that time the most games ever played by someone recruited through the National Draft.