326. Simon Wiggins

Player Inductee

Glenorchy/Tassie Mariners/Carlton, Utility, 1998-2010

3 reserves games for Glenorchy, 1998-99
116 games, 36 goals for Carlton, 2001-09
Carlton AFL pre-season premierships 2005, 2007
Robert Rose Award nominee 2008, 2009 (AFL Most Courageous Player)
Tasmanian U16/U18 representative, 1998-2000
Tassie Mariners captain (TAC Cup), 2000
AFL U18 All-Australian, 2000
Carlton FC Life Member, 2008

An outstanding junior footballer with Glenorchy and Tasmania at U16 and U18 level, Simon Wiggins joined Carlton with Pick 15 in the 2000 AFL Draft. Over the following decade he developed into a highly versatile player, playing virtually every role from lead-up forward to close-checking defender.

He was arguably at his best as a half forward, where his strong marking and fearless approach to the game were bright spots in what was a dark time for the Blues, who were at or near the foot of the ladder for much Wiggins’ time at Princes Park. Through it all, Wiggins’ positive attitude and determination made him an enormously popular figure at Carlton and beyond, being nominated by his peers for the AFL’s Robert Rose Award (recognising the competition’s most courageous player) in both 2008 and 2009.

Unfortunately, injuries were an ever-present part of Wiggins’ career, to the extent that he only once managed more than 15 senior games in a season. Despite these setbacks, he was a member of Carlton’s pre-season premiership teams in 2005 and 2007, while in Round 17 2008 he became the 7th Tasmanian to play 100 games for the Blues; he celebrated the milestone with arguably his greatest-ever performance in a Carlton jumper, a 17-disposal, 4-goal effort against the Western Bulldogs which earned him his only career Brownlow votes.

Just over a year later, the 2009 Elimination Final loss to Brisbane marked not only Wiggins’ first finals appearance but also his 116th and final game for Carlton. Elevated to the club’s leadership group in 2010, a succession of injuries ruined his year, and he retired at season’s end.

Post-AFL, Wiggins played two seasons alongside elder brother Patrick at Western Region FL side Sunshine in 2011 and 2013, and finally tasted premiership success when he coached Airport West to an Essendon District FL flag in 2012. He has since remained active within the game in Melbourne, serving as coaching coordinator with Ascot Vale JFC and engaging with the AFL Players Association in establishing post-career employment pathways for former players.