Michael O’Loughlin

Michael O'Loughlin bigraphy, stories - Australian rules footballer

Michael O’Loughlin : biography

20 February 1977 –

Michael Kevin O’Loughlin (born 20 February 1977) is a former professional Australian rules footballer, who played his entire Australian Football League career with the Sydney Swans.

O’Loughlin is one of the most decorated Indigenous Australian players in the history of the Australian Football League recognised through being named a member of the Indigenous Team of the Century, just the third player with Indigenous heritage to play 300 AFL games and with The Deadlys award for this 2005 premiership season. His representative honours include twice achieving All-Australian selection, playing for Australia twice in the International Rules Series and a Fos Williams Medallist as best player for South Australia in State of Origin.

At club level, O’Loughlin was the first Sydney Swans’ player to to play more than 300 career games. In 303 games he kicked 521 career goals.

Rape allegations

In 2000, it was alleged that O’Loughlin had participated in the rape of a woman in a park in Adelaide along with two other AFL players, Adam Heuskes and Peter Burgoyne. The woman claimed that while Heuskes and Burgoyne raped her, O’Loughlin masturbated close to her face.Ticky Fullerton. . Abc.net.au. Retrieved on 2012-06-03. O’Loughlin was neither charged nor questioned by police but Burgoyne and Heuskes were both charged with rape. The case, however, did not go to court as the Director of Public Prosecutions, Paul Rofe, said there was "no reasonable prospect of conviction on any criminal charge" due to a lack of witnesses. Despite this, the three players made a $200,000 cash payment to the alleged victim.. www.theage.com.au (2004-03-19). Retrieved on 2012-06-03. The incident came to public light when it was examined on the ABC investigative program Four Corners in 2004.

Early life

O’Loughlin has Indigenous Australian heritage and his tribal ancestry can be traced to the Kaurna.AFL Record. Round 9, 2009. Slattery Publishing. p. 75.

He grew up in South Australia and first played senior football with Centrals in the SANFL.

AFL career

Selected in the third round of the 1994 National Draft, O’Loughlin played 12 senior games for the Swans in 1995 and earned a AFL Rising Star award nomination. The following year, he was a key player in the team that won the minor premiership and then lost to North Melbourne in the grand final. He was the games record holder for the Swans, passing John Rantall’s record in Round 14 of the 2007 season, until he was overtaken by his close friend Adam Goodes. He became the first Sydney Swans/South Melbourne player to break the 300 games milestone in Round 19, 2009.

O’Loughlin played the majority of his early football in a half-forward flanker role, where his combination of speed, strength and agility made him a difficult player for opposing teams to match up against. He was known by the nickname "Magic" throughout his career, in recognition of his capacity to play football so skillfully that it could sometimes seem he had "cast a spell" on his opponents. He was also known by the nickname, "Micky O". In the latter part of his career, he was primarily used as Sydney’s full-forward. In 2000 and 2001, he was the club’s leading goalkicker. He was club best and fairest in 1998 and runner-up in 2000. He was selected in the All Australian Team in 1997 and 2000. When State of Origin matches were still being played, he represented his state on several occasions, receiving the Fos Williams Medal for best South Australian player in 1998.

In 2005, he was selected alongside Sydney Swans teammate and cousin Adam Goodes in the Indigenous Team of the Century. O’Loughlin was chosen in the full-forward position. He described this honor as the highlight of his career, alongside the 2005 premiership.

O’Loughlin, the only player remaining in the team from the 1996 loss, played strongly during the 2005 grand final, including a number of exceptional marks. However, and uncharacteristically, his kicking for goal during the game was inaccurate.