Tony Lockett

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Tony Lockett : biography

9 March 1966 –

Lockett became a cult figure in Sydney. At the height of his popularity the song "There’s only one Tony Lockett" was released (sung to the tune of "Guantanamera"). A groin injury threatened his appearance in the 1996 AFL Grand Final in which his team lost to the North Melbourne Football Club.

In 1996, Lockett was the subject of much hype in the clash between Geelong and Sydney in which Gary Ablett was playing at the other end of the ground. The match was billed by the media as Plugger vs God and set a ground record attendance at the Sydney Cricket Ground. He broke the record of 1299 career goals (set by Gordon Coventry) at the SCG in 1999, and sparking one of the biggest pitch invasions seen in Aussie Rules.

Lockett retired at the end of 1999 but had a brief comeback in 2002, playing three games and adding three goals to his record.

Controversy

Lockett’s spectacular career was marred by several high profile tribunal appearances. The most famous was in an 11-goal match for St Kilda against his future club Sydney in 1994, when he broke Peter Caven’s cheek-bone as he led out from full-forward and the unaware Caven was back-tracking for the ball. The incident resulted in an eight-week suspension for charging.

Post-football

Lockett’s aversion of the media has been well documented. Since his retirement he has been elusive and has had little involvement in the game.

He has appeared in various television commercials, including Advanced Hair and Lowes Menswear (in Sydney). While at a taping session for a Lowes commercial, Lockett engaged in a friendly wrestling match with former amateur rugby player Ace (Adrian) Mueller, who was at the time working for Lowes corporate division. According to some reports, the friendly wrestle developed into something quite competitive, with Lockett pinning Mueller (an exponent of the Israeli self-defence system, Krav Maga).Inside-Rugby magazine February 1999 More recently Tony starred along with Stephen Curry and Dave Lawson in a Toyota Memorable Moments advertisement which takes a lighthearted look at many moments in his career including: the piglet ‘Pluga’, ‘One Tony Lockett’, ‘That Point’ and his 1,300th goal (including the pitch invasion).

Lockett is also well known for his main interest outside of football, greyhound racing and was alleged to be part owner of famous dog Brett Lee (which was worth well over A$1million) among others.

Nickname

Tony’s father Howard inherited the nickname "Plugger" from his own father who used to "plug around" in the garden. Tony’s father, who himself played 500 games of country football, then saw it fit to pass down the nickname once more to Tony. The name became synonymous with the man’s large size.

In Round 18, 1993, in a match at the Sydney Cricket Ground between St Kilda (then Lockett’s club) and Sydney, a piglet (being a reference to Tony’s size) was released by a member of the Sydney crowd onto the ground (with the wrongly spelled word "Pluga" and Lockett’s playing number "#4" spray painted onto it) before being tackled to the ground and removed by Sydney Swans player Darren Holmes.http://www.afana.com/drupal/node/139 The famous Channel Seven commentary of the incident had the exclamation of "There’s a pig at full-forward!" from commentator Sandy Roberts. Lockett was actually absent from the match, due to injury.

Notes