- Robert Harvey (footballer)
Infobox afl player NEW
playername = Robert Harvey
fullname = Robert Jeffrey Harvey
image capt = Robert Harvey (pictured right) with a fan in 2007
birthdate = birth date and age|1971|8|21|df=y
birthplace = Seaford,
originalteam = Seaford
heightweight = 181cm / 84kg
debutdate = Round 19, 6 August 1988
debutteam = St Kilda
debutopponent = Footscray
playingteams = St Kilda (1988-2008)
coach = notcoach
years = 1988 – 2008
clubs = St. Kilda
games(goals) = 383 (215)
coach = notcoach
statsend = 2008
* St Kilda Pre-season Cup winning sides 2008, 2004, 1996
* Brownlow Medalist 1998, 1997
* Leigh Matthews Trophy AFLPA MVP 1997
* All-Australian Team 2003, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1992
* St Kilda Football Club Best and Fairest Trevor Barker Award 1998, 1997, 1994, 1992
* Michael Tuck Medalist 2004
* E. J. Whitten Medalist 1996, 1993, 1992
* St Kilda minor premiership side 1997
* St Kilda Captain 2001-2002
Robert Jeffrey Harvey (born 21 August 1971) is a former Australian Rules Football player in the
Australian Football League. He is recognised as one of the league's best midfielders and a champion of the modern era noted for his endurance. Harvey holds St Kilda Football Club's record for most career games. He announced his retirement at the end of the 2008 AFL season. He has played the third-highest total career games in VFL/AFL history, having played a total of 383 games. He was renown for running ability on the field (also completed his first full length marathon as a 13 year old).
Harvey is the grandson of former Australian test cricketer
Merv Harveyand grandnephew of Neil Harvey, who was Australia's leading runscorer and century-maker behind Don Bradman. His younger brother, Anthony, played four games for St Kilda in 1994 before captaining Norwood to the 1997 SANFL premiership.
Recruited from St Kilda's VCFL zone, Harvey made his VFL debut in 1988 when he was recruited from the local Seaford team by the St Kilda Football Club.
Harvey has won numerous awards and medals including consecutive Brownlow Medals, the league's highest individual honour, in 1997 and 1998. He has been awarded over 200 Brownlow votes and has received the second highest total for overall Brownlow votes in VFL/AFL history. He is the only player to ever have received votes in more than 100 games.
He won St Kilda's club best and fairest award in 1992, 1994, 1997 and 1998 and has been selected in the All-Australian team eight times. He has won three E. J. Whitten Medals, the 1997 AFL Players Association Award (now known as the Leigh Matthews Trophy) and the Michael Tuck Medal for player judged best on ground in the Pre-season Cup Final in 2004.
He has played in three Pre-season Cup winning sides, in 1996, 2004 and 2008, as well as the Minor Premiership and runner-up Grand Final side in 1997. He amassed 756 disposals in 1997, the highest single-season tally on record (recorded since 1987). He also amassed 501 kicks in 1998, the highest single-season tally on record (recorded since 1987). He is the only player on record to have had over 30 possessions in more than one hundred AFL games (118 as of Round 13, 2008; recorded since 1987).
Harvey became the fourth player to play 300 games for the St Kilda Football Club in the 2004 Preliminary Final against Port Adelaide. In Round 7 in 2006, against Geelong in front of a near full house at the Telstra Dome, Harvey broke the all-time games record for St Kilda (until then held by Nathan Burke) with 324 games). To celebrate this the Saints wore special guernseys with Harvey's silhouetted image in the centre.
Harvey reached his 350th game against West Coast at
Subiaco Ovalin Round 12, 2007 where the Saints unexpectedly defeated the reigning premiers by 23 points. At the end of the season he announced he would continue playing in 2008, making him the only VFL/AFL player to ever play in 21 consecutive seasons. Of recent players he had the record for most number of games. Harvey continued exceptionally well into the 2008 season. He played every game but two and hit hit back at criticism from former coach Grant Thomas who claimed Harvey wouldn't be able to keep up with the demands of AFL football in 2008. At 37 years of age, Harvey has averaged a remarkable 22 disposals per game from only 76% of game time and brought invaluable poise and composure to the St Kilda line-up. Most recently Harvey had 31 disposals in yet another best-on-ground performance in St Kilda's Round 13 win against The Fremantle Dockers, and is arguably the favourite for another club Best & Fairest. Many speculated that a 22nd season for the dual Brownlow medalist would not be out of the question, including St Kilda captain Nick Riewoldtwho called for Harvey to continue into 2009, "Robert Harvey shouldn't retire this year. He was just incredible." However, on 6 August 2008 during a media conference, Harvey announced his retirement from AFL football.
One more season at AFL level would not have only give Harvey the chance of reaching 400 senior AFL games, but also to sit outright second on the all-time games list, a considerable achievement considering the amount of games he missed through injury. 400 game legends
Michael Tuckand Kevin Bartlettpublicly expressed their disappointment at what they both thought was a premature retirement and believed Harvey could have followed in their footsteps and reached the 400 game milestone.
Harvey played out his final game in the AFL on 20th September 2008, in a preliminary final against Hawthorn. Hawthorn won the game by 54 points, 18.10 (118) to 9.10 (64). Harvey was chaired off the ground by teammates Lenny Hayes and Max Hudghton to an enormous standing ovation, while players and officials from both sides formed a guard of honour. After the game, a tribute to his long career was played on the big screen. He ends his career having played 383 games at the top level, over 21 seasons, from the age of 16 until he was 37. It stands as the longest career, by seasons, in football history.
On 10 October 2008, it was announced that Harvey had accepted the role of development coach at the
Carlton Football Club, beginning in 2009.
He is married to Danielle Harvey, who appeared on
Fox Footy's "Living With Footballers" before it was cancelled at the end of 2004.
They have three children - a son, Connor; and two daughters, Remi and Alyssa.
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