Ahead of tonight’s Brownlow Medal count, we look back at Geelong’s Brownlow Medal history and highlight a couple of Cats who could feature prominently in tonight’s count in our special edition of By The Numbers, presented by Deakin’s Centre for Sport Research.

Geelong’s Brownlow Medal Winners

Geelong star Edward 'Carji' Greeves won the inaugural Brownlow Medal in 1924, which was fitting because the award was named in honour of respected Geelong administrator Charles Brownlow.

Since the 1924 triumph, a further six Geelong players have won a Brownlow Medal. Bernie Smith (1951), Alistair Lord (1962), Paul Couch (1989), Jimmy Bartel (2007), Gary Ablett Jnr (2009) and most recently Patrick Dangerfield (2016).

Alistair Lord. Winner of the 1962 Brownlow Medal.

Cats Lead Total Club Votes

Geelong players have received more votes than any other club in the history of the award. The Cats total of 5728 votes has them sitting comfortably ahead of Collingwood (5650) and Carlton (5573) in second and third respectively.

Selwood and Ablett Jnr Lead The Way

Current skipper Joel Selwood is Geelong’s leading vote getter with 201 career votes and that number is set to rise tonight after another consistent season for the Cats in 2021 averaging 23 disposals and five clearances per game.

Gary Ablett Jnr comes in second for the Cats with 140 Brownlow Votes during his time at Kardinia Park, with Garry Hocking (133), Dangerfield (127) and Bartel (116) rounding out the top five.

Rank Player Total Geelong Brownlow Votes
1 Joel Selwood 201
2 Gary Ablett Jnr 140
3 Garry Hocking 133
4 Patrick Dangerfield 127
5 Jimmy Bartel 116
6 Steve Johnson 106
7 Sam Newman 100
8 Gary Ablett Snr 99
8 Paul Couch 99
10 Bill Goggin 97

Dangerfield (fourth) and Selwood (ninth) also feature in the top 10 for total career votes with 224 and 201 votes respectively. Ablett Jnr also received 122 votes from the umpires during his time at the Gold Coast Suns. His total career tally of 262 Brownlow Medal votes is the most by an individual player in the history of the award.

Selwood sits third behind Scott Pendlebury and Leigh Matthews for most total votes without winning the award.

Rank Player Total Career Brownlow Votes
1 Gary Ablett Jnr (GC/GEE) 262
2 Gary Dempsey (WB/NM) 246
3 Sam Mitchell (HAW/WC) 227
4 Patrick Dangerfield (ADEL/GEE) 224
5 Robert Harvey (STK) 215
6 Chris Judd (CAR/WC) 210
7 Scott Pendlebury (COLL) 207
8 Leigh Matthews (HAW) 202
9 Joel Selwood (GEE) 201
10 Dustin Martin (RICH) 191

2021 Contenders

Last year’s Carji Greeves Medallist Cameron Guthrie produced another fine season in 2021 playing 20 home-and-away games and averaged 29 disposals per game.

Guthrie featured inside the best 20 players in the competition for total disposals (12th), stoppage clearances (13th) and ground ball gets (20th).

All Australian duo Tom Hawkins and Tom Stewart are also expected to poll well for the Cats.

Hawkins finished second in the Coleman Medal with 54 goals. The 33-year-old was once again influential in setting up scoring opportunities for his teammates ranked equal 12th in the League for total goal assists and third overall for score involvements.

Hawkins also featured in the top 10 for forward 50 ground ball gets (1st), marks inside 50 (1st), marks on the lead (1st) and tackles inside 50 (5th).

01:44 Mins
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100 games for Stewart

As Tom Stewart reaches his 100th game milestone tonight against the Lions we look back on some of his best highlights.

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At the other end of the ground Stewart elevated his game again in 2021 to become arguably Geelong's most important player and the League's most complete defender.

Stewart was named in Geelong's best in 15 of his 20 regular season games. He ranked in the top 20 in the league for average effective kicks (3rd), kicks (4th), intercept marks (9th), intercept possessions (10th), rebound 50s (12th) and metres gained (13th). 

How the Voting works

Voting for the Brownlow Medal is conducted by field umpires, immediately after each home-and-away match, with three votes awarded for the player they believed to have been the best on the ground, two votes for the second best player and one vote for the third best player on the day, in their opinion.