1996 Brownlow Medal

The 1996 Brownlow Medal was the 69th year the award was presented to the player adjudged the fairest and best player during the Australian Football League (AFL) home and away season.[1] Michael Voss of the Brisbane Bears and James Hird of the Essendon Football Club both won the medal by polling twenty-one votes during the 1996 AFL season.[2] Corey McKernan of the North Melbourne Football Club polled the same number of votes as Voss and Hird, but due to a tribunal suspension during the year, he was deemed ineligible to win the award. This caused some to call for the rules to be changed to allow suspended players to still be eligible.[3] The eligibility rules have remained the same since then, relying on the fairest section of fairest and best to continue to exclude suspended players from being able to win the award. McKernan went on to be a member of North Melbourne's 1996 AFL Grand Final winning team, something that both Voss and Hird said that they would prefer over winning the medal.[2]

1996 Brownlow Medal
LocationWorld Congress Centre
WinnersMichael Voss (Brisbane Bears)
James Hird (Essendon)
21 votes
Television/radio coverage
NetworkSeven Network

In the leadup to the count, the AFL requested that the previous year's winner, Paul Kelly, attend the count in person at the World Congress Centre in Melbourne, rather than via video link from Sydney. This caused a betting plunge on Kelly.[4]

Leading votegetters

=1stMichael Voss (Brisbane Bears)21
James Hird (Essendon)
Corey McKernan (North Melbourne)*21
=3rdChris Grant (Footscray)20
Nathan Burke (St Kilda)
5thGarry Hocking (Geelong)19
6thPaul Salmon (Hawthorn)18
=7thJustin Charles (Richmond)17
Stewart Loewe (St Kilda)
Guy McKenna (West Coast)
Robert Harvey (St Kilda)

* The player was ineligible to win the medal due to suspension by the AFL Tribunal during the year.


  1. Lovett, Michael (ed.). AFL Record Season Guide 2009. Docklands, Victoria: Slattery Media Group. p. 496. ISBN 978-0-9805162-6-5.
  2. Browne, Ashley (29 September 1996). "Michael Voss and James Hird - Brownlow Medallists". The Age.
  3. Watkins, Sian (24 September 1996). "Maintain medal rules, says Roos". The Age.
  4. Blake, Martin (22 September 1996). "League orders Kelly to medal count". The Age.

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