Chris Mainwaring

Christopher Douglas Mainwaring (27 December 1965 – 1 October 2007) was an Australian rules footballer. He played for the West Coast Eagles in the Victorian Football League/Australian Football League (VFL/AFL) and East Fremantle in the West Australian Football League (WAFL). He was also a television presenter and sports journalist with Seven News Perth and a radio presenter with Mix 94.5.

Chris Mainwaring
Mainwaring in 1996
Personal information
Full name Christopher Douglas Mainwaring
Nickname(s) Mainy
Date of birth (1965-12-27)27 December 1965
Place of birth Geraldton, Western Australia
Date of death 1 October 2007(2007-10-01) (aged 41)
Place of death Nedlands, Western Australia
Original team(s) Geraldton Rovers
Height 177 cm (5 ft 10 in)
Weight 85 kg (187 lb)
Position(s) Wing
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1987–1999 West Coast 201 (84)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1999.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables,

Football career

Mainwaring started his career with the Greenough Demons (Rovers) before being recruited by East Fremantle "The Sharks" in 1985. In his first season, he was a member of the Western Australian State of Origin team and played in a Sharks premiership team.

He was a member of the West Coast Eagles' inaugural squad in 1987. He made his debut in round three that year, against Sydney at Subiaco and afterwards only missed one game for the season.[1] and was named their best first year player.[2] Mainwaring played for the Eagles on the wing and contributed greatly to their success, playing in both their 1992 and 1994 premierships. The image of him leaping with joy at the conclusion of the game, despite having a broken ankle, is one of the lasting images of the Eagles' first premiership. He played 201 games for the Eagles between 1987 and 1999, kicking 84 goals.

Mainwaring was an All-Australian in 1991 and 1996 and has been named on the wing in the West Coast Eagles' Team of the Decade in 1996, Team20 in 2006 and East Fremantle's Team of the Century in 1997. Whilst he never won the Club Champion award at the Eagles, he finished in the top 10 eight times, including placing third in both his debut and second years in the VFL and second in 1989, 1992 and 1996.[3]

In 1997, he suffered a knee injury, which required a knee reconstruction and this put him out of action for the rest of that season. In 1998, while he was attempting to regain form, Mainwaring spent most of the season playing for the Sharks, before making his return to the West Coast side late that year. After another season in which he was in and out of the Eagles' side (and playing for East Fremantle), Mainwaring retired from AFL football.

He wore the Eagles' number 3 guernsey, a number which had only been worn by him and Chris Judd during the Eagles' history. The club retired the number for the following three seasons, until it was revived by Eagles' draft pick Andrew Gaff in 2011.

Mainwaring played another season for the Sharks in 2000, after which he retired.

After leaving football, Mainwaring took a job with Seven News. By 2007, he was reading the sport at the weekend, as well as reporting during the week. He also read the sport headlines during the news on Perth radio station Mix 94.5 from 5:30–9:00 am. In 2005 he was a Reporter of the Seven news desk. Since 2001 he was a member of the selection panel for the All-Australian team and the AFL Rising Star.[4] He was married to Rani and had two children.


 G  Goals  B  Behinds  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  D  Disposals  M  Marks  T  Tackles
Season Team No. Games G B K H D M T G B K H D M T Votes
Totals Averages (per game)
1987 West Coast 3196630873381114320.30.316.23.820.16.01.75
1988 West Coast 32011733112445597300.60.416.
1989 West Coast 32032334014048095290.
1990 West Coast 32171533114847991380.30.715.
1991 West Coast 321169369139508114250.80.417.66.624.25.41.26
1992 West Coast 325101340914054997450.40.516.45.622.03.91.810
1993 West Coast 3121092065626245200.80.817.24.721.83.81.70
1994 West Coast 32378360130490101440.30.315.75.721.34.41.96
1995 West Coast 39161314717836180.10.714.
1996 West Coast 322121135111446594410.50.516.
1997 West Coast 3100202100.
1998 West Coast 330012416320.
1999 West Coast 35115314671660.
Career 201 84 108 3203 1129 4332 904 330 0.4 0.5 15.9 5.6 21.6 4.5 1.6 68


Mainwaring died in the early hours of 1 October 2007 after being rushed to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.[6] Police and ambulance had been called to his address earlier that night after a complaint about a man yelling in the street. After Mainwaring refused assistance from the ambulance crew, he was released to the care of a neighbour. About an hour later, emergency services were called back to the property after he had convulsions and collapsed. Mainwaring reportedly told paramedics during the first visit that he had taken ecstasy and cannabis.[7][8] Former Eagles player Ben Cousins spent time with Mainwaring on Sunday. According to the WA State Coroner's report, Mainwaring had a seizure and died after overdosing on cocaine, rather than several different drugs as media reports originally claimed.[9]

Mainwaring was to compete in a celebrity kick boxing event run by the World Kick Boxing Association at Challenge Stadium on 4 October 2007 for charity.[10] He had also been invited by the AFL to hold one of the Eagles' premiership cups during the 2007 AFL Grand Final pre-game entertainment, but he cancelled in the week prior to the game, instead staying in Perth.[4]

Mainwaring's memorial service was held on 8 October 2007 at Christ Church Grammar School, Claremont. About 1,200 people attended the service including 300 who watched on a big screen outside the chapel. A memorial match was played between his old club and rivals Fremantle in 2008, with the Eagles winning by 25 points. His two young children, along with the Matera trio also played in the match.

The West Coast Eagles retired Mainwaring's number 3 jumper for the following three seasons as a mark of respect, and the club named its Best Clubman award the Chris Mainwaring Medal in his honour. The Roberts Road wing of Subiaco Oval was named The Chris Mainwaring Wing for all West Coast Eagles home games, until the club moved its home games to the new Perth Stadium in 2018.


  1. AFL 1987 Stats Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  2. West Coast Eagles Honour Roll
  3. West Coast Eagles Club Champions
  4. Scott Spits and Dan Harrison; "Mystery surrounds ex-Eagle Mainwaring's death"; The Age; 1 October 2007
  5. Chris Mainwaring's player profile at AFL Tables
  6. "Family, friends and fans bid farewell". The Australian Online. 9 October 2007.
  7. "Desperate Mainy called out for help in the night". The West Australian Online. 2 October 2007. Archived from the original on 24 October 2007. Retrieved 2 October 2007.
  8. "Devastated Cousins was with Mainwaring: West Coast". ABC Online. 2 October 2007.
  9. Adshead, Gary (20 March 2010). "Mainwaring 'overdosed on cocaine'". The West Australian. Retrieved 22 June 2010.
  10. "Telethon Celebrity Fight Night Archived 9 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine"; retrieved 2 October 2007
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