Dale Lewis (footballer)
|Full name||Dale Lewis|
|Date of birth||4 May 1969|
|Place of birth||Swan Hill, Victoria|
|Original team(s)||North Ballarat|
|Height||190 cm (6 ft 3 in)|
|Weight||84 kg (185 lb)|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2001.
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
Early life and career
Lewis played junior football with North Ballarat and made his senior debut with the Roosters in 1988 before spending two summer seasons playing with Darwin club St Mary's, alongside future Essendon champion Michael Long.
In 1989, Lewis played alongside brother Wes in Torquay’s premiership side and returned to North Ballarat for the 1990 season.
By this time almost every AFL club was aware of his prodigious talents and lined up to secure his services in the mid-season draft. On his 21st birthday Lewis received a call from childhood hero Peter Knights, who inquired whether Lewis was able to play for him at Tasmanian club Devonport. He also received a call from Brisbane Bears recruiter Shane O'Sullivan who said the Bears wanted to take Lewis as the number one selection at the pre-season draft.
Just before the 1990 mid-season draft, Lewis kicked seven goals for North Ballarat in an inter-league game and caught the eye of scouts. He trained with six clubs in the next few weeks before the Swans made him their first pick.
While Lewis was keen to play AFL, he wanted to play for a Victorian club. Shortly before getting drafted, he met footballer manager John Reid in Melbourne, who told Lewis that if the Bears did not list him, the Swans would and if he didn’t like it he could stand out of League football for two years. As it turned out, Brisbane named South Australian Laurence Schache and the Swans, true to their word, took Lewis at number two.
Lewis made his AFL debut against Footscray at the Western Oval in Round 15 of the 1990 AFL season. He played up on the wing against Leon Cameron, who would also enjoy a long and successful AFL career. Lewis scored a goal with his first kick, courtesy of a handpass from teammate David Murphy.
At the time of his arrival, Sydney was a team falling apart in the post-Edelsten era. While Lewis showed flashes of individual brilliance and established himself as a regular senior player, it was usually in a losing team. In 1993, he missed out on the victory against Melbourne that broke a 26-game losing streak due to injury.
At the end of 1993, Lewis returned to Melbourne, where his parents ran two hotels, and asked to be traded. But a deal with North Melbourne fell through just before the trading deadline.
After retiring as a footballer, Lewis began a career in broadcasting. He was a commentator on Australia's Seven Network and appeared on the sports program The Fat. Lewis was also a member of the Talking League team on Australian radio station 2UE.
Lewis is married to Angie and has two children, Evie and Owen.