Fraser Gehrig

Fraser Gehrig (born 3 March 1976) is a retired Australian rules footballer who played for the St Kilda Football Club and the West Coast Eagles in the Australian Football League (AFL) .

Fraser Gehrig
Personal information
Full name Fraser Gehrig
Date of birth (1976-03-03) 3 March 1976
Original team(s) Murray Bushrangers (TAC Cup)
Draft No. 16, 1993 National Draft, West Coast
No. 57, 2007 National Draft, St Kilda
Height 195 cm (6 ft 5 in)
Weight 109 kg (240 lb)
Position(s) Forward
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1995–2000 West Coast 115 (159)
2001–2008 St Kilda 145 (390)
Total 260 (549)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2008.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables,

Gehrig was a versatile player during his AFL career, beginning his career at West Coast before becoming known as a powerful goal kicker and Coleman Medalist at St Kilda.

Gehrig holds the bench press record at both West Coast and St Kilda as well as being the best bench press performer in the AFL, with many additionally regarding him as the strongest and most intimidating player in the AFL. While in the peak of his career, he was also widely regarded as the fastest player over 30 meters in any ball sport.[1]

Early life

Gehrig grew up in Wodonga, Victoria and attended high school at Catholic College Wodonga. Gehrig held the school’s athletics 100m record for more than 20 years.


West Coast

Gehrig began his AFL career at the West Coast Eagles playing as a utility and on the wing. He was known for his strength and versatility.

Gehrig struggled to break into a powerful Eagles lineup during his first few years at the Western Australian club, but he stepped up in 1997 and won selection in the All-Australian team in a forward pocket.

Gehrig had a season on the half forward line in 1998, but struggled with injury and form over the following two years and was traded to St Kilda at the end of the 2000 season. West Coast received David Sierakowski and 2000 AFL Draft selection number 18 (Daniel Kerr) from St Kilda in exchange for Gehrig.

St Kilda

Gehrig made his debut with the Saints in 2001. After initially playing at full-back in his first year at his new club, Gehrig finished second in the St Kilda best and fairest award. He switched to the full-forward position in 2003 and this move coincided with St Kilda's rise up the ladder, finishing 10th in 2003 and playing in finals matches in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

Gehrig became a powerful and dominant force in the goalsquare and weighed in at 109 kilograms. He quickly became a prolific goalkicker, booting 55 goals in 2003 and 103 in 2004. A large pitch invasion by fans occurred following his 100th goal.[2] Gehrig won back-to-back Coleman Medals in 2004 and 2005 and was named at full-forward in the All-Australian team in 2004.

Gehrig's unique style of play earned him the nicknames "G-Train" for his locomotive-like leads and strong marking. He has twice kicked 10 goals in a match in his AFL career; once against Richmond and once against the Kangaroos.[3]

Gehrig was close to retirement at the end of the 2003 season but then coach, Grant Thomas, managed to convince him to play on. Gehrig signed a one-year deal at the end of the 2006 season and was again a prolific goal-kicker for the Saints, booting 59 goals from 20 matches.

Gehrig played his 200th game in 2005, kicking eight goals as St Kilda thrashed Sydney by 43 points, with Leo Barry being his opponent. He kicked a total of 36 goals playing against Sydney.[3]

Gehrig's 250th game came against Carlton in round 17, 2007. Again, the Saints emerged victorious.

Temporary retirement

Immediately before St Kilda's last game of the 2007 season, on 1 September, Gehrig announced his retirement to the team. Unusually he waved to the dedicated fans in the cheersquad when he came on the field and then played well in a tight contest against Richmond. In the dying seconds of the match Gehrig took a strong mark in St Kilda's forward line and kicked his 540th career goal, one of five that day, to secure the win.[4] Gehrig was chaired off the ground by St Kilda players Nick Riewoldt and Justin Koschitzke, bare-chested after giving his famous number nine jumper to a young female fan in the stands.


Three months later Gehrig shocked many by changing his mind and deciding that he wished to continue playing with St Kilda. Having already been removed from St Kilda's playing list, Gehrig was forced to return via one of the AFL drafts and opted for the national draft over the pre-season draft. This option forced Gehrig onto the standard two-year draftees' contract, but allowed the club to redraft him without using an early pre-season draft selection. St Kilda re-drafted Gehrig with its fourth round selection (#57 overall).

After a few lacklustre games, many feared that Gehrig had lost his form and fitness and he was dropped to the reserves. In a last-ditch effort to kickstart his playing career the coach selected him in the senior list, but he failed to have any impact. Gehrig revealed that he was suffering from painful arthritis which affected his game and required surgery. St Kilda then put him on its long-term injury list.[5] This move onto the long-term injury list, instead of retirement, meant that St Kilda were able to elevate Robert Eddy from the rookie list. Gehrig's subsequent return to the senior list was a precaution in case of injury to other players, though he did not play for the remainder of the season.[6]



 G  Goals  B  Behinds  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  D  Disposals  M  Marks  T  Tackles
Led the league for the season only
Led the league after finals only
Led the league after season and finals
Season Team No. Games G B K H D M T G B K H D M T
Totals Averages (per game)
1995 West Coast 25162141195117073111.
1996 West Coast 72412818311730099220.
1997 West Coast 722311722380303115211.40.810.13.613.85.21.0
1998 West Coast 723421920092292144181.
1999 West Coast 71119985461316181.
2000 West Coast 719341716477241108151.
2001 St Kilda 920351738325697160.
2002 St Kilda 91212981641456091.
2003 St Kilda 921553419062252129222.
2004 St Kilda 9231033918454238131184.
2005 St Kilda 922784917741218114123.
2006 St Kilda 922713717339212123123.
2007 St Kilda 920593517334207110143.
2008 St Kilda 9593257321811.
Career 260 549 285 2150 847 2997 1382 199 2.1 1.1 8.3 3.3 11.5 5.3 0.8

Career highlights

  • AFL Rising Star nominee 1995
  • All-Australian 1997, 2004
  • West Coast leading goalkicker 1998
  • 2nd in St Kilda Best & Fairest, 2001
  • St Kilda leading goalkicker 2003–2007
  • St Kilda AFL WHL Cup winning side 2004[8]
  • Coleman Medalist 2004, 2005


Gehrig was involved in some off field indiscretions during his time with both St Kilda and West Coast. It was alleged that Gehrig urinated on a patron at a nightclub, although no formal accusations were made.[9]

Gehrig was also charged with the unlawful assault of a woman in an alleged incident during Grand Final week in 2006. Gehrig, with Steven Lawrence and former Brisbane Lions captain Michael Voss, were all charged over a fight in a St Kilda hotel.[10]

Some of Gehrig's onfield incidents earned him penalties, with suspensions mainly for striking incidents against opposition players (once in 2003, twice in 2004, once in 2005 and once in 2007). As well as this, in the "Sirengate" match in 2006, Gehrig conceded five consecutive free kicks whilst scuffling with Fremantle's defenders, three of which were converted into 50-metre penalties, which led to his direct opponent, Michael Johnson, walking the length of the field to give Fremantle a 33-point lead. Gehrig was benched after the indiscretions but it also appeared to be the turning point in the match as St Kilda eventually only lost by one point in controversial circumstances.


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