Gary Moorcroft

Gary Moorcroft (born 16 April 1976) is a former Australian rules football player for Essendon and Melbourne in the Australian Football League (AFL).

Gary Moorcroft
Personal information
Date of birth (1976-04-16) 16 April 1976
Original team(s) Northern Knights
Debut Round 5, 1995, Essendon
vs. St Kilda, at Optus Oval, Melbourne
Height 173 cm (5 ft 8 in)
Weight 86 kg (190 lb)
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1995–2002 Essendon 95 (102)
2003 Melbourne 03 00(2)
Total 98 (104)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2003.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables,

Moorcroft caught the attention of talent scouts with his winning of the Morrish Medal in 1994 whilst playing for the Northern Knights.

Moorcroft was a short, stocky and explosive goalsneak who participated in a premiership with Essendon in 2000 and a Grand Final side against the Brisbane Lions in 2001. He was delisted by Essendon in 2002 after playing 95 games and struggling to retain his spot in a talented side. It was the Demons, who Essendon beat in the 2000 final in which Moorcroft was an outstanding player, who picked him up in the draft.

Moorcroft played in three losing games with Demons, and after a lacklustre debut suffered a severe season ending knee injury. This effectively brought an end to his chances of working his way back into the side and he was almost immediately delisted. The then-27-year-old's 98-game, nine-year AFL career ended there.

Moorcroft is best known for winning the 2001 Mark of the Year, with a spectacular high-flying mark in round 14, 2001 against the Western Bulldogs, taking the mark over Bulldogs' forward Brad Johnson. The mark was particularly notable in that Moorcroft first jumped onto Johnson's back, then leapt higher into the air by leveraging himself off Johnson; this is very rare, as players will usually jump onto their opponent's back, then appear to hang at the same height while taking the mark (hence the colloquial term hanger for such a mark). For a similar reason, Johnson is often referred to as the springboard for this mark, when the term stepladder is used for the player underneath a hanger.

Moorcroft spent a season at Bendigo Bombers in the VFL, before retiring from AFL/VFL and moving into the local leagues. In 2005 Moorcroft joined the Silvan F.C. in the Yarra Valley Mountain Football League. During his time at Silvan , Moorcroft won four club Best & Fairest awards, broke the 100 goal mark twice, including topping the goalkicking tables of all leagues with 163 goals in 2008. A season in which he brought up the ton in round 11! As well as playing in three grand finals at Silvan, wining back to back flags in 2007/08.

In 2009/10, Moorcroft was playing for the Romsey Redbacks in the Riddell District Football League (RDFL).

In 2011 he joined Bundoora in the Northern Football League (NFL) and has played in 3 Premierships with the Bulls (2011, 2013 & 2017). As a 41 year old kicking the winning goal in the 2017 Grand Final. At the completion of the 2019 season, while still playing at high level at Bundoora, and at 43 years old, Moorcroft announced his retirement from senior footy for good. Gary Moorcroft’s contribution to football from the AFL elite level all the way down to the local leagues is a legacy which will be acknowledged for ever!

Playing statistics

Season Team No. Games G B K H D M T G B K H D M T
Totals Averages (per game)
1995 Essendon 46101325120.
1996 Essendon 460
1997 Essendon 4611751025315536270.
1998 Essendon 29171491145316753280.
1999 Essendon 291730191576822555321.
2000 Essendon 29182391445419854201.
2001 Essendon 29161591175016759150.
2002 Essendon 291513101134716054130.
2003 Melbourne 7320211031870.
Career 98 104 62 771 337 1108 320 144 1.1 0.6 7.9 3.4 11.3 3.3 1.5


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