John Barnes (Australian footballer)

John Barnes (born 1 June 1969) is a retired Australian rules footballer in the Australian Football League.

John Barnes
Personal information
Full name John Barnes
Date of birth (1969-06-01) 1 June 1969
Original team(s) Cobram (MFL)
Height 193 cm (6 ft 4 in)
Weight 95 kg (209 lb)
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
19871991 Essendon 012 (12)
19921999 Geelong 144 (65)
20002001 Essendon 046 (13)
Total 202 (90)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2001.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables,

Playing career

Barnes' VFL/AFL career included two State of Origin games for Victoria.

Early career – from Essendon to Geelong

The young Barnes was a ruckman/forward recruited by Essendon in 1986 from Cobram, Victoria. He was traded after five seasons with Windy Hill to the Geelong Football Club for Sean Denham.[1] Under the coaching of Malcolm Blight and later Gary Ayres he would go on to feature prominently in the losing 1994 and 1995 Grand Final sides. During a round five encounter at Princes Park against Carlton in 1997, after a marking duel, Barnes landed awkwardly on his left elbow, dislocating it and sidelining him for ten weeks. Barnes was delisted by the club in 1999. He had played a total of 144 games with 65 goals with the Cats.[2]

Return to Essendon

It was Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy however who tempted Barnes back to Windy Hill, and he was selected at number #59 in the 1999 AFL Draft. A shortage of ruckmen at the club lead Sheedy to reacquaint Barnes with his former club. A season later after defeat to the Brisbane Lions in the 2001 Grand Final, Barnes retired. He had totalled 58 games and 25 goals with the Bombers during his original tenure and return to the club.

Playing statistics

 G  Goals  B  Behinds  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  D  Disposals  M  Marks  T  Tackles  H/O  Hit-outs
Season Team No. Games G B K H D M T H/O G B K H D M T H/O
Totals Averages (per game)
1987 Essendon 206942182914621.
1988 Essendon 20201126188110.
1989 Essendon 20211108188250.
1990 Essendon 2022198176171.
1991 Essendon 200
1992 Geelong 61350106731797471650.
1993 Geelong 61841149130279116102650.
1994 Geelong 62411184181365132163890.
1995 Geelong 62597183218401185222850.
1996 Geelong 61916615112227311492250.
1997 Geelong 6151213118711898261040.
1998 Geelong 615941148319769151730.
1999 Geelong 61591126812077782160.
2000 Essendon 2224102188123311115264000.
2001 Essendon 22223113310023378232180.
Career 202 90 43 1504 1212 2716 1078 152 2455 0.4 0.2 7.4 6.0 13.4 5.3 0.8 12.2

Post-playing career

Barnes was a runner for Essendon and was fined by the AFL for spending too long on the ground,[4] before he was controversially suspended for two matches by the AFL for interfering with play during the 2005 season.[5]

In 2004, he played for the East Keilor Football Club in the Essendon District Football League.[6] He participated in the 2006 AFL Legends Match, playing for Victoria. Barnes became the ruck coach for the Western Bulldogs in the 2008 season.[7]

In 2009, he was appointed as coach of the Doutta Stars Football Club in the Essendon District Football League.

He also had a stint as the ruck coach for the Collingwood Football Club, but left that role and 'got completely out of footy' to become, as of 2015, a garbage collector in suburban Melbourne.[8]


  1. Trades take time to shine
  2. Biography at Geelong Cats
  3. "John Barnes". AFL Tables.
  4. Dons puzzled over runner Barnes fine
  5. "Hird out and Bombers runner sidelined". The Sydney Morning Herald. 14 April 2005. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  6. Footy fury as team quits at halftime
  7. Hudson finds a home
  8. Edmund, Sam (3 September 2015). "Herald Sun". John Barnes is loving life as a garbo after 202 AFL games with Essendon and Geelong. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
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