John Gastev

John Gastev (born 11 August 1964) is a former Australian rules footballer who played in the VFL/AFL.

John Gastev
Personal information
Full name John Gastev
Date of birth (1964-08-11) 11 August 1964
Original team(s) West Perth
Draft No. 2, 1989 pre-season draft
Height 177 cm (5 ft 10 in)
Weight 76 kg (168 lb)
Position(s) Midfielder, half-back
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1987–1988 West Coast 030 (31)
1989–1994 Brisbane Bears 113 (41)
Total 143 (72)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
1990–1993 Western Australia 2 (1)
International team honours
1990 Australia 3 (?)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1994.
2 State and international statistics correct as of 1990.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables,

A cult figure and "crowd favourite" standing at only 177 centimetres (5 ft 10 in) and weighing just 73 kilograms (161 lb), Gastev began with West Perth in 1983. However, Gastev's career did not take off until 1985 when he gave up a career as an engraver to concentrate upon football full-time and became a mainstay for the Falcons[1] before debuting with the West Coast Eagles in their inaugural season. After only two seasons and 30 games, Gastev was dumped and joined the Brisbane Bears for 1989.[2] Gastev's main roles were as a tagger, though he occasionally played as a forward in his early years. In an upset with over the Sydney Swans early in 1989, Gastev kicked seven goals after half-time, a feat made more remarkable by the fact that he kicked no other goal in the first thirteen rounds of 1989. In this first year at the Bears he won the best and fairest, repeating the feat in 1992.

After 1990, Gastev played chiefly in defence, and his career was ended when he suffered a major hit at the hands of Gary Ablett in a match in 1994 at Kardinia Park. Gastev announced his retirement during the off-season,[3] despite being only thirty years old.

His other honours include playing for Western Australia in state of origin.


  1. Stocks, Gary; ‘Gastev Lifts His Game’; The West Australian, 10 June 1986, p. 91
  2. Holmesby, Russell; Main, Jim (2002). The Encyclopedia of AFL Footballers: every AFL/VFL player since 1897 (4th ed.). Melbourne, Victoria: Crown Content. p. 223. ISBN 1-74095-001-1.
  3. 1994 Bears
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