Michael O'Loughlin

Michael Kevin O'Loughlin (born 20 February 1977) is a former professional Australian rules footballer, who played his entire Australian Football League career with the Sydney Swans.

Michael O'Loughlin
O'Loughlin at an autographing session in September 2012
Personal information
Full name Michael Kevin O'Loughlin
Nickname(s) Micky O, Magic Mick
Date of birth (1977-02-20) 20 February 1977
Place of birth Adelaide, South Australia
Original team(s) Central District (SANFL)
Draft 40th overall, 1994
Height 190 cm (6 ft 3 in)
Weight 90 kg (198 lb)
Position(s) Forward
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1995–2009 Sydney 303 (521)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
1997–1999 South Australia 3 (?)
Coaching career3
Years Club Games (W–L–D)
2013 Indigenous All-Stars (1–0–0)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2009.
3 Coaching statistics correct as of 2013.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

O'Loughlin was named a member of the Indigenous Team of the Century. He was the third player with Indigenous heritage to play 300 AFL games. He twice achieved All-Australian selection, played for Australia twice in the International Rules Series, and was a Fos Williams Medallist as best player for South Australia in State of Origin. O'Loughlin was the first Sydney Swans player to play more than 300 career games. In 303 games he kicked 521 career goals.

Early life

His parents never married, so he was given his mother's maiden name of O'Loughlin, which came from her Irish great-great-great-grandfather. O'Loughlin's ancestors were Czech Jews, Indigenous Australian (Kaurna and Ngarrindjeri), and Irish and English. His paternal grandfather was a Czech Jew.[1][2][3][4]

He grew up in Adelaide,South Australia and first played junior football with Centrals in the SANFL.

AFL career

Selected in the third round of the 1994 National Draft, O'Loughlin played 12 senior games for the Swans in 1995 and earned a AFL Rising Star award nomination. The following year, he was a key player in the team that won the minor premiership and then lost to North Melbourne in the grand final. He was the games record holder for the Swans, passing John Rantall's VFL/AFL record in Round 14 of the 2007 season and Bill Windley's 102 year old overall club record in the Elimination Final of that year, until he was overtaken by his close friend Adam Goodes. He became the first Sydney Swans/South Melbourne player to break the 300 games milestone in Round 19, 2009.

O'Loughlin played the majority of his early football in a half-forward flanker role, where his combination of speed, strength and agility made him a difficult player for opposing teams to match up against. He was known by the nickname "Magic" throughout his career, in recognition of his capacity to play football so skillfully that it could sometimes seem he had "cast a spell" on his opponents. He was also known by the nickname, "Micky O".[5] In the latter part of his career, he was primarily used as Sydney's full-forward. In 2000 and 2001, he was the club's leading goalkicker. He was club best and fairest in 1998 and runner-up in 2000. He was selected in the All Australian Team in 1997 and 2000. When State of Origin matches were still being played, he represented his state on several occasions, receiving the Fos Williams Medal for best South Australian player in 1998.

In 2005, he was selected alongside Sydney Swans teammate and uncle Adam Goodes in the Indigenous Team of the Century. O'Loughlin was chosen in the full-forward position. He described this honor as the highlight of his career, alongside the 2005 premiership.

O'Loughlin, the only player remaining in the team from the 1996 loss, played strongly during the 2005 grand final, including a number of exceptional marks. However, and uncharacteristically, his kicking for goal during the game was inaccurate.

In 2006, O'Loughlin continued to be a key part of the Swans' line-up, including playing a decisive role in the qualifying and preliminary finals that put the Swans into the grand final for the second consecutive year. In the 2006 Grand Final, O'Loughlin played well, kicking 3.1 (19). He continued to play consistently well for Sydney through the balance of his career.

In the close 2006 Qualifying Final against the West Coast Eagles at Subiaco Oval, O'Loughlin ran into an open goal, then carried on to the fence and roared into the faces of some rather stunned-looking Eagles' fans from a few inches away. The moment is captured in Jamie Cooper's painting the Game That Made Australia, commissioned by the AFL in 2008 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the sport.[6]

On 23 June 2009, O'Loughlin announced that at the end of the 2009 season he would retire. He played his 300th game in round 19 at the MCG against the Richmond Tigers.

Career achievements


 G  Goals  B  Behinds  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  D  Disposals  M  Marks  T  Tackles

*10 games required to be eligible.

Season Team No. Games G B K H D M T G B K H D M T
Totals Averages (per game)
1995 Sydney 3811124625211424161.
1996 Sydney 19252114228153381109450.
1997 Sydney 1923261427011738785411.10.611.
1998 Sydney 19244025289130419129281.
1999 Sydney 191826181676923681201.
2000 Sydney 19225324282122404142232.
2001 Sydney 19233529279111390128361.51.312.14.817.05.61.6
2002 Sydney 1919301118110628792331.
2003 Sydney 191641201325518790162.
2004 Sydney 191838181444018499192.
2005 Sydney 1923522618868256104302.
2006 Sydney 1925473221982301138371.
2007 Sydney 1923401418284266112321.
2008 Sydney 191636211266619290192.
2009 Sydney 191724161316319495301.
Career 303 521 286 2880 1318 4198 1518 425 1.7 0.9 9.5 4.3 13.8 5.0 1.4

Post AFL career

Since leaving the AFL, O'Loughlin has continued a media profile. In September 2009 he launched the Goodes O'Loughlin Foundation (www.go-foundation.org), along with his cousin & co-Chairman Adam Goodes, focused on Education, Employment, and healthy Lifestyles. The Foundation's mission is to develop and empower the next generation of Indigenous role models in Australia.

O'Loughlin was awarded the 2009 AFL Players’ Association Madden for his on and off-field contributions to the game.

In 2010 O'Loughlin coached the Flying Boomerangs indigenous side during their Cape Town tour, leading the side to victory against the South Africa National Australian Rules Football Team. He was later named coach of the World 18 for the AFL National Under 16 Championships.[9]

In 2011 he was named as coach of the Indigenous All Star team for their biennial game, this time against the Richmond Tigers. O'Loughlin also represented South Australia against Victoria in the State of Origin Slowdown charity match at the Adelaide Oval on 3 October 2011. Both teams were composed of retired players with the match supporting both the Little Heroes Foundation and the Reach Foundation youth charities started by former Melbourne Demons star player, the late Jim Stynes.

Off field controversy

In 2000, it was alleged that O'Loughlin had participated in the rape of a woman in a park in Adelaide along with two other AFL players, Adam Heuskes and Peter Burgoyne. The woman claimed that while Heuskes and Burgoyne raped her, O'Loughlin masturbated close to her face.[10] O'Loughlin was neither charged nor questioned by police but Burgoyne and Heuskes were both charged with rape. The case, however, did not go to court as the Director of Public Prosecutions, Paul Rofe, said there was "no reasonable prospect of conviction on any criminal charge" due to a lack of witnesses.[10] Despite this, the three players made a $200,000 cash payment to the alleged victim.[11] The incident came to public light when it was examined on the ABC investigative program Four Corners in 2004.


  1. International Rules coach Mick O'Loughlin proud of his Irish heritage, The Herald Sun, Warwick Green, 11 October 2013
  2. Micky O: Hard Work. Determination. And a Little Bit of Magic, Jim Main, Michael O'Loughlin – 2012
  3. Michael O'Loughlin, Episode 6, Season 4, Who Do Think You Are?, SBS "his mother's maternal line, which stretches all the way back before white settlement and to his great, great, great, great grandmother, Kudnarto, a full blood Kaurna woman. Michael discovered that Kudnarto's husband and Michael's great great, great, great grandfather is in fact a white settler called Thomas Adams"
  4. Sydney Morning Herald, Who Do You Think You Are?, Tuesday, 1 May
  5. Thompson-Mills, John (28 August 2012). "Micky O: The story of Michael O'Loughlin, Sydney Swans champion". ABC Adelaide. Adelaide: Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  6. Australian Football League, The Game That Made Australia Archived 19 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved 19 September 2010
  7. Vibe, Vibe Alive, The Deadlys, GJC, 3 on 3 Archived 3 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Vibe.com.au (2012-05-19). Retrieved on 2012-06-03.
  8. Michael O'Loughlin player profile at AFL Tables
  9. Micky O to coach the World. World Footy News (2010-02-26). Retrieved on 2012-06-03.
  10. Ticky Fullerton. Four Corners – 03/05/2004: Fair Game?. Abc.net.au. Retrieved on 2012-06-03.
  11. O'Loughlin linked to payment – National. www.theage.com.au (2004-03-19). Retrieved on 2012-06-03.
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