Stephen Milne (born 8 March 1980) is a former professional Australian rules footballer who played for the St Kilda Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). A small forward, he held the AFL record for the most goals kicked at Docklands Stadium. He also held the record for the most games played by a player originally drafted via the Rookie Draft, however this was surpassed by the West Coast Eagles' Dean Cox in early 2014.
|Date of birth||8 March 1980|
|Original team(s)||Dandenong Stingrays (TAC Cup)|
|Draft||No. 23, 2000 Rookie Draft, St Kilda|
|Height||176 cm (5 ft 9 in)|
|Weight||83 kg (183 lb)|
|2001–2013||St Kilda||275 (574)|
|International team honours|
|2002, 2011||Australia||2 (0)|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2013.
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
Milne was recruited to the St Kilda Football Club from the Essendon reserves and placed on St Kilda's Rookie List after playing for the Dandenong Stingrays and Noble Park Football Club in the late 1990s.
St Kilda Football Club
Milne was elevated to St Kilda's primary list from the club's rookie list prior to the start of the 2001 season. He played his first official AFL game in 2001 against Port Adelaide at Football Park in Round 4. He scored 2.1 in his first game and had 17 disposals in a losing side.
He was St Kilda's leading goalkicker in 2002, kicking 50 goals from 21 matches in the 2002 AFL Premiership Season.
Milne played in St Kilda’s 2004 Wizard Home Loans Cup winning side, the club's second pre-season cup win.
Later in 2004 Milne and teammate Leigh Montagna were the at the centre of a police investigation of the alleged rape of a woman. No charges were laid; however, in June 2010 a former detective who was the lead detective in the case made claims that the case collapsed under internal pressure from within the Victorian police force and powerful club backers as well as another detective alleging the cost of the case was a factor. In 2012 the Office of Police Integrity concluded after a lengthy investigation that "the OPI investigators found no evidence to substantiate the allegation that police investigating the rape were subject to improper influence" On 18 June 2013 it was reported that Milne had been charged with four counts of rape over the 2004 incident.
In the 2005 season, Milne again kicked more than 50 goals. In the final round of the season, against the Brisbane Lions, he had 15 kicks and kicked a personal best of 11 goals in the Saints' 139 point win. He finished with 61 goals from 24 matches.
Milne played in St Kilda’s 2008 NAB Cup winning side, the club's third pre-season cup win. He kicked three of St Kilda' nine goals in the final.
In 2008, during a game against Fremantle at Subiaco, he kicked three goals after a head clash. He was driven back from Perth with St Kilda medical staff to avoid the risk of further damage and arrived in Melbourne on the Thursday following the game. Despite this he was named to play in the game on the following Sunday, which was Robert Harvey's tribute game against Adelaide. He kicked two goals in a 20 possession game.
In the 2008 season, Milne kicked 60 goals from 24 matches.
Milne played in 20 of 22 matches in the 2009 home and away rounds in which St Kilda qualified in first position for the 2009 AFL Finals Series, winning the club’s third minor premiership.
St Kilda qualified for the 2009 AFL Grand Final after its qualifying and preliminary finals wins. Milne played in the grand final when St Kilda were defeated by Geelong by 12 points.
On 9 April 2010, St Kilda played Collingwood in a Round 3 match. During the quarter time break, words were exchanged between Milne and the Collingwood coach, Mick Malthouse, the focus of which in the media was an alleged comment Malthouse made calling Milne a 'rapist'. In a statement released by Collingwood, Malthouse apologised for his comments for which he was also fined $7500 by the AFL. Milne also stated that some comments he made to an opposition coach were inappropriate.
Under coach Ross Lyon, he has continued to develop his forward defensive skills and setting up play in addition to his ability to score goals.
He received three Goal Of The Year nominations in 2010 in Rounds 5, 11 and 12.
St Kilda qualified for the 2010 AFL finals series in third position and won through to the 2010 Grand Final after wins over Geelong in the qualifying finals and Western Bulldogs in the preliminary finals.
Milne played in the 2010 AFL Grand Final in which he kicked two of St Kilda 10 goals for the game against Collingwood, which ended in a draw, 10. 8. (68) to 9. 14. (68). Milne faced ongoing scrutiny after he failed to reach for the ball in the final two minutes, which then bounced through for a behind to tie the game.
He was St Kilda's leading goalkicker in 2010 with 55 goals for the season prior to the 2010 AFL Grand Final Replay.
In St Kilda's Round 21 home game against the Magpies, Milne became the first player in the history of the league to kick 300 goals at Docklands Stadium. He overtook the previous record of 299 set by former Essendon player Matthew Lloyd. Milne kicked the record-breaking goal in the final quarter. He is currently fifth on St Kilda's list of leading goal kickers in the club's history.
Milne was selected in the 2011 All-Australian team in the forward-pocket. This was the first time in his career that Milne had been selected in the All-Australian team.
Milne kicked his 500th career goal against the Melbourne Demons in Round 5, becoming the 50th player to kick 500 goals in the history of the VFL/AFL. Milne then played his 250th AFL game against Essendon in Round 15, kicking five goals in the Saints' 71-point victory.
During the 2012 season, his career achievements began to gain widespread recognition. Milne is only the 5th non key position forward to kick more than 500 goals in the history of AFL/VFL football. He is the only player shorter than 180 cm to kick more than 500 goals since Kevin Bartlett in the 1980s. He was described during 2012 as one of the best small forwards ever to play AFL football.
Milne finished the 2012 season with 56 goals from 22 games, and was selected in the 2012 All-Australian team, earning this recognition for the second time in his career.
Retirement from the AFL
On 25 August 2013, after St Kilda's Round 22 win against the Gold Coast Suns, Milne announced his retirement from AFL football from the last round of the home and away games. He played his last game on 31 August 2013 against Fremantle, which St Kilda won by 71 points. In 2014 and 2015, Milne played for Strathfieldsaye in the Bendigo Football League; in 2014, he was the league leading goalkicker with 101 goals (including finals) and also won the club's best and fairest award, and he was part of the club's back-to-back premierships in 2014 and 2015. In 2016, Milne joined amateur football for Beaumaris in the VAFA Premier B.where he played in a senior team premiership defeating St.Bedes at Trevor Barker Oval in Sandringham. At the end of the 2018 season Milne retired from football at the age of 38 years.
|Totals||Averages (per game)|
In 2004, allegations of rape were made against Milne. The incident is alleged to have taken place on 14 March 2004 at teammate Leigh Montagna's home after celebrations for St Kilda's family day. It was alleged that a 19-year-old woman was raped in a bedroom of Montagna's home just after midnight. An investigation by the Sexual Crimes Squad of the Victorian Police force followed which was led by Senior Detective Scott Gladman. The investigation concluded and no charges were laid against Milne or Montagna.
On 18 June 2013, Milne was charged with four counts of rape over the 2004 incident. The decision to charge Milne followed extensive review of the initial investigation. On 5 July 2013, in a hearing at the Melbourne Magistrates' Court, Milne was not required to enter a plea and was bailed to return to the court on 13 September 2013.
On 14 November 2014, Milne avoided a conviction for indecently assaulting a 19-year-old woman more than a decade ago. Milne pleaded guilty earlier this month to a single charge of indecent assault, over an incident at the home of former St Kilda teammate Leigh Montagna in March 2004. The 34-year-old had been facing a trial in the Victorian County Court on three charges of rape, but those charges were withdrawn earlier this month. At his plea hearing, the court heard Milne and another woman, and Montagna and the victim, had consensual sex in separate rooms, before Milne and the other woman went to Montagna's room. The two couples then engaged in more "sexual activity" before Milne attempted to have sex with the victim. The court heard the woman could not see in the darkness and believed Milne was Montagna. Judge Michael Bourke found Milne's offending was "out of character" and ordered him to pay a fine of $15,000.
- Crawford, Shane (12 May 2013). "Shane Crawford writes on the importance of rookies". Sunday Herald Sun.
- Watson, Tim (9 April 2003). "Sneaky little Saint". The Age.
- "Stephen Milne – AFL Tables". AFL Tables. Retrieved 30 September 2010.
- "AFL 2004 Wizard Cup Grand Final – Geelong v St Kilda". Slattery Media Group. 13 March 2004. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 7 November 2009.
- "AFL pair won't face rape charges". The Sydney Morning Herald. 7 May 2004.
- Hunt, Elissa (22 June 2010). "Former policeman says Stephen Milne rape charge collapsed amid internal pressure". Herald Sun.
- "Milne faces four charges of rape". The Age. Melbourne.
- "St Kilda wins NAB cup". The Age. Melbourne. 8 March 2008. Retrieved 7 November 2009.
- "Saints are NAB Cup Champions in 2008". Jeld-Wen. 8 March 2008. Archived from the original on 20 November 2008. Retrieved 7 November 2009.
- "2009 Season Scores and Results – Ladder". AFL Tables. 2009. Retrieved 8 November 2009.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 September 2010. Retrieved 27 June 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 April 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Baum, Greg (1 August 2009). "Inside thrifty – Stephen Milne". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- "Milne not a big-game player, says Malthouse". The Age. Melbourne.
- Nathan Dole (22 September 2014). "Stephen Milne wins Strathfieldsaye Storm's club champion award". Bendigo Advertiser. Bendigo, VIC. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
- James Ried (4 April 2016). "Former St Kilda stars Stephen Milne and Adam Schneider playing for Beauie". Bayside Leader. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
- Stephen Milne's player profile at AFL Tables
- "AFL pair won't face rape charges". The Sydney Morning Herald. 7 May 2004. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
- "St Kilda media statement". saints.com.au. 18 June 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
- "Man Charged Following 2004 Incident". vicpolicenews.com.au. 18 June 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
- "St Kilda player Stephen Milne charged with four counts of rape". ABC.net.au. 18 June 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
- "Milne fronts court on rape counts". The Age. Melbourne. 5 July 2013.
- "Stephen Milne rape charges an abuse of process lawyers say". theage.com.au. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- "Stephen Milne committed to stand trial on three counts of rape". news.com.au. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
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