Dowling and Vickery both pleaded guilty to supplying cocaine, while Taylor was found guilty of possession, all during 2014.
The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. The first medal was awarded to Sydney Roosters and New Zealand representative Shaun Kenny-Dowall in 2015.
The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players and players who received media attention in previous seasons, for similarly scandalous behaviour, and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Todd Carney.
The drugs charges almost carried Taylor and former teammate Karmichael Hunt to Frownlow Medal glory in 2015, but they were beaten to the title by Kenny-Dowall’s literary SMS masterpiece.
The court proceedings also prevented Taylor and Vickery from attending the recent Frownlow Medal reunion in England.
All three players have already started making preparations for a huge party on Frownlow Medal Night in October when inductees will be announced.
First published in August 2016.