Former AFL player Brendan Fevola has been nominated for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame following a series of controversies including theft, gambling, alcohol abuse, suspensions, fines, sackings, adultery, assault and public urination.
Fevola committed multiple offences which, even individually, would be enough to earn any footballer a nomination for Frownlow honours.
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. Kiwi international Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015 before Corey Norman in 2016 and Tim Simona in 2017.
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 Julian O’Neill.
The most efficient method of recounting Fevola’s off-field achievements is to list them chronologically.
In 2001, he attempted to steal clothes from a dry cleaners in Melbourne and was fined $8000 by his Carlton club and ordered to do community service. In the same year, he was accused of spraying a woman in the face with a fire extinguisher and stealing alcohol from a hotel.
2004 saw him kicked out of Crown casino by security and he later failed to attend a team recovery session, for which he was suspended for one game.
Two years later he was sent home from Ireland while representing Australia in the International Rules series after assaulting a barman. Back home, he split up with his wife, and mother of his children, after being caught having an affair with Lara Bingle.
Despite fines, suspensions and warnings from Carlton, their star player was at it again in 2008. This year, he channelled the spirit of many great Frownlow nominees and urinated in public, washing the windows of a bar in Melbourne, for which he was fined $10,000 and dropped from Carlton’s leadership group.
Of course, a classic Frownlow nomination would not be complete without a Mad Monday scandal. Fevola chose to appear in public dressed in woman’s clothing with a sex toy proudly on display.
He used the sex toy ploy again in 2009 to strengthen his nomination and in the same year went down in history for drunken behaviour at the Brownlow Medal awards ceremony, which is the AFL’s night of nights. As a result of his behaviour, he was dropped from The Footy Show Grand Final episode, did not participate in the traditional Grand Final day lap of honour for Coleman medallists and was also absent from the Carlton awards night.
Not long after these incidents, Carlton traded Fevola to Brisbane.
Age certainly did not slow down Fevola.
In 2010 he was accused of distributing nude photos of Bingle and he admitted to a serious gambling addiction.
The accumulation of his off-field behaviour eventually forced the Lions to terminate his contract in 2011 and he never played in the AFL again.