Former Rugby League player Chris Dawson has been nominated for The Frownlow Medal Hall Hall of Fame after being charged with one of the most publicised murders in recent Australian history.
The former Newtown Jets player is the prime suspect in the murder of his ex-wife Lynette, who disappeared from Sydney’s northern beaches in 1982. Dawson played first grade for the Jets from 1972 – 1977, and won the NSWRL premiership in 1973.
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, while Karmichael Hunt is the most recent recipient.
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 unsolved murder case is so complex it spawned the immensely popular podcast The Teacher’s Pet. Listeners around the world tuned in to hear how Dawson began an illicit affair with a 16-year-old girl who was a student in his PE class at a Sydney high school. Just two days after Lynette disappeared, the same girl moved in to Dawson’s family home and would later marry and have a child to Dawson.
The podcast also claims that Dawson fixed the roll at the school to ensure that the girl would be a student in his class. The girl and Dawson later separated and the former Rugby League player now lives with his third wife.
Dawson spent time in prison and was recently granted bail as the investigation into the murder continues.