Former AFL player Matthew Stokes was elated to have been nominated for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame for drugs charges. The ex-Geelong and Essendon player expressed shock and delight at being considered among some of the true greats of football in Australia for possession and trafficking of cocaine in 2010.
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. NRL player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015 whole ex-NRL player Ben Barba 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.
Stokes was given a 12-month good behaviour bond and fined $3000 for his behaviour.
“I can’t put it into words how I feel. I’m just so stoked, so excited,” he proclaimed.
“I never thought I’d be nominated for just a few drug charges, I mean, some of the boys have put in some serious hard yards over the years to be nominated for this award. Some of them have gone to jail, assaulted people, bashed women, had sex with dogs, gambled their lives away, trashed hotels and taxis and one guy even raped a teenage girl – that’s heavy.”
As for his own chances of induction.
“Yeah, nah mate, I’m just so happy to be nominated and now I’ve gotta leave it up to the selectors.”
Stokes was also given the rare honour of joining the catering committee for the after party of The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame awards ceremony later this year.