|Born: September 9 1974
Recruited: Finley / Assumption College
Drafted: Selected at number 13 in 1991 National Draft
First game: Round 1, 1993
Last game: Grand Final, 2008
Debut Order: 742
Pre-season / Night Premiership: 1999
Club Champion: 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003
2nd Club Champion: 1995 (equal), 1996
3rd Club Champion: 2001 (equal), 2005
Life Member: 2001
2015 Hall of Fame Inductee
VFL / AFL Honours
Brownlow Medal: 1999
2nd Brownlow Medal: 2003 (tied with Ben Cousins, WCE & Gavin Wanganeen, PA)
All-Australian: 1996, 1998, 1999, 2002
International Rules: 1998, 1999, 2002-2003 (captain)
Jesaulenko Medal: 1998
AFLPA MVP: 1999
Rising Star Nominee: 1993
VFL/AFL Life Member: 2006
A genuine champion of the game, for seventeen years Crawford was the heart and soul and the face of the Club, especially during the turbulent 1990s. A fitness fanatic, he was capable of playing as an on-baller for an entire game becoming the sixth player to pass 300 games for the Hawks.
Crawford spent his childhood in Finley, NSW and played his junior football with the Finley Football Club. He joined Hawthorn via Assumption College in Kilmore when he was selected as No 13 in the 1991 draft, making his debut in Round 1 against Melbourne in 1993. He developed quickly and demonstrated a remarkable ability to cover plenty of ground.
He won the Best and Fairest four times, equaling John Kennedy Snr, Jason Dunstall and current star, Sam Mitchell as the most decorated group of players behind the legendary Leigh Matthews, who won eight Best and Fairest Awards.
Crawford underwent a dramatic change with his appointment as Captain in 1999 developing into an inspiring leader with his dedication to fitness. His form improved as the season progressed leading the Club to its ninth night premiership and in the last two months of the season he was virtually unstoppable winning football’s highest honour, the Brownlow Medal. He was the first Hawk to win the Brownlow outright. His acceptance speech was memorable for the tribute he paid to his mother, who raised her three sons as a single parent.
Very popular with the media, Crawford became a TV star on the Footy Show. It placed him under intense scrutiny, however he continued to play well coming equal second in the Brownlow in 2003. At the end of the 2004 he stood down from the Captaincy. A new broom was sweeping through the Club; Alastair Clarkson was appointed, with Richie Vandenberg the new captain. Crawford, now the elder statesman of the team, continued to play inspiring football, being used more as a defender with one more burning ambition.
At the age of 34, in his 305th game, the longest wait in VFL/AFL history to win a flag, he achieved his dream to play in a Premiership with the Hawks. He was offered another year but announced his retirement, wanting to go out on a high note, he is now remembered as one of the greatest midfielders in the modern era of AFL football. In 2012 Crawford was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.
He is currently an Australian television personality who appears regularly on the Nine Network shows, the AFL Footy Show, Getaway and Postcards.