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Hall of Fame: Salmon

Paul Salmon
Played 324 games, kicking 561 goals for Essendon 1983-1995, 2002, and Hawthorn 1996-2000
Played in 18 finals, kicking 37 goals
109 Brownlow Medal votes
State representative on 14 occasions
International Rules representative on two occasions
Premiership 1985, 1993
Hawthorn Best & Fairest 1996, 1997
Captained his club on 23 occasions
Leading club goalkicker 1984, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993
All-Australian 1987, 1988, 1997
Pre-season premierships 1990, 1994, 1999
Michael Tuck Medallist 1999
Member of Hawthorn Team of the Century

PAUL Salmon, otherwise known as 'The Big Fish', enters the AFL Hall of Fame after a stellar 20-year career that began in 1983 and ended in 2002 after a remarkable Kevin Sheedy-inspired comeback.

The former North Ringwood ruckman played his first game for Essendon in round one, 1983, against the Sydney Swans. He would go on to play 224 games for the Bombers; 209 of which were recorded between 1983 and 1995 before he moved for Hawthorn for five seasons.

After playing 100 games and winning two best and fairest awards during his time in the brown and gold, Salmon retired at the end of 2000 with two premierships, seven club leading goalkicker awards and three All-Australian guernseys to his name.

In what was a stunning curtain call to his illustrious career, Salmon was then lured out of retirement by Essendon coach Sheedy, and drafted to the Bombers for one final season in 2002.

He played 15 games that year after re-entering the league as a 37-year-old, and was an influential figure in the Bombers' finals campaign that ended at the hands of Port Adelaide in the second week.

Salmon's career was all the more remarkable considering he suffered heartbreak in just his second year as a Bomber. A season-ending knee injury sustained in round 13, 1984, saw the big ruckman miss the club's premiership win that September and threatened his career.

He made up for it in stunning fashion by winning premiership medallions in 1985 and 1993.

Watch the video: 2009 Hall of Fame inductee Paul Salmon