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Premiership stars inducted into Hall of Fame

Sydney Swans Media  February 19, 2018 10:01 PM

Heritage listing - Malceski's goals Nick Malceski's bookend goals in the 2012 Grand Final have been added to the Club's Heritage List.

Dual premiership players Ryan O’Keefe and Lewis Roberts-Thomson and triple VFA premiership star Denis McKay have been inducted into the Sydney Swans Hall of Fame at tonight’s Guernsey Presentation and Hall of Fame Induction Dinner, held at The Star.

O’Keefe and Roberts-Thomson are among an elite group of just five players to have won two AFL/VFL premierships with the Swans, including Vic Belcher (1909 and 1918), Adam Goodes (2005 and 2012) and Jude Bolton (2005 and 2012).

O’Keefe, who hailed from Victoria, joined the Swans with selection No. 56 in the 1999 AFL National Draft.

Hard, tough and highly skilled on his trusty left boot, O’Keefe was an absolute professional in everything he did.

The dual premiership player enjoyed an illustrious career, playing 286 games, kicking 261 goals, winning the Bob Skilton Medal in 2009, claiming All-Australian honours in 2006, and he’s the only Swan ever to win a Norm Smith Medal (2012).

Sydney local Roberts-Thomson was recruited by the Swans with pick No. 29 in the 2001 AFL Draft – not bad considering he’d only picked up a Sherrin for the first time aged 14.

After an injury-interrupted first season in the AFL, Roberts-Thomson made his debut in Round 8, 2003 and was awarded an AFL Rising Star nomination in his 10th game of that season.

It didn’t take long for the shaggy-haired blond to make his mark at the elite level, playing a starring role in the Club’s 2005 premiership.

The man affectionally known as LRT by his teammates and supporters alike, again starred on Grand Final day in 2012, and after 179 AFL games decided to hang up the boots in mid-2014.

The crafty goal-kicker McKay joined South Melbourne in 1886 and quickly established himself as one of the best players in the VFA and the Colony of Victoria.

He went on to win three consecutive premierships with South Melbourne from 1888 to 1890, playing a total of 171 games and kicking 139 goals, including finishing as the club’s leading goalkicker in 1887, 1881 and 1891.

In 1897, McKay played in all of South’s first 14 games in the inaugural VFL competition and finished as the team’s leading goalkicker for the season.

Meanwhile, seven new players and their families were also officially welcomed to the Sydney Swans at tonight’s event.

This season’s draft class – Matthew Ling, Tom McCartin, Ryley Stoddart, Angus Styles, Joel Amartey, Jake Brown and James Bell – received their first official guernsey, while for veteran Jarrad McVeigh it was his 16th jumper presentation.

The Swans also added three items to the Club’s Heritage List at the Guernsey Presentation and Hall of Fame Induction Dinner, presented by Volkswagen.

The first item added was the 1918 premiership team that defeated Collingwood by five points. In Round 20 this year, the Swans play Collingwood at the SCG in a commemorative heritage guernsey to mark the 100-year anniversary of the Club’s second premiership.

O’Keefe and Roberts-Thomson weren’t the only premiership Swans to be recognised at the event, with Nick Malceski’s 2012 Grand Final goals the second item added to the Club’s Heritage List.

The half-back found himself in unusual territory in attack twice in the match – and made both kicks count.

The first was from an unlikely angle, deep in the left forward pocket – the wrong side for a left footer – that he coolly converted. The second was the most famous of his career, snapping truly from 20 metres out with only 40 seconds left on the clock to seal the 2012 premiership for the Swans. 

The third item added to Sydney’s Heritage List was former Swans Chairman Jack Marks’ letter to members, dated July 17, 1981. This letter unanimously recommended the relocation of South Melbourne to Sydney.

Summary
Hall of Fame Inductee    Ryan O’Keefe
Hall of Fame Inductee    Lewis Roberts-Thomson
Hall of Fame Inductee    Denis McKay
Heritage Listed                 1918 premiership team
Heritage Listed                 Nick Malceski’s 2012 Grand Final goals
Heritage Listed                 Jack Marks’ letter to members