THE Western Bulldogs have made Chris Grant one of three new Legends, with another five players inducted into the Hall of Fame at the club’s season launch on Tuesday night.
Grant was joined by Brownlow medallists Norm Ware and Allan Hopkins in receiving Legend status at the event.
Former players Don Ross, Peter Box, Bernie Quinlan and Steve Wallis were inducted into the Hall of Fame, along with former president David Smorgon.
Drafted from Daylesford with the bargain basement pick of 105 at the 1988 National Draft, Grant became the youngest player in League history to kick 50 goals in a season when he booted 51 majors in 1990.
As his body developed, he moved out to centre-half-forward and by 1994 was at the peak of his powers, winning the Bulldogs’ best-and-fairest and leading the club’s goal-kicking with 74 goals.
While strong overhead, versatile and blessed with good ground level ball control for a big man, it was an act off the field at the end of the 1996 season that endeared Grant to the club’s supporters the most.
With the Bulldogs at their lowest ebb, Grant turned down a financial offer from Port Adelaide, a selfless act that the football community rightly lauded him for. A letter from a young supporter begging Grant to stay, with a 20 cent coin attached as incentive, became a symbol of Grant’s loyalty to the red, white and blue.
A class performer, Grant accumulated many fine achievements throughout a career spanning a then club-record 341 games, which was eventually surpassed by Hall of Fame member Brad Johnson. Grant kicked 554 goals in 18 seasons between 1990 and 2007, captained the Bulldogs between 2001 and 2004 and polled 112 Brownlow votes, the same as club legend and fellow No.3 Ted Whitten.
Grant famously polled the most Brownlow medal votes in 1997, but was ruled ineligible due to a one-match suspension for striking Hawthorn forward Nick Holland and lost the game’s highest individual honour by just one vote in 1996.
The trio of new Legends join Charlie Sutton, Ted Whitten, John Schultz and Doug Hawkins in being afforded the club’s highest honour.