Chris Judd has been awarded the 2015 Madden Medal for his outstanding achievements both on and off the field throughout his brilliant 279-game career.
The AFL Players’ Association Madden Medal is awarded to the retiring player who has best demonstrated on-field excellence, personal development and growth, as well as community spirit over the course of his playing career.
The award is voted on by the AFL Players’ Association Board and past Madden Medal winners, with Judd edging out nominees Daniel Cross, Luke McPharlin, Kane Cornes, Dustin Fletcher, Chris Newman and Paul Chapman.
Judd announced his retirement following a season-ending knee injury in Round 10 this season.
He becomes the first Blue to take home the prestigious award and sits alongside some of the game’s greats, including Lenny Hayes, Robert Harvey and Glenn Archer as Madden Medal recipients.
Judd told aflplayers.com.au he holds the award in high regard.
“I’d just like to say what a tremendous honour it is to win the Madden Medal.
“Both Simon and Justin have contributed a huge amount to our game and to be recognised for what I’ve done both on and off the field means a lot, especially considering the quality of some of the other retiring players this year.”
After being drafted with pick three by West Coast in the 2001 national draft, it didn’t take Judd long to become one of the most exciting players in the game.
“The most valuable things I’ve taken away from my career in football are the friendships and probably the lessons I’ve learnt throughout 14 years in the industry and a lot of those lessons can be applied to all sorts of areas of your life. But I’ve been lucky to meet a huge number of really great people at two wonderful footy clubs.” – chris judd
He burst onto the scene in his debut season to finish runner-up in the Rising Star in 2002 and two years later claimed his first Brownlow Medals at the age of 21 in 2004.
Taking over the Eagles captaincy in 2006, Judd led WEst Coast to its third AFL premiership before deciding to return to Victoria where he joined Carlton at the end of 2007.
Arriving as the club’s captain, Judd became the most prominent inside midfielder in the competition during the next four season’s culminating in a second Brownlow Medal in 2010, three Carlton best and fairests and four All-Australian selections during his time at the club.
After 14 years and 279 games at AFL level, Judd said the end came quicker than expected.
“Footy for me felt like quite a long time but the end comes really quickly, I think, because you’re so used to doing it for so long and all of sudden it stops.
“It felt to me like it finished quickly but I think back to when I started playing footy and I was in high school and that feels like a lifetime ago. It was a pretty long career and a fortunate one.”
Taking on numerous ambassador roles throughout his AFL career, the 32-year-old has never had any trouble keeping busy away from the AFL scene.
He created corporate hospitality solutions company G3 Events, was a founding shareholder of professional athletic wear brand Jaggad, a part of the Mirabel Foundation from 2009 to 2012 and attended numerous charity events annually.
As Judd continues the transition into the next chapter of his life with a young family, he said life without football is an exciting prospect.
“To be driving around with two young kids now just makes you realise that a lot has happened in that time and sitting next to them you can’t help but feel there’s a lot to look forward to as well.
“Being in retirement mode, or retirement from football at least, opens up a lot of opportunities and chances to do some things you weren’t able to do throughout your football career so there’s some exciting bits to being retired as well.
“I think I was always interested in other things outside of footy so I’m a couple of months into a job outside the footy sector and I’m really enjoying mixing with a different group of people that have new ideas and being able to learn lots of things, too, is something I’ve really enjoyed.”
Judd adds the Madden Medal to an already extensive list of awards received during his AFL career but said football provided him with other important things.
“The most valuable things I’ve taken away from my career in football are the friendships and probably the lessons I’ve learnt throughout 14 years in the industry and a lot of those lessons can be applied to all sorts of areas of your life. But I’ve been lucky to meet a huge number of really great people at two wonderful footy clubs.”
Judd joins Lenny Hayes (2014), Jude Bolton (2013), Luke Power (2012), Cameron Ling (2011), Brett Kirk (2010), Michael O’Loughlin (2009), Robert Harvey (2008) and Glenn Archer (2007) as Madden Medal winners.