Daniel Jackson’s courageous and selfless nature on and off the field has earned him a Madden Medal nomination.
The 2013 Jack Dyer Medallist decided to call time on his career after 156 matches for the Tigers across 11 years. He was originally drafted from the Oakleigh Chargers in 2003.
After toiling away in his first five years at the club, Jackson had a breakout season in 2009, playing every match and averaging 23 disposals per game. His efforts were rewarded with a runner up finish behind Brett Deledio in Richmond’s Best and Fairest Award.
The midfielder established himself in the Richmond line-up as a hard-nosed run-with player who had a fantastic ability to win the ball in close. His brilliant form continued throughout the next three seasons.
In 2013, the Tiger reached a career high 513 possessions and kicked a career best 18 goals, finishing a runaway winner in Richmond’s Best and Fairest Award as the club reached the finals for the first time in more than a decade.
After an interrupted preseason this year, Jackson’s tiring body began to let him down and he decided to hang up the boots.
“I didn’t want to leave myself in a position where I spent my final time as a footballer, not being able to perform to a level that I’d expect of myself and, more importantly, to a level that the footy club needs from me,” he said in an open letter to the Richmond fans.
“After a great last year winning the Jack Dyer Medal, obviously Dan was hoping to repeat that, but injuries got the better of him,” former teammate Matthew Richardson told richmondfc.com.au.
“In the end he’s made a really selfless decision. He wasn’t confident in his body – not only next year – but even right now.”
Richardson praised Jackson as “a great role model for the game” for his work in the community and with the AFL Players’ Association.
Big Brothers, Big Sisters is a youth mentoring organisation of which Jackson has been an active member since March 2012.
“[Dan] brings great energy to our board, along with valuable insights into how our mentoring programs for vulnerable young people might be better promoted and marketed,” said Big Brothers, Big Sisters Board Chair, Geoff Lynch.
“He’s as enthusiastic off the field as he is on. Dan is a great link to the community for us, in particular to the younger demographic.”
“In his role as a headspace ambassador, Dan Jackson has been a potent weapon in our efforts to reach out to [young men], and get them to seek help,” said headspace CEO Chris Tanti.
“Dan has participated in a range of efforts in this area: speaking to sporting clubs about mental health literacy, participation in headspace videos aimed at young men and giving his time to be a media spokesperson for headspace.”
In between his football and community commitments, Jackson also completed a Bachelor of Commerce at Melbourne University and was heavily involved with the AFL Players’ Association throughout his career. He was a Richmond delegate from 2006 through to 2011 and has been a board-member since 2012.
The 2014 Madden Medal winner will be announced on Friday, September 30.