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Legends Series: Russell Greene

Russell Greene played 304 games for St Kilda and Hawthorn. He won the 1984 AFL Players’ Association MVP award, was All Australian a year later, and a key part of three famous premierships.

It was a magnificent career that most can only dream about.

“I would give back all 300 games and all the premierships just to play one more game.”  – Russell Greene

But when it was over, he struggled to cope. The adrenaline of playing footy for his beloved Hawks every Saturday was gone. It could not be replaced.

“I would give back all 300 games and all the premierships just to play one more game,” he said years later.

This week football tragic John Harms caught up with Greene to talk footy, family, and friendship.

Greene’s is an emotional and entertaining tale which he told with great enthusiasm and passion. He discussed his love of the “beautiful” Allan Jeans, his first coach at the Saints and the man who had a lasting impact on his life.

He touched on playing alongside Dermie, Dipper and Lethal during the great days as a Hawk.

He spoke openly of his eldest son Steven’s AFL career and the pressure of trying to make it in the big time.

Greene also told of his greatest regret in life – how he carelessly used homophobic language during his time as a star of the VFL.

Greene’s youngest son, Brent, is gay.

“There was no one worse than a bloke growing up in the 1960s. It was just ‘faggot, poof, you homo’.

“There was no real thought about it. You didn’t realise the people you were hurting.

“The more we can get the message out there (that this language isn’t acceptable), the better.

“The damage we must have done to some boy, girl, transgender person must have been shocking and that’s one of my biggest regrets.”

Other VIDEOS in our Legends serieS

DAVID PARKIN – The four-time premiership coach reflects on the good old days of footy, and the current state of the game. 

BRAD BOYD – The last captain of Fitzroy talks about his early days at Fitzroy, the merger with Brisbane and leaving the game at just 27 years of age.

LUKE ABLETTThe Sydney Swans premiership player shares a unique insight into the difficulties modern footballers face, and what he was thinking during ‘that moment’ in the 2005 grand final.

DAVID ‘SWAN’ MCKAY – The four-time Carlton premiership player relives the Blues’ glory days during the 1970s and reveals what it was like playing under Ron Barassi. 

WAYNE CAREY – The man regarded as the greatest centre half forward of all time talks captaincy, courage, and how he didn’t handle the end of his AFL career.