History will say Luke Power didn’t become a Giant until he left the Brisbane Lions at the end of 2011, but in my eyes and throughout the AFL community he was a giant of the game well before then.
The Madden Medal is awarded to a retiring AFL player who demonstrates on-field excellence, personal development and growth as well on community spirit over the course of their playing days.
I cannot think of anyone more deserving.
Despite winning three AFL premierships, an All-Australian jumper and leading two clubs in 302 AFL games, Power’s greatest legacy is the positive impact he had over everyone he met along his AFL journey.
Luke is a gentleman of the game and one of the nicest people you will ever meet. You always knew if you were in trouble or having a down day you could always go and speak to him and he would be more than happy to listen and help you in anyway.
He was particularly supportive of me during the time we spent as teammates. He was the first to call and welcome me to the club when I was drafted and he understood exactly what it was like to move from Victoria to Brisbane.
I will never forget an act of support he provided to me early in my career when a local reporter wrote an article criticising me. Luke rang straight away to let me know I had his support and then rang the reporter to tell him exactly what he thought about the article.
It was massive for me to know he backed me in.
He cares for everyone, you always have his support and he isn’t afraid to stand up for what he believes in.
Luke was instrumental in providing a voice for the players and served as an AFL Players’ Association club delegate and board member and was the president in 2011.
His caring nature extends beyond his own family and colleagues. With minimum fuss he worked with local children’s charities including the Starlight Foundation. It was no surprise that in 2011 he was awarded the Variety Heart of Football award for his outstanding work with children in the community.
There was one young fella who he used to bring to games and even carried through the banner in one of his milestone games. It was a huge thrill for the young fan, who was ill at the time, and demonstrated to us how frequently he put others before himself.
With three words I describe him as caring, selfless and competitive. His persona and social conscience off the field defies how ruthless he was on the training track and in games. He set the standard. When I first got to Brisbane I aimed to reach his level with how hard he trained, the extras he completed and his preparation for games.
I don’t think there has been another player like him in the history of the Brisbane Lions Football Club, he has done it all and he probably doesn’t get the credit he deserves. Had he played in a traditional football state he would have a statue erected in his honour.
His selfless approach to the way he played and the way helped others out along the way is a credit to him and I am sure if we had more Luke Powers the game would be even better off.