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Lockett gives Winmar Hall of Fame nod

It speaks to the importance of a footballer when Tony Lockett is the person to induct you into the Hall of Fame.

Lockett, the reclusive all-time leading VFL/AFL goal-kicker, had the honour of talking about his great mate Nicky Winmar as the former St Kilda champion was finally honoured with Australian Football Hall of Fame status.

Winmar, an Indigenous icon after famously raising his jumper and pointing at his skin following horrific racial abuse from Collingwood fans in 1993, was given a rousing reception at Crown on Tuesday night.

“We will always have racism in society, unfortunately, but we’re going to still stand here and always say we are proud of who we are and what we’ve done,” Winmar said.

The dynamic wingman retired in 1999 after 251 AFL games and has been eligible for Hall of Fame induction since 2005.

Winmar’s first words on stage – “about time” – summed up the sentiment of football fans who watched him play between 1987 and 1999.

Winmar and Lockett were a lethal duo for the Saints in the late-1980s and early 1990s.

They may not have won a premiership together but Winmar and Lockett gave St Kilda fans so much joy at Moorabbin.

Lockett has kept a low-profile since retiring, for a second time, in 2002 but was more than happy to laud Winmar for his achievements.

“I had the confidence in wherever I went he could put the ball right out in front of me,” Lockett said in a pre-recorded video.

“If Nicky had it anywhere in the middle of the ground you knew you were going to be a chance.

“He could take screamers, he could get around blokes, run them down, bounce back up and kick it 60 metres.

“He adapted to what he had to, he could do everything, the complete footballer.

“Great bloke, absolutely top of the range and we got along like a house on fire and that probably showed out on the ground.

“A lot of opposition, they might not have admitted it at the time, but I think they loved watching him play too.”

Winmar was among eight new inductees into the Hall of Fame, along with modern-day greats Brent Harvey and Matthew Pavlich, while South Australian icon Russell Ebert was elevated to legend status.


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