Port’s Phillips joins footy’s Hall of Fame

Two more football giants will round out the Australian Football Hall of Fame intake for 2020 on Thursday night, following the induction of past greats Dean Cox and Greg Phillips.

The former champion West Coast ruckman and decorated Port Adelaide defender were granted their new status on Wednesday night.

They joined modern-day greats Lenny Hayes, Simon Black and Jonathan Brown in this year’s induction class, while Hawthorn father-figure John Kennedy was named the 29th Legend of the game.

Phillips, an eight-time SANFL premiership player, featured in 447 senior matches with Port Adelaide (343), Collingwood (84) and South Australia (20).

He retired in 1993, but could yet be part of more history, with daughter Erin Phillips likely to be among the first AFLW players to enter the Hall of Fame in years to come.

A former international basketball star, Erin Phillips is a two-time AFLW best-and-fairest and one of the pioneering players who have lifted the women’s competition onto the national sporting stage.

Upon his induction, Greg Phillips joked that his own remarkable football career had been cast aside and that he was now simply Erin’s father.

“That’s who I am these days,” he said.

But few who witnessed the rugged and skilful defender in full flight during his two stints with Port Adelaide, either side of four years at Collingwood, could forget the mark Phillips left on the game, particularly in South Australia.

“From centre half-back, I cannot remember a time I had to change him because he was getting beaten, he was so good,” legendary Port Adelaide premiership coach John Cahill said.

“He was so strong, courageous, had the safest hands you’ve ever seen in your life.

“As soon as he got near the ball, the half-back flankers and the back pockets would just take off. He was so talented.”





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