Stephen Kernahan

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 Glenelg Career Highlights
  • GFC League Player Number: 655
  • GFC League Debut: AFC, 1981
  • Glenelg 1981 - 1985
    • 136 games
    • 290 goals
  • Glenelg Best and Fairest: 1983, 1984, 1985
  • Glenelg Leading goalkicker: 1983, 1984
  • Glenelg Hall of Fame:
  • SANFL Fos Williams Medallist: 1984, 1998
  • Glenelg Jack Oatey Medallist: 1985
  • South Australian Football Hall of Fame: inducted 2002
  • All-Australian: 1985
  • Number 1 Ticket Holder of the Glenelg Football Club
 Other Career Highlights
  • Carlton Football Club 1986 - 1997
    • 251 games
    • 738 goals
  • Carlton Football Club Best and Fairest: 1987, 1989, 1992
  • Carlton Football Club Captain: 1987-1997 (226 Games)
  • Carlton Football Club Leading goalkicker: 1986-1996
  • Carlton Football Club Hall of Fame: inducted 1993
  • All Australian 1986, 1988, 1992, 1994
  • Carlton Football Club Team of the Century (Captain)
  • Carlton President 2009 - Current
  • Member of Australian Football Hall of Fame
Stephen Kernahan (1983)


  • Born: 1 September 1963
  • Height: 196 cm
  • Weight: 102 kg
  • Recruited from: Brighton High School
  • GFC League Debut: 1981

Guernsey Number: 4

Stephen "Sticks" Kernahan

When the definitive history of football in the 1980s and 1990s comes to be written, the name of Stephen Kernahan is sure to feature prominently. Not just a great player, but arguably one of the finest on-field leaders the game has ever seen, 'Sticks', as he was known, played more than 400 games of league standard during an illustrious and eventful career that spanned seventeen seasons. He began that career with Glenelg in 1981, playing 136 games and kicking 290 goals, and securing the club's best and fairest award on three consecutive occasions. He also topped the Bays' goal kicking list twice, besides putting in a best afield performance in the 1985 grand final victory over North Adelaide. In 1983 he polled 43 votes in the Magarey Medal, 8 more than the eventual winner Tony Antrobus who received his Medal because Kernahan had incurred a suspension during the season.

Even more noteworthy than his time with the Tigers, however, was Stephen Kernahan's twelve season stint at Carlton, where his impact was immediate, pronounced and enduring. He topped the Blues' goal kicking ladder in his debut season, the first of eleven such achievements in succession. In 1987 he won a club best and fairest award and was a member and captain of a premiership team. He retained the captaincy until he retired, helping himself to another best and fairest award in 1992, and the team to another flag - one of the most emphatic ever achieved in the history of the V/AFL - three years later.

Mere statistics tell only part of the story, however. Arguably the true measure of the man lay in his on-field impact, both as player and skipper. Tall and somewhat thinly built, but strong, Kernahan had few peers as an aerialist for much his career. His kicking, if not strictly textbook, was accurate, and he booted a total of 738 goals - a Carlton career record - during his 252 game V/AFL career. Kernahan was also deceptively quick for a big man, and his ground skills were excellent. He was a pivotal figure in South Australian state of origin teams for many years, making a total of 13 appearances, and booting a record 47 goals. Kernahan achieved official All Australian selection in 1985, 1986 and 1988, and was chosen in the AFL's equivalent team twice.

See also Gallery Stephen Kernahan


1. fullpoints footy article

2. Pride of the Bay

3. SANFL Hall of Fame

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