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Fitzpatrick & Simpson honoured by AFL

Jones on training camp, Tassie Liam Jones spoke to the media at North Hobart Oval before open training on Wednesday morning.

Dual premiership skipper Mike Fitzpatrick and current star Kade Simpson are set to be named as AFL Life Members, after the AFL today announced the 10 new inductees who will be honoured for their services to the game. 

Both Fitzpatrick and Simpson will be honoured at the 2018 AFL Annual General Meeting in March for their contribution to Australian Football, after having their award confirmed by the AFL Commission. 

Life Membership was conferred under the provision of 'Special Service to the Game' to dual Carlton premiership captain and former AFL Commission Chairman Fitzpatrick.

1993 Norm Smith Medallist and community leader Michael Long and long-time broadcaster and dual premiership player Rex Hunt will also be acknowledged under the same provision.

Kade Simpson is edging closer to joining Carlton's 300-game club. (Photo: AFL Photos)

A total of seven players and umpires qualified automatically after having reached 300 total AFL games during the 2017 season as an umpire or player - including Simpson, as well as Eddie Betts, Chris Donlon, Steve Johnson, Jordan Lewis, Andrew Mackie, Shaun Ryan.

AFL Chief Executive Officer Gillon McLachlan said the Commission congratulated each individual on their award and the game looked forward to thanking each personally again at the season launch in March for their contribution to football, both on-field as players and umpires and off-field for their service as administrators / officials.

Kade Simpson
286 games for Carlton, 2003-17.
29 pre-season games for Carlton.
Eight games for Australia.
Best and Fairest 2013.

Mike Fitzpatrick
97 games for Subiaco 1970-74, kicking 77 goals.
150 games for Carlton 1975-83, kicking 150 goals.
11 games for Western Australia, kicking seven goals.
Two games for Victoria, kicking one goal.
Premierships 1973, 1979, 1981, 1982.
Club Best and Fairest 1973, 1974, 1979.
Club Captain 1980-83.
All Australian 1982.
Carlton Team of the Century.

Mike Fitzpatrick played in three Carlton premierships. (Photo: AFL Photos)

Joined the AFL Commission in 2003 and succeeded Ron Evans as Chairman in 2007. Key achievements under his tenure as Chairman included:
- Premiership season matches every week in the mainland states following the League's expansion with the Gold Coast Suns (2010) and Greater Western Sydney Giants (2011) and games played in every state and territory.
- Investment in the construction or renovation of stadiums and training and administration centres across the country since 2007, including Adelaide Oval, Perth Stadium, Metricon Stadium, Spotless Stadium, MCG, SCG, Gabba and Simonds Stadium.
- Growth in participation in the game by more than 140 per cent from the start of the 2007 season to 2016, with 1,404,176 participants.
- Starting the NAB AFL Women's competition.
- Record TV broadcast deals, including the $2.5 billion TV broadcast rights deal secured off the back of expansion into Queensland and New South Wales.
- Continuing work by the clubs to attract supporters, with memberships of AFL clubs hitting a record high of 875,197 in 2016 - an increase of almost 70 per cent since 2006.
- Creating AFL Media to build a stronger digital presence for the game, resulting in AFL Media now attracting an average 4.26m weekly unique visitors in season, while TV audiences per round for the Toyota AFL Premiership Season across the Seven Network and Fox Footy Channel averaged 4.5 million