CARLTON and Hawthorn players competing for premiership points at the MCG on Saturday will again be vying for the David Parkin Medal – the medal historically awarded to the best player afield when the two teams play.

The medal was struck in honour of David Parkin and his seismic contributions to both clubs and indeed the game through five decades at senior League level.

In this a “1” year, it should be noted that Parkin the football observer of 2021 first turned out for Hawthorn as a player in 1961, was a Hawthorn Premiership captain in 1971 and a Carlton Premiership coach in 1981 – the first of the Club’s ’81/’82 back-to-back Grand Final victories under his watch.

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Parkin reflects on medal

David Parkin spoke to Carlton Media ahead of the Round 10 clash with Hawthorn where he will present the David Parkin Medal to the best-on-ground performance.

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On his return as the club’s senior coach in 1991, Parkin rebuilt an on-field outfit and assembled a playing collective that would conquer all in 1995 to take a record 16th title.

Parkin, who is a Life Member of both the Carlton and Hawthorn Football Clubs, was named coach of Carlton’s Team of the 20th Century and inducted into the Australian Football Club Hall of Fame in 2002.

Since the David Parkin Medal’s inception in 2003, five Blues have “taken ‘Parko’ home” – Nick Stevens (2004), Jarrad Waite (2005),  Brendan Fevola (2008), Brock McLean (2013) and Sam Docherty (2017).

The medal was not awarded after the two teams met in the 9th Round match of 2020 at Optus Stadium due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

Traditionally, the David Parkin Medal winner has been identified by the Presidents of the competing clubs and presented in the rooms post-match – and Parkin himself will do the noble deed at the MCG this Saturday.


Date of birth: 12 September 1942 (age 78)

Original team: Melbourne High School

Playing career

Years                     Club                       Games  (Goals)

1961–1974             Hawthorn               211         (21)

1975                      Subiaco                  8            (2)

Coaching career

Years                     Club                       Games  (W–L–D)

1977–1980             Hawthorn               94         (57–37–0)

1981–1985             Carlton                  120        (79–40–1)

1986–1988             Fitzroy                   69          (30–39–0)

1991–2000             Carlton                  235         (140–94–1)

Total                                                    518        (306–210–2)

Career highlights


VFL premiership captain: 1971

J.J. Dennis Memorial Trophy: 1965

Hawthorn captain: 1969–1973

Subiaco captain: 1975

Hawthorn Hall of Fame: 2003 (elevated to Legend 2013)


4× VFL/AFL premiership: 1978 (Hawthorn), 1981/1982 & 1995 (Carlton)

All-Australian team: 1995

VFL Team of the Year: 1982

AFC Night Series premiership: 1977

Carlton Team of the Century Coach: 2000      

Australian Football Hall of Fame: 2002

Carlton Hall of Fame: 2011