ON the back of four wooden spoons, one of Carlton’s most loyal servants is on a collision course with football’s most unwanted record this year.
Veteran defender Kade Simpson, who is entering his 17th year with the Blues, is on track to eclipse former Fitzroy captain Kevin Murray’s record for most career losses.
Murray played in 208 defeats for Fitzroy from 333 career matches before hanging up the boots in 1974.
Simpson has 194 losses to his name from 307 career matches, meaning if he plays in 15 defeats this season he will take over the long-standing record.
Just seven more losses for Simpson would see him claim second spot on the list, currently held by former Footscray and Fitzroy great Doug Hawkins, who played in 200 defeats.
Murray told the Sunday Herald Sun that while he would be happy to hand over the baton, he felt for Simpson as playing in so many losses had its challenges.
“Nobody wanted it to be that way, none of us, but it just turned out that way,” the 1969 Brownlow Medal winner said.
“He has had a great career and win, lose or draw, it doesn’t matter what happens. Michael Tuck Kevin Bartlett Shaun Burgoyne 238 Bruce Doull 235 Brent Harvey 208 Kevin Murray 200 Doug Hawkins John Rantall 196 Paul Roos 194 Kade Simpson
“You always try to do your best, that’s the most important thing.
“That’s where supporters stick with you, because they can see how hard you try.”
Simpson, who turns 35 in May, has won twice as many wooden spoons as he has finals matches, holding a 2-4 record from six outings in September.
The Blues have made finals just four times since he debuted in 2003, one of those occasions coming when they actually finished ninth in 2013 before replacing an Essendon side that was booted out of the KELSEY EYES CUP BERTH, PAGE 69 top-eight due to the supplements saga. Part of the club’s current leadership group, Simpson has remained loyal to the Blues despite the Carlton curse and spoke in December of his desire to potentially play on beyond 2019.
“I don’t really want to put a limit on it,” Simpson said.
“I think guys can go in and say this is going to be their last year. I don’t want to do that.
“I’ll play as long as the body and the mind holds up and Bolts (coach Brendon Bolton) has always said to me as soon as you walk through the door if you’re playing good footy and still got something to offer there’ll always be a spot for me.”
Simpson’s overall win-loss record stands at 36.3 per cent, a percentage that is more than twice as good as Brisbane’s Nick Robertson, who has the worst win-loss record of any current player in the AFL who has played at least 50 games.
Robertson has sung the team song 12 times from 68 outings, a w i n n i n g percentage of just 17.7.
302 260 242 199 Carlton’s Kade Simpson looks forlorn as the final siren sounds for his 300th match, another loss, this time to Port Adelaide. Picture: GETTY IMAGES
not been named and Bassett will remain with the team, which plays its opening match against South Africa in Liverpool tomorrow.Giants shooter Kiera Austin has flown to England.“We are upset for Caitlin and to have her miss this series isn’t ideal, but we’re prepared for situations such as this,” Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander said. Tom Mitchell in hospital.