Blue could be­come ‘big­gest loser’

Sunday Territorian - - SPORT - CHRIS CAVANAGH

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 among 333 ca­reer matches be­fore hang­ing up the boots in 1974.

Simp­son has 194 losses to his name from 307 ca­reer matches, mean­ing if Carl­ton gets beaten 15 times this sea­son he will take over the record.

Just seven more losses for Simp­son would see him claim sec­ond spot on the list, held by for­mer Footscray and Fitzroy great Doug Hawkins who played in 200 losses.

Mur­ray told the Sun­day Ter­ri­to­rian 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 (Simp­son) has had a great ca­reer and win, lose or draw, it doesn’t mat­ter what hap­pens.

“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.

Part of the club’s 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.”

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