Luke Hodge (born 15 June 1984) is a professional Australian rules footballer who plays for the Hawthorn Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). Hodge is the current captain of the club. Hodge started his career playing on the half-back flank but as his career progressed he has been known to push up into the midfield. He is a four-time premiership player, three-time premiership captain and a two-time Norm Smith Medallist.
Hodge was recruited from the Geelong Falcons Under 18 Football Club, and in 2001 nominated for the 2001 AFL Draft. He was the number-one draft choice of Hawthorn Football Club (taken from Fremantle for Trent Croad and Luke McPharlin). In the early years of his career he was compared with Chris Judd who was chosen with the third selection in the same draft.
He was named in the 2008 All-Australian team and in International Rules team for Australia. Hodge won the Norm Smith Medal for being the best player on the ground during the 2008 AFL Grand Final. He is also the last No. 1 draft pick to win a premiership, to date.
Hodge became the current captain of the club after Sam Mitchell handed over the captaincy prior to the 2010 Peter Crimmins Medal count.
Hodge played only eight home and away games in 2012 due to an Posterior cruciate ligament injury. Returning after a brief illness that kept him out of the preliminary final, he led his side in the 2012 AFL Grand Final but didn't have a major influence on the result.
More post-season surgery followed and he missed the first game of the 2013 season, but he played the majority of the season finishing fifth in the club's Peter Crimmins Medal award. Hodge played in the 2013 AFL Grand Final against Fremantle Dockers and was listed as one of his teams best players on the day. Hawthorn's victory allowed him to claim his second Premiership and his first Premiership as a captain.
Hodge had another consistent year in 2014. He played his 250th career game in the Grand Final, with the Hawks defeating the Sydney Swans to win their 12th premiership. In the game, Hodge became only the third player (after Gary Ayres and Andrew McLeod) to win two Norm Smith Medals, and captained the side to his third premiership, his second as captain.
Hodge was suspended for two weeks in round 21, 2015 by the Match Review Panel (MRP) for an incident in which made contact with Chad Wingard in close proximity to the behind post. The potential for a spinal injury had Wingard's head made contact with the post resulted in the MRP upgrading the impact to "medium" and a two-match suspension with an early guilty plea.
Hodge's history of strong performances in finals, in particular during Hawthorn's run of three consecutive premierships in 2013, 2014 and 2015 has led to members of the media, including commentator Bruce McAvaney, to dub him "Mister September", after the month in which AFL finals traditionally take place.
|“||When the Hawks devoted the first choice in the 2001 NAB AFL National Draft to Luke Hodge they got not just a great player but a great leader, too".||”|
|— Leigh Matthews, Hawthorn Great and 4-time Premiership coach.|
- Statistics are correct to the end of the 2014 season
|Totals||Averages (per game)|
Honours and achievements
|Brownlow Medal votes|
|Green / Bold = Won|
* = joint winner
|Red / Italics = Ineligible|
- Norm Smith Medal: 2008, 2014
- All-Australian: 2005, 2008, 2008, 2010 (C)
- Peter Crimmins Medal (Hawthorn F.C. B&F): 2005, 2010
- Australian Representative Honours inInternational Rules Football: 2005, 2014, 2015
- AFL Rising Star Nominee: 2002 (Round 15)
- Hawthorn F.C. Captain: 2011–Present
- AFLPA Best Captain Award: 2014
- Jim Stynes medallist: 2014
- TAC Cup Premiership: 2000
Hodge married Lauren Kirkman in 2009 and has three sons, Cooper, Chase and Leo.
Caught drink-driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.068 on the 3rd of September 2015, Hodge stated that he had made "a stupid error".
Luke Hodge appears regularly on a Melbourne radio station segment during the football season. In 2011, Hodge competed in the third season of the Channel Seven television series Australia's Greatest Athlete.