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.

Early life

Hodge was born in the Victorian town of Colac.

Career

Hodge plays half-back flanker and midfield. Recruited from the Geelong Falcons Under 18 team, Hodge made his debut in 2002.

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 2005 All-Australian team and in International Rules team for Australia. Hodge was named sole vice-captain of the Hawthorn Football Club in October 2007.

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.

Reception

Statistics

Statistics are correct to the end of the 2014 season
Legend
 G Goals B Behinds K Kicks H Handballs D Disposals M Marks T Tackles
SeasonTeam#GamesGBKHDMTGBKHDMT
TotalsAverages (per game)
2002Hawthorn1515951577623357240.60.310.55.115.53.81.6
2003Hawthorn151510111217319455390.70.78.14.912.93.72.6
2004Hawthorn151514111597623562560.90.710.65.115.74.13.7
2005Hawthorn1521915347234581112590.40.716.511.127.75.32.8
2006Hawthorn15226931319951289900.30.414.29.023.34.04.1
2007Hawthorn15242314319222541130961.00.613.39.322.55.44.0
2008Hawthorn1520208290171461114701.00.414.58.623.15.73.5
2009Hawthorn151910523419042471680.50.312.310.022.33.73.6
2010Hawthorn15221512335209544891250.70.515.29.524.74.05.7
2011Hawthorn15221918325209534106760.90.814.89.524.34.83.5
2012Hawthorn1510961217019144180.90.612.17.019.14.41.8
2013Hawthorn15231111349152501115810.50.515.26.621.85.03.5
2014Hawthorn1522129370181551130790.50.416.88.225.05.93.6
Career25016713434402062550211748810.70.513.88.222.04.73.5

Honours and achievements

Brownlow Medal votes
SeasonVotes
20021
20034
20044
200515
20064
200716
20082
20097
201016
201117
20122
201315
201412
Total115
Key:
Green / Bold = Won
* = joint winner
Red / Italics = Ineligible

AFL

TAC Cup

Personal life

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".

Media career

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.