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Heath Black

Heath Black
Personal information
Full name Heath Black
Date of birth (1979-05-28) 28 May 1979 (age 44)
Original team(s) Oakleigh U18
Height 176 cm (5 ft 9 in)
Weight 82 kg (181 lb)
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1997 – 2001 Fremantle 069 (31)
2002 – 2004 St Kilda 054 (19)
2005 – 2008 Fremantle 069 (30)
Total 192 (80)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2008.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables,

Heath Black (born 28 May 1979) is a former Australian rules footballer who played for Fremantle and St Kilda in the Australian Football League (AFL).

Football career

Noted for his speed and long left foot kicking,[1] Black was recruited with the 12th selection in the 1996 AFL Draft and began his career with Fremantle in 1997. When not selected to play for Fremantle in the AFL he played for South Fremantle in the West Australian Football League (WAFL) and was a member of their 1997 WAFL Premiership winning side.

After spending five seasons at the Dockers, and after finishing second in the Doig Medal (best and fairest) in 2001, he was traded to St Kilda during the 2001 AFL trade period, in return for pick # 17.[2] This draft pick was then used to recruit Jeff Farmer from Melbourne.[3]

He was a vital part of the Saints' midfield during his relatively brief time there, and at the end of 2003 requested to be released so he could go back to Perth. However, the Saints lodged the trade request after the deadline and Black stayed on with St Kilda for another season.[4] At the end of 2004 he was eventually traded back to the club which he began his career at.

In 2005, Black was one of the few consistent players in a mediocre season for Fremantle. He finished fourth behind Peter Bell, Shane Parker and Matthew Pavlich, in the count for the club's best and fairest award, the Doig Medal. He also represented Australia in the 2005 International Rules series against Ireland.

On 6 August 2008, Heath Black announced his retirement from the AFL due to a combination of hip and shoulder injuries.[1]


In February 2006, it was rumoured that Black would take part in a publicity stunt similar to the Garry Hocking "Whiskas" incident in 1998, in that Black would change his name to Heath Purple. Whilst Hocking's name change only lasted for a week, Black's would have lasted for the entire 2006 AFL season as part of a promotion with Ribena.[5] However, Black was involved in a fight at the Perth Cup on New Year Day 2006 and subsequently charged with assault occasioning bodily harm, obstructing police and assaulting a female police officer[6] The name change promotion did not eventuate. In June 2006 Black pleaded guilty to all charges and was fined $5000.[7]

Between 2007 and 2009 Black was charged in numerous alcohol related driving and violence offences. He revealed in October 2009 that he suffered from anxiety and depression.[8]

In 2012 he released his autobiography titled Black, co-written with Lisa Holland-McNair, where he revealed that he had been diagnosed with bipolar II and adult ADHD. He has started to work with the AFL Players Association to educate young people about mental health.[9]


  1. ^ a b Morfesse, Luke (6 August 2008). "Heath Black announces his retirement".
  2. ^ "Trading: What they got". The Age. 10 October 2001.
  3. ^ Dagge, John; Ryan, Melissa (7 October 2001). "Trade deal brings Eade closer to Hall". Sun Herald.
  4. ^ Pearce, Linda (8 May 2004). "Time forces Black back to reality with Saints". The Age.
  5. ^ Milstead, Roger (4 February 2006). "Purple the new Heath Black". Archived from the original on 21 February 2006.
  6. ^ "AFL star Black to go on trial". 24 February 2006. Archived from the original on 27 April 2006.
  7. ^ "Black regrets officer assault". 19 June 2006.
  8. ^ Cox, Nicole (14 October 2009). "Heath Black on 0.08 charge, found asleep at wheel of car". Archived from the original on 10 April 2010.
  9. ^ Connolly, Rohan (6 April 2012). "Hell and Black".
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Heath Black
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