|Full name||Luke Hodge|
|Date of birth||15 June 1984|
|Place of birth||Colac, Victoria, Australia|
|Original team(s)||Geelong Falcons (TAC Cup)|
|Draft||No. 1 (PP), 2001 national draft|
Round 5, 2002, Hawthorn|
vs. Richmond, at Melbourne Cricket Ground
|Height||186 cm (6 ft 1 in)|
|Weight||92 kg (203 lb)|
|Position(s)||Midfielder / Defender|
|2018–2019||Brisbane Lions||41 (1)|
|International team honours|
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
Luke Hodge (born 15 June 1984) is a former Australian rules football player who played with the Hawthorn Football Club and the Brisbane Lions in the Australian Football League (AFL). He played for the Hawthorn Football Club from 2002 to 2017, captaining the club from 2011 to 2016. In 2018, Hodge moved to the Brisbane Lions, before retiring in 2019. 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 is widely regarded as one of the most respected players, in particular as a captain, to have ever participated in the sport.
Hodge was born in the Victorian town of Colac. Hodge supported Richmond during his childhood, with his favourite player being Matthew Richardson.
Hodge played as a half-back flanker and midfielder during his playing career. 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 (which had been traded from Fremantle for Trent Croad and Luke McPharlin). Throughout his career he was often compared with Chris Judd, who was chosen with the third selection in the same draft.
Hodge made his debut in 2002.
He was named in the 2005 All-Australian team and in the 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 the 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.
Hodge became the 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 a 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 team's 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.
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.
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.
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.
Hodge announced in July 2017 that he would retire at the end of the season. In Hodge's last game for Hawthorn, he had 14 disposals in a 9-point win over the Western Bulldogs.
In October 2017 Hawthorn confirmed media speculation that Hodge would seek a move to Brisbane Lions in the forthcoming trade period. He was officially traded Brisbane during the trade period.
After an impressive 2018 season participating in 19 senior matches, averaging just below 20 disposals and an 80% disposal efficiency with no reported injuries apart from a minor calf injury, it was confirmed that Hodge would play on in 2019. He has received much praise from teammates, staff of the club, and media alike for his significant impact on the team, noting his outstanding leadership both on and off the field continuing on from his time at Hawthorn.
|Season||Team||No.||Games||Totals||Averages (per game)||Votes|
Hodge married long-time girlfriend since high school, Lauren Kirkman, in 2009 and has four sons, Cooper, Chase, Leo and Tanner.
He earned the nickname 'The General' (which would later be the title of his 2017 autobiography) for his leadership abilities both on and off the field.
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. He also made special guest appearances on Channel Seven's Football coverage while still playing as a special comments commentator from the 2016 season onward. From the 2020 season, he joined the network's Friday night commentary team on a permanent basis while remaining based in Brisbane.