Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin has become the sixth man in VFL/AFL history to tally 1000 career goals, and the first Indigenous player to do so.
Franklin, a Whadjuk-Noongar man, reached the milestone in a four-goal effort in the Swans’ game against Geelong in Sydney on Friday night.
He was subbed off midway through the final quarter with three goals to his name for the night, and returned to the ground with 10 minutes remaining to rapturous applause from the crowd.
And the Swans faithful only had to wait four more minutes for their milestone man to deliver, with Franklin converting a set shot to the right of the goals to make history.
Fans stormed the field in celebration of the 1000-goal feat, a long-standing tradition not seen since Franklin became the last player to boot 100 goals in a season in 2008.
The eight-time All Australian and dual premiership player joins the company of Gary Ablett Sr, Doug Wade, Jason Dunstall, Gordon Coventry and fellow Swan, Tony Lockett as the only men to have past the illustrious number.
Franklin was made to wait for the achievement, stranded on 995 goals at the conclusion of the 2021 season.
He managed one goal in round one against GWS to move to 996 ahead of his first home game of the season.
Injuries have interrupted his playing time in recent years, managing just 29 games since 2019.
The West Australian’s career has been defined by his ability as a key forward, a four time Coleman Medal winner as the highest individual goal-kicker in a regular season, and the second Indigenous player to surpass 500 goals.
Franklin spent his childhood and teenage years between Perth and the central wheatbelt region town of Dowerin, relocating to Melbourne after being selected by Hawthorn in the 2004 National Draft as an 18 year old.
He played 182 games for the Hawks before trading to Sydney at the end of 2013.
Throughout his career, the 35 year old has been an advocate for First Nations Australians in-and-out of football.
In 2017 he wore the number 67 on his back during Sir Doug Nicholls round commemorating the 1967 Referendum to fully include Indigenous Australians in the census.