Vale Sean Wight

July 1, 2011 by
Filed under: NSW Demons 

Vale Sean Wight

by Darren Spence

Hi fellow Demon fanatics!  I am back from my stay in hospital and heading back on track.  It is with a very heavy heart that I write these words with the terrible news of the death of Sean Wight.  It just doesn’t feel right writing a unique review of last week’s game so instead I have decided to dedicate this week’s report to a review of the career of one of our greats – Sean Wight.

John Phillips ‘Sean’ Wight was born on the 15th of March 1964 (an auspicious year on more than one account).  He was born in Scotland but spent most of his early life in Ireland.  Part of the famous ‘Irish Experiment’ he travelled to Australia with Paul Early in 1982 after impressing scouts with his high leaping and determination.  The first ever game he saw was the 1982 VFL Grand Final.

His first year at the club saw him playing in the 1983 U/19s Grand Final that saw the Dees triumph over North Melbourne.  Some of his team mates that day included Greg Healy, Stephen Newport, Brett Bailey, Rod Grinter and Paul Payne – all players that would go on and play senior footy with Sean.

1984 was a year to regret for Sean as he severely injured his knee and missed the entire season.  1985 saw Sean finally make his debut for the MFC in Round 8 versus the Saints and line up on Tony Lockett!  In a game that saw the Dees beat the Saints by 52 points, Chris Connolly received three Brownlow votes and the young Scottish/Irishmen making his debut received two Brownlow votes from the umpires.  A rare feat that provided a glimpse of what lay ahead.

One of the traits that made Sean a favourite amongst his team mates and fans was his ability to lift and play in big games.  Nothing better exemplifies this than his performances in some of the most important games in the MFC’s recent history.  In 1987 the Demons saw themselves with the opportunity to play finals for the first time since 1964, coincidently the same year that Sean was born!  To achieve this a few results had to go our way but most importantly we had to win our last two games.  History goes on to show that results went our way and we did indeed win our final two games against the Eagles and Footscray.  What many people do not know is that Sean Wight received three Brownlow votes in BOTH of these last two home and away games.

We move our attention to 1988 – the year we finally made the Grand Final.  Again Sean Wight stood up when it counted.  In the semi final against Collingwood he showed his versatility by scoring three goals and followed up the next week in the preliminary final versus the Blues with four critical goals; a pivotal contribution catapulting the Dees into the Grand Final.

The early 90s were not kind to Sean as he struggled with injuries and it wasn’t until 1994 that he was again able to play consistently for the Dees.  That year he played 24 games and was the best player in the preliminary final loss to West Coast that ended the Dees season.  In 1995, his final year, he played 21 games.

Sean was also very principled.  In 1991 when Sean was struggling with injury he found boots that provided adequate pain relief and support but unfortunately these boots were not the brand that sponsored the club at the time.  Before a reserves game against St. Kilda that year he refused to change his boots and the club forbade him to play that day.  Luckily a successful compromise was achieved but it shows Sean’s strength of character to stand up for what he believed was right.

I will always remember Sean for his courage, his superb athletic ability and his determination.  I can scarcely recall a game where he was beaten by his direct opponent.  In my time following the Dees he would be the best key defender that I have ever had the pleasure to watch represent the mighty Demons.

Sean Wight

  • Played 150 games for the MFC
  • Member of the team that won the 1987 Night Premiership
  • Member of the MFC hall of fame
  • Named as one of the 150 Heroes of the club
  • Life member of the MFC
  • Director of the MFC in 1996-97
  • Had a career high 23 possessions versus Carlton in 1991
  • Kicked four goals in a game on three occasions
  • Kicked 63 goals in his career
  • Received 11 Brownlow votes in his career
  • Is and will always be a legend of the MFC and I am proud to say that I saw this great man play for the MFC.


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