Carlton skipper Chris Judd has won his second Brownlow Medal after polling 29 votes ahead of last years winner Gary Ablett Jnr and hot favorite Dane Swan. Judd set up the win polling a record five best on ground performances in a row after is return in Round 4, jumping out to a handy lead at the half way mark.
Magpie midfielder Dane Swan made a charge in the second half of the season but failed to catch the Blues Captain finishing on 24 votes, 2 votes behind Ablett who made a late surge to finish in second place on 26.
The Blues Captain missed the first three rounds through suspension but returned in Round 4 to poll three votes in the Blues thrashing of the Adelaide Crows, sparking an unbelievable streak.
Round 19 proved to pivotal with Judd polling three votes against the Bombers, putting him five votes clear of Swan before another best on ground performance ensured at least a tie for the former Eagle. Swan was left with a uphill battle needing six unanswered votes in the final two games to match Judd but only managed one in Round 22, dropping to third place with Ablett grabbing three final round votes.
Judd became the first player since Greg Williams in 1994 to win a Brownlow at two seperate clubs. The 27 year old admitted he was surprised to win this years highest honour but was happy to take it for the second time.
“It’s a huge spinout, but it’s a huge honour,” Judd said of his win.
He also paid tribute to Demon President and 1991 Brownlow Medalist Jim Stynes, who is publicly battling cancer.
“People like Jim and other ordinary Australians are the real heroes of our society … what he’s done in his public battle with cancer in the last couple of years is even more of an inspiration.”