DOB: 8 August 1950
MFC Debut: Round 4, 1980 against Footscray at MCG
Last Game: Round 21, 1982 against Hawthorn at MCG
From: Campelltown (Tasmania)/Carlton/North Melbourne
Number: 8 1980-1982
Games: 48 (222 total)
Goals: 57 (257 total)
One of the most flamboyant, and controversial, players of his era Crosswell won two flags at Carlton in his first three years before crossing to North where he won two more. He debuted in 1968, played in a premiership in his first year and was best on ground in the Blues' 1970 Grand Final victory.
Known as "Tiger" because it was what he called people when he didn't know their name, Crosswell crossed to North in 1975 and played in two more premierships under Ron Barassi before joining the Demons in 1980 as part of a cash deal along with his North teammate Bill Nettlefold. Two years earlier he’d taken half a season off, citing that he was bored with the game. Not surprisingly he was unable to repeat his premiership heroics at a Melbourne side who had spent more than 15 years out of the finals.
It took just six weeks for Crosswell to fall out with Barassi. Late in the first quarter of the round 6 loss to Geelong at the SCG Crosswell gave away a free kick that led to a goal and surrendered the quarter time lead.
He was dragged from the ground and when the coach came to address his side and give Crosswell a piece of his mind the two clashed and the player stormed away.
Demon team manage Max Scales convinced Crosswell to return but Barassi sent him away again. Crosswell returned later and broke his right thumb. It had been some sort of afternoon. During the following week it was suggested in the newspapers that Crosswell was free to any club who wanted him, but Barassi rubbish the reports saying "Who would I argue with?"
Despite suggestions that Crosswell was about to retire after he was suspended for four games for striking David Rhys-Jones in Round 18 Crosswell stayed silent and eventually opted to play on the next year. Despite being the most unlikely of coaches Crosswell had fulfilled his obligations to the club in '81 by acting as an assistant coach of the Under 19's for the last few weeks of the season.
His third year at Melbourne saw him play 19 games, his most for the the club, but it ended with another trip to the tribunal. In Round 21, 1982 Crosswell was reported for striking Michael Moncrieff and announced that he would not bother to attend the tribunal hearing as he was going to give the game away anyway. He relented, but the suspension ensured he would never play again.
Describing himself Crosswell said "They think I'm psycho, like nitro glycerine, half crazy, sulky petulant. Certain elements of my game just don't appeal to Australians. They think of the things I do as ostentatious, lairising. I do it because I feel like doing it". It has been suggested that Crosswell was the basis for the Geoff Heywood character in the play and movie The Club.
Diagnosed with Menieres Disease in the early 90's, Crosswell has battled the illness since. In 2005 he was inducted to the Tasmanian Football Hall of Fame, and in 2012 was upgraded to icon status.
Crosswell's son Tom Kavanagh played two games for the Demons in 1989.
|1980 Escort Cup Round 1||Striking||4 matches|
|1981 Escort Cup Round 3||Striking||2 matches|
|Round 18, 1981||Charging||4 matches|
|Round 10, 1982||Striking||Not Guilty|
|Round 21, 1982||Striking||1 match|
Inside Football - 01/06/1978
Age - 08/05/1981
Age - 21/08/1981
Age - 23/08/1982