DOB: 28 December 1991
From: Ormond/Sandringham Dragons, selection #34 2009 National Draft
All Australian - 2016 (ruck), 2018 (ruck), 2019 (interchange), 2020 (interchange), 2021 (ruck), 2022 (ruck)
Best and Fairest - 2018, 2019 (shared)
Captain - 2020-
Life Member - 2020
Premiership player - 2021
Games: 203* (to end 2023)
Statistical categories led:
Most hitouts in a game : 66 - Round 4, 2018
Equal most contested marks in a game: 8 - Round 20, 2016 and Round 5, 2021
Most hitouts in a season : 1119 - 2018
Most career hitouts : 6690
Most career contested marks : 418
A 207cm ruckman, the tallest ever to go through the AFL draft camp, Gawn missed the Under 18 championship due to a knee reconstruction but was snapped up by the Demons in the hope that his size and mobility would make him a weapon similar to Fremantle's Aaron Sandilands. Gawn returned to football with Casey late in the VFL season but suffered another knee injury in his third game back which ended his year prematurely.
Making his senior debut midway through the 2011 season in the absence of an injured Mark Jamar, Gawn became the fourth tallest AFL player on record. He impressed across four matches, found it hard to break into the side after Jamar's return and played out the year with Casey.
Gawn suffered a knee injury during a training session in December 2011 and was forced to undergo surgery which kept him out of the 2012 season. He returned in 2013 with some encouraging performances, but was used primarily as a forward behind top ruckman Jamar. A hamstring injury delayed Gawn's 2014 campaign, and when he returned he again played as an understudy to Jamar or as a forward. His season ended prematurely in the second quarter of the Round 23 match against North Melbourne when he suffered another knee injury. That year he won the Casey Best and Fairest award.
After struggling to break into the senior side in early 2015 he eventually made the first ruckman job his own. In 2016 Gawn every game, being named the All Australian ruck, but was restricted to 13 games in 2017 by a serious hamstring injury. He played every game the next year, breaking the AFL record for the most hitouts in a season and being named All Australian for the second time. While his side's form dropped off in 2019, Gawn remained one of the standout players of the competition. He played all but one game and was recognised for his leadership in an otherwise tough season with a third All Australian nomination.
After a knee scare in the 2020 pre-season, Gawn was promoted to the club's sole captain. He played all but two games for the year as Melbourne narrowly missed the finals. His 2021 was far more successful, playing every game for the season on the way to leading the Demons to their first premiership since 1964. In Round 23 he kicked a goal after the siren to beat Geelong and capture the minor premiership and booted a career-high five goals in the Preliminary Final, before becoming Melbourne's first premiership captain since Ron Barassi.
Despite missing two games in 2022 through injury, Gawn was again All Australian ruck, with his sixth selection in the side twice more than any other Melbourne men's player. With the departure of backup ruck Luke Jackson, Melbourne recruited Brodie Grundy from Collingwood with the goal of allowing Gawn to spend more time forward in 2023. While Grundy covered Gawn's three week absence with a knee injury suffered in Round 2, the partnership didn't reach the intended heights, and by the end of the season Gawn back to playing as the team's sole recognised ruckman. He played 22 games, but didn't kick a goal after Round 19 as Melbourne were again eliminated after losing bth their finals.
melbournefc.com.au - 24/02/2020