DOB: 24 June 1977
From: Tambellup/East Fremantle/Fremantle
Games: 118 (249 total)
Goals: 259 (483 total)
Statistical categories led:
Most goals in jumper 33
The 1992 All-Australian high school player was tied to new AFL side Fremantle in 1995, but they swapped him to Melbourne for defender Phil Gilbert. Labelled as "a wizard" by Melbourne's Western Australian recruiter, he found the nickname stuck. He debuted in the first round of 1995, and made an immediate impact by goalling with his first kick. He kicked four goals in seven games during his debut season.
Ever excitable and keen to play on, he famously handballed to the back of Garry Lyon in the goalsquare during a game, but despite this well-publicised blunder, Farmer was voted most improved player of 1996. Despite reported interest from new AFL club Port Adelaide, Farmer signed a new two year deal at the end of the season. Melbourne still nearly lost him, with Farmer returning to Western Australia shortly before Christmas, then failing to return. He was homesick, two of his uncles had recently passed away, and he initially intended to stay in Western Australia. It took a visit by coach Neil Balme and captain Garry Lyon to convince him to return
Farmer improved in 1997 - booting six goals in Round 22, but 1998 was the year he became a star. That season he kicked goal of the year in the Round 11, running the length of the ground, handballing twice, evading multiple opposition players and kicking a goal from 45 meters out. In Round 22 he leapt high on the shoulders of Garry Lyon to take what many considered to be the Mark of the Year. He was Melbourne's most exciting player in the finals, and signed a new three year contract at the end of the season.
In 1999 Farmer switched to number 8 as a tribute to the jumper his uncles wore at Tambellup, but switched back to his old number 33 before Round 19 after a form slump. Returning to his best in 2000, Farmer had one of the most remarkable individual performances of the year, kicking nine goals in the second half of the Round 14 game against Collingwood. After a terrible first half he was benched, but when Ben Beams broke his wrist Farmer was sent back on and booted nine in a row before missing perhaps the easiest shot of all for his tenth. He was one of the best in his side's run to the Grand Final, booting eight goals in the Preliminary Final. Farmer was his side's only effective forward in the big Grand Final loss to Essendon. It was later revealed that he played the finals series with a broken rib.
Farmer made the 2000 All Australian team as a forward pocket, but was axed from the International Rules squad after failing to attend training sessions. Along with the rest of the side, Farmer suffered a dip of form the next year. He also had personal issues, fined $600 in early January and disqualified from driving for four months after returning a blood alcohol sample of 0.11 in a random test in Perth. On-field, Farmer's year was disrupted by injury and suspension. In early 2001 he was trialled as a midfielder, but saw his season disrupted by a pre-season suspension, then a hamstring injury which kept him out of the side for the first two games. The fifth right hamstring injury of his career in Round 5 cost him another six weeks. He still finished the year with an average of more than two goals a game after kicking five twice late in the year.
Farmer signed with Fremantle for 2002 and kicked the winning goal after the siren in his first meeting with the Demons. He played 131 games for the Dockers, 18 more than with Melbourne, but was also involved in a number of controversial incidents such as allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, and being involved in a nightclub fight which broke the eye socket of a WAFL player. Farmer was arrested for assault again in April 2007, and fined $3000 after pleading guilty. Three months later he was charged with criminal damage after breaking a car's window when refused entry to the Burswood Casino.
Retiring at the end of 2008, he joined South Fremantle full-time in 2009 after having played for them when out of the Freo side. In 2017 he played for the Wantirna South veterans' team. His son Kobe Farmer trained with Melbourne in the 2021 pre-season but was not picked up by the Demons.
|Practice match 1995
|Round 3, 1997
|Round 11, 1998
|Round 17, 2000
|Round 21, 2000
|2001 Ansett Cup Match 1