DOB: 30 August 1959
From: Mitcham/Richmond/South Fremantle
Number: 25 (1981-1982)
Games: 41 (82 total)
Goals: 152 (308 total)
The eccentric forward originally signed with Richmond, and served as captain of their Under 19s in 1978 before being farmed out to South Fremantle. He kicked 53 goals in the 1979 WAFL season, but walked out on the club and returned to Victoria during the finals when other players, tiring of his antics, voted him from the team.
With his obvious promise as a goalkicker shown that year, Richmond promoted him to their Reserves in 1980 and he kicked 131 goals. Despite his dominance he was stuck behind Michael Roach and Brian Taylor in the Tigers' pecking order and didn't play a senior game.
Melbourne was desperate for attacking firepower, and signed Jackson for the 1981 season. He was an immediate hit in the seniors, not only for his 76 goals but for a variety of crazy antics - including a famous handstand in front of Hawthorn defender Kelvin Moore in Round 22 after Moore told him "he wouldn't be a full forward while his arse pointed to the ground."
Despite the Demons being well down the ladder in each of his two seasons, including a 1-21 record in 1981, he booted 76 goals each year. He was a required player in the Melbourne forward line, but in 1982 his series of clashes with coaches, opposition players and spectators would become more problematic.
Despite having signed a lucrative new contract just weeks before the season, he was sent to club psychologist Rudi Webster after clashing with Robbie Flower at training, then abusing Barassi when ordered to go and train with the Under 19s as punishment. Paul O'Brien had been forced to leap on his back to try and subdue him. When Ray Jordon called him out on his behaviour Jackson picked up a brick from a fence and threatened to throw it at him. He was fined $1000 for his behaviour.
Jackson and Barassi barely spoke during his second year at the club, but despite his bad behaviour behind behind the scenes Jackson's popularity went from strength to strength with fans. In April 1982 it was reported that the club had been so inundated with requests for Jacko merchandise that they were considering selling a mask with his likeness on it.
He was carpeted by the club again in May for being suspended twice in six weeks, and responded by announcing he was a reformed character and would behave himself. During his first suspension he returned to Western Australia to train with South Fremantle, sparking speculation about his future by saying he wanted to play there again. The second incident occurred during a wild game at Windy Hill where a fan threw a can of beer on to the arena and Jackson threw it back into the crowd. He was fined $500 by the club for this indiscretion. He pledged to reform his behaviour, saying "there will be no more antics and carrying on. I will endeavor to be the best boy in the street for the stiff necks", but in July of the same year North Melbourne fans complained that he had made obscene gestures to them in a game at Arden Street.
Despite his claims of reform he announced that he didn't have the support of the club, accusing them of manipulating the leading goalkicker race to help Gerard Healy finish above him. Declaring Melbourne "boring" to play at he instead joined St. Kilda for 1983. The Saints had been the only side interested in him, but despite kicking a career high 10 goals in one match he was sacked by the Saints midway through his first year at Moorabbin.
A comeback for the Demons was mooted, but instead he joined Geelong in 1984, remaining there for two full seasons and the first few weeks of 1986. He later sued St Kilda for damages after the termination of his three year deal, leading to a court case where the Saints claimed he put lit cigarettes in player's pockets during a club function. St Kilda counter-sued Jackson for the $25,000 they'd lost on the $15,000 transfer fee received from Geelong.
After being sacked by the Cats for refusing to play in the reserves early in 1986 Jackson briefly turned out for Brunswick in the VFA side before retiring - seemingly for good - and moving into the 'entertainment' field. He was just 26 when he played his last VFL game. A mooted return to Richmond didn’t happen, and the next year Jackson returned to South Fremantle for 10 games - where he kicked 45 goals - and to Kedron in the QAFL for one game in 1987. He was supposed to be with Kedron for five games, but called to a league meeting to explain taking his jumper off and dropping his shorts during the game he stormed out after 60 seconds. He also played for Waratahs in the NTFL. In August 1986 Richmond coach Tony Jewell said Jackson would return to the Tigers for 1987 pre-season training but he didn't play again.
With his top level footy career over, Jackson travelled to America to try his hand at acting. When a show called The Highwaymen was cancelled, Sydney announced a plan for him to return and replace Warwick Capper at full-forward. The deal never came off and Jackson instead concentrated on his acting career, most famously appearing in Energizer ads. He'd already reached the Australian top 20 singles charts with 'I'm An Individual' in 1985, though the follow up 'Me Brain Hurts' was significantly less successful.
In a 1986 autobiography entitled Dumb Like A Fox Jackson revealed Demons Steven Smith, Darryl Cox and Peter Giles were amongst his most hated players, and that he had them on his supposed 'hit list' along with names like Trevor Barker and Bruce Doull.
|Round 2, 1982||Striking||2 matches|
|Round 9, 1982||Striking||2 matches|
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