Luke O’Sullivan’s 50th

 Happy 50th birthday to Luke O’Sullivan.


 


Career: 1988-1997
Debut: Round 20, 1988 vs North Melbourne, aged 20 years, 138 days
953rd Carlton Player
Games: 62
Goals: 58
Last game: Round 18, 1997 vs Adelaide, aged 29 years, 128 days
Height: 182cm
Weight: 94kg
Guernsey No. 41 (1988-9), 27 (1990-97) & 60 (1993 night game)
DOB: 28 March, 1968The story of Luke “Rhino” O’Sullivan is a pearler – was on the list for almost a decade, and only managed to reach his 50th game in his last year. A unique player, O’Sullivan was a 182cm barrel-chested, feet-pumping forward pocket / flanker who loved a goal. He was recruited from the Blues U/19’s, after originally playing for Xavier College (Kew) despite signing on for Footscray where his cousin Shane O’Sullivan had moved to a few years earlier.

Luke also had another brother affiliated with the Blues, older brother Brendan O’Sullivan played Reserve Grade footy with the Blues from 1978 to 1980, he was also later to be the Runner for the Senior team.

Wearing the #27, Rhino had these fantastic side-burns that he wore with pride. His signature move was to take a bounce, rock on to his left foot (preferred) and try to run through tackles. He gave away his fair share of holding the ball free kicks, but also ran over a few opponents. He was a unique player, a player with flair, and clearly a player the Blues loved to keep around despite injury.

First playing in 1988, and perhaps most memorable for a 4 goal burst in Round 6, 1992, O’Sullivan would ironically be delisted after his best year of football, 1997. In the 4 years up to 1997, Rhino would manage 0, 2, 6 and 1 game respectively, due to injury and our strong team a the time. Doing his knee at Waverley didn’t help – remember the surface giving way when he was wearing number 60 in the 1993 ‘Night’ game against Footscray when the Club left his jumper back at Carlton?

1997 was Rhino’s year. 15 games, kicking 12 goals 7 from the flank and occasional midfield role, provided a lot of enjoyment to the fans as Carlton slid out of the finals. Two cracking games – Round 9 versus Freo (26 stats, 2 goals) and Round 11 versus Brisbane are appropriate highlight packages for the man we all loved, the man we all wanted to succeed, the man with the sidies – “Rhino”.

O’Sullivan wore No.54 in 1987 & 1988 whilst playing with the Blues reserves.

Luke O’Sullivan is the uncle of Sydney Swans youngster Daniel Hannebery.

The Rhino’s career acts as a time capsule for a generation of AFL football which will never be seen again. Only Essendon’s Dean Wallis may have taken longer to reach 100 AFL games. The modern player would never be afforded such time to develop/recover. Dogged by injuries and the fact that his natural playing positions were filled by some of Carlton’s most proven players it is a sign of the respect held for ‘The Uncle’ that his presence was sought by the Carlton Football Club for ten years plus.

Milestones

50 Games: Round 3, 1997 Vs Adelaide Crows

Career Highlights

1987 – Reserves Premiership

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