When Matthew Pavlich was inducted in the Australian Football Hall of Fame on Tuesday evening, he became the first exclusively Fremantle player to earn the honour.

Discussed in the room that night were Pavlich’s many career highlights, including his six All Australian awards playing across three different lines, six Doig Medals, nine years as captain and 700 goals – a total that is more than double than any other Fremantle player.

Alongside the accolades were the storylines familiar to any died in the wool Freo fan: His upbringing in the SANFL environment with his Dad a coach at the West Torrens Eagles. His infamous first training session at Fremantle where he vomited, passed out and ended up in hospital. His decision to turn down a return to South Australia and remain at Fremantle, and how, despite achieving almost everything possible as an individual, falling just short of the ultimate success in 2013.

04:28 Mins
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Hall of Fame | Matthew Pavlich

Fremantle's versatile, powerful champion joins the Australian Football Hall of Fame

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In his speech on the evening, Pavlich said his two career highlights were his first game and Fremantle’s run to the Grand Final in 2013.

“My first game’s always a great memory, running alongside Tony Modra and sitting in the pocket alongside him,” Pavlich said.

“I was a big Crows fan growing up, I got to stand in the same goal square as Tony Modra, that was a big thrill as an 18-year-old.

“That run of 2013, being sent down to Kardinia Park and then winning the prelim two weeks later. That was a special ride.”

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Matthew Pavlich inducted into the Hall of Fame

Watch the special moment Pav was inducted into he 2022 Australian Football Hall of Fame, plus words from his former coach, Ross Lyon.

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While it’s impossible to tell what Pavlich would have achieved had he decided to return to South Australia, he knows he would not be as loved or revered at anywhere else but Fremantle.

“I had opportunities potentially to leave the Club, I never really considered it too much on the basis that I had invested so much personally into making our Club and our group the best we could be,” Pavlich said.

“I look back so fondly now to that last day in my last game (against the Western Bulldogs in 2016), where I was able to walk around Subiaco Oval with 40 odd thousand people cheering and spotting individual men and women both crying.

“I hadn’t realised that I had grown up with the Club, along with the fact that the Club had grown up alongside me.

“The fans, the members, the heart and soul of Fremantle will always be with me and I thank them very much for all their efforts.”

Pavlich was one of five footballers with WA ties to be recognised on the night alongside West Perth legends Bill Dempsey and Ted Tyson, Nicky Winmar (South Fremantle) and Mike Fitzpatrick (Subiaco).

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Matthew Pavlich on AFL 360 | Hall of Fame

Moments after being inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame, Pav joined Kath Loughnan and Mark Robinson to reflect ton his career.

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