The Douglas Wilkie Medal is annually presented by The Anti-Football League to the person who does the least for football in a given year. In many respects it is like Aussie Rules’ Brownlow medal, and named after a person that few know much about. Unlike the Brownlow, thankfully, there is no 6 hour televised dinner for the nominees, resulting in a predictable anti-climax.
Over the years, many noble souls have been presented with this coveted accolade, with backgrounds as diverse as society itself. Authors, comediennes, housewives, Prime Ministers and even footballers have been recipients. Some folk have even been awarded twice!
Cyril Pearl, a writer who won the 1972 ‘Wilkie’, insisted on burning a football to express his disaffection for the game. Since then, each winner has been encouraged to destroy a football in a new and inventive manner. Footballs over the years have been turned into lingerie, exploded, buried at sea, and eaten – the choice of 1987 Wilkie winner Peter Russell-Clarke.