Debut: Round 13, 1974 vs Geelong, aged 18 years, 350 days
Carlton Player No. 846
Last Game: Grand Final, 1986 vs Hawthorn, aged 31 years, 75 days
Guernsey No. 36
Height: 188 cm (6 ft. 2 in.)
Weight: 89.5 kg (14 stone, 1 lb.)
DOB: 14 July, 1955
Premiership Player: 1979, 1981, 1982
Club Leading Goalkicker: 1977, 1985
Victorian Representative: 1977, 1980
Club Captain: 1986
Carlton Hall of Fame: 1995
In a long and successful career with the Blues between 1974 and 1986, “Sellers” Maclure wore his number 36 guernsey in 243 games, including solid contributions in each of the 1979, 1981, and 1982 Carlton Premierships. Originally groomed as a defender, he became one of the better centre half-forwards of his era; a strong marking, hard-tackling team player who brought those around him into the game. Although sometimes prone to inconsistency, his career average of 18 games per season is a good indicator of his value to the Blues.
Early in his career, when Maclure began confirming that Carlton had unearthed another promising key position prospect, the football press of the day made much of the story that the 188 cm, 89 kg blonde forward had been recruited from the East Sydney Australian Football Club in Sydney. Portrayed as one of the trail-blazers for our code in the heartland of rugby league, Maclure was later seen as one of the standard-bearers of the AFL push into Sydney.
That claim proved to be a very cheeky one. While Maclure was in fact signed to Carlton from the Sydney club, he had actually been born in WA, and took to the game in the southern states. This came about because Mark’s father was in the Australian Navy at the time, so Mark played football wherever his family was sent. At the height of the Vietnam conflict in the early 1970’s, that meant Sydney.
Maclure began his career at Princes Park with the Under 19 squad, but progressed quickly through the Reserves team and made his senior debut in round 13 of 1974, against Geelong at Princes Park. Although Carlton dominated the match and won by 73 points, Maclure had a torrid introduction to senior football at full back. It was a spiteful affair, and players from both sides ended up on report.
Two weeks later, ‘Sellers’ was given his first opportunity at centre half-forward when Carlton played Richmond in the Match of the Day at the MCG. This time, the Tigers’ notorious knuckleman, Mal Brown, tried working him over, and Maclure was reported for retaliating. He beat the charge at a tribunal hearing, but afterward was sent back into defence, where he spent the best part of two seasons.
In 1976, Maclure experienced finals football for the first time. Carlton topped the ladder, only to lose the Second Semi-Final to Hawthorn by three goals, and the Preliminary Final to North Melbourne by 1 point. ‘Sellers’ played both of those matches at centre half-back, and finished the year with a career total of 51 games and five goals – figures that made his subsequent achievements even more impressive.
Eventually, in 1977 he was sent forward again, and this time, proved to be a more than handy extra marking target in a Carlton attack that already featured the aerial skills of Robert Walls, David McKay and former Collingwood star Peter McKenna. Although Carlton disappointed by tumbling to sixth on the ladder, Maclure was a revelation. His 39 goals for the season won him the Blues’ goal-kicking award, and he was selected in the Victorian state squad mid-season.
When Robert Walls played the last of his 218 games for Carlton against South Melbourne at the Lake Oval in April, 1978, and then departed for Fitzroy, Maclure stood out as his logical replacement at centre half-forward. From then on, and for most of the next decade, the big blonde was an integral part of some of Carlton’s all-time great teams.
From 1979 his partnership with ‘The Dominator;’ Wayne Johnston, often created havoc for opposition teams – as it did in Carlton’s thrilling 5-point victory over Collingwood that year’s Grand Final. And when brilliant West Australian Peter ‘The Buzz’ Bosustow arrived at Princes Park in 1981, he completed a half-forward line that still stands as one of the Blues’ best ever. At times unstoppable, the trio were a big factor in the back to back Carlton flags of 1981-’82.
Maclure was Carlton’s leading goal-kicker for the second time in 1985, and was honoured with the captaincy of the club in 1986. Unfortunately for Mark, that season, which should have been a highlight for him, was ruined by a serious back injury. He played in his fourth Grand Final in Carlton's big defeat by Hawthorn, then retired at the end of the year aged 31. Later, he headed north to take up an appointment as assistant coach of the fledgling Brisbane Bears before becoming a popular and television and radio commentator. In 1995, he was a worthy inductee into the Carlton Hall of Fame.
And what of that nickname? Well, Carlton folklore has it that Premiership ruckman ‘Percy’ Jones dubbed Maclure "Sellers" because Mark used to bumble his way around Princes Park like Peter Sellers' famous character, Inspector Clouseau, in the popular Pink Panther movie series. However, in a 2012 radio interview, Maclure revealed that it was in fact Carlton trainer Leo Brooks who came up with the name.
Mark Maclure InterviewIn a 4-part interview, Mark talks at length about his career to Mark Fine and Geoff Poulter on radio station SEN, Feb 15, 2012.
Milestones50 Games: Semi Final, 1976 vs Nth Melbourne
100 Games: Round 7, 1979 vs Nth Melbourne
150 Games: Round 13, 1981 vs Fitzroy
200 Games: Round 21, 1984 vs Footscray
100 Goals: Round 10, 1979 vs Collingwood
200 Goals: Round 17, 1982 vs Geelong
300 Goals: Round 6, 1986 vs Sydney
Career Highlights1974 - 5th Reserves Best & Fairest won on countback
1974 - Mrs Jean Cook Most Improved Reserve Player Award
1975 - 10th Best & Fairest
1976 - Equal 9th Best & Fairest
1977 - Victorian Representative
1977 - Club Leading Goalkicker
1977 - 4th Best & Fairest
1978 - Arthur Reyment Memorial Trophy: 2nd Best & Fairest
1978 - Sun All-Star team for 1978 (position: Centre half-forward)
1979 - 4th Best & Fairest
1979 - Premiership Player
1980 - Victorian Representative
1981 - Best Clubman Award
1981 - Premiership Player
1982 - Premiership Player
1984 - 3rd Best & Fairest
1985 - Club Leading Goalkicker
1985 - 3rd Best & Fairest
1985 - Best Clubman Award
1986 - Captain
1995 - Carlton Hall of Fame