Career: 1998-1999 (On list: 1995 -1999)
Debut: Round 13, 1998 vs Fremantle, aged 22 years, 8 days
1027th Carlton Player
Last Game: Round 5, 1999 vs Geelong, aged 22 years, 315 days
Guernsey No. 40 (1995 - 1999).
Height: 201 cm (6'7')
Weight: 91 kg (14' 3 lb)
DOB: 13 June, 1976
The word 'Beanpole' is often used in sport as it in in life, and let me tell you, Tony Bourke is the Carlton definition. Bourke was a 201cm ruckman who weighed just 91 kilos.
Bourke played 4 games for Carlton but was on the list for 5 years. He was drafted in the 1994 Draft at pick 67 but did not play his first senior game until Round 13, 1998- his only one for the year - failing to gather a possession and just a solitary hit out. He managed to play 3 games in 1999, from rounds 3-5, managing no more than 6 possessions and 15 hit outs in one of those games but otherwise failing to have much of an impact- only having the 2 kicks in his 4 game career. The presence of Madden and Allen and later Porter meant limited opportunity for Bourke in the seniors.
Furthermore, injuries significantly damaged his career, rupturing his spleen in a 1997 pre-season game, which forced him to miss the entire season. He missed a number of games in 1999 with a foot injury. His height and relative mobility ensured that Bourke was retained by Carlton for a long time, though the club finally ran out of patience in 1999, after drafting a number of other potential young ruck men.
The most well known event in Bourke's playing career was in the VFL when he was involved in an incident with Cat Billy Brownless, who was alleged to have kicked Bourke in what is a serious charge in AFL footy.
Bourkee then transferred to Australian Capital Territory Football League (ACTFL) club Eastlake, before moving to Perth to play firstly for East Fremantle and then for South Fremantle in the Western Australian Football League (WAFL). In 2012 Bourke was appointed coach of Eastlake in the North East Australian Football League (NEAFL).
Bourke was recruited from Ballarat Rebels U/18's, his junior club was East Ballarat.