In the opening round of the inaugural AFL season in 1990, North Melbourne began their campaign in the newly created national competition with a 53-point loss at the hands of the Demons. A game in which spearheads Wayne Carey and John Longmire managed just the solitary behind between them.
However, the Kangaroos performed one of the most remarkable turnarounds of form seen in the game the following week by absolutely belting Richmond at the MCG by 141 points, and in doing so, bringing up the club’s highest ever score at the time of 32.17.209.
Although the Tigers managed to keep Wayne Carey fairly quiet – restricting him to 14 disposals and three goals, John Longmire had a day out, collecting 23 disposals, 18 marks and kicking 12.5 to produce a massive fantasy score of 201.
Longmire went on that season to win his one and only Coleman medal, finishing the season with 98 majors. While he never cracked the magical 200 mark again in his career, he did come close in Round 14 of the same season in a return bout against the Demons, kicking 14 goals and registering 187 fantasy points.
Despite his ability to produce these massive scores, Longmire would not have been a fantasy favourite. In his best year of 1990 he would have averaged 83.6, and his next most productive year would have yielded an average of just 79.2. In the other nine years of his career, eight of those would have seen him average less than 70.
Known as ‘Horse’, Longmire began his career at North Melbourne in 1988, playing 200 games and kicking 511 goals over 11 seasons. He was leading goal kicker at the Kangaroos on four occasions and took out the Syd Barker medal for the club’s best and fairest in 1990.
Injuries hampered him in the latter stages of his career, limiting him to just the 20 games in his last two seasons. However, one of those 20, and the last of his career, resulted in his first and only premiership.
After his retirement, Longmire turned to coaching, taking on an assistant role at the Sydney Swans. Although widely tipped to take over as senior coach at St Kilda following the departure of Grant Thomas in 2006, the job ultimately went to Ross Lyon.
Appointed ‘coaching co-ordinator at the Swans in 2008, Longmire took over the top job in 2010 after the retirement of premiership coach Paul Roos. Since then he has consistently kept Sydney in contention during his tenure, winning 118 games out of 174 and leading the club to its fifth premiership in 2012.