Everybody knows the high-level achievements from Scott Pendlebury’s extraordinary career thus far: five Copeland Trophies, eight other podium finishes, six all-Australians, a Premiership, Norm Smith Medal (shared with the fondly remembered ‘Scott Emburary’), three Anzac Medals, the most games by any player in Collingwood history, the most Brownlow votes of any Magpie. And so many more.

Those stats, and more, will justifiably get wheeled out a lot this week as he prepares for his 350th game. But in honour of that milestone, and the guernsey number he has worn for most of those games, here are 10 slightly less well-known statistical curiosities from his off-the-charts career.

  • This year he became just the fourth player in the game’s history to top 9000 career disposals (he currently has 9095). But he has ‘only’ topped 40 possessions in a game once, against the Crows at the MCG in 2013. Which tells you how remarkably consistent he’s been, with few huge games to inflate his numbers;
  • The most kicks he’s ever had in one game is 25, against Essendon on Anzac Day in 2019. The most handballs is 24, against Adelaide at Adelaide Oval in 2014;
  • His highest average disposals per game figures have been recorded against the Western Bulldogs (27.84), North Melbourne (27.83) and Adelaide (27.72). And his favourite ground should be the Adelaide Oval, because he’s averaged 29.5 disposals per game there – the most of any ground in his career;
  • He has an almost identical record of regular season wins, losses and possessions whether home or away. He’s been a part of 96 wins at home, compared to 98 away, together with 64 losses and one draw both home and away. The same consistency applies to his possessions. He averages 26.45 disposals per game at home, and 26.04 away;
  • While we understandably focus on his games, it’s also worth noting that he currently sits just outside the top 30 for career goals kicked at Collingwood. He’s kicked 183 thus far, and sits in equal 33rd spot on our all-time list. Funnily enough, the bloke he shares 33rd spot with is good friend and record-breaking match buddy Steele Sidebottom!;
  • He’s had the most handballs of any player in VFL/AFL history (4562);
  • He has laid the second highest number of tackles in VFL/AFL history, with 1662 opponents stopped in their tracks. Only Joel Selwood (1769) has more. And somehow he’s also found the time to deliver 64 hit-outs. So the next time we need a relief ruckman …
  • Pendles might be our games record holder, but he’s not our longest serving player – yet. That honour instead goes to Gordon Coventry, whose career spanned 18 different seasons, from 1920-37, and lasted just a tick over 17 years. This is Pendles’ 17th season, and his career has currently spanned 16 years and 37 days. Which underlines how immediately Pendles took to senior football (Coventry took a few years to become an established player);
  • Similarly, he’s a long way from being our oldest player. He’s 34 now, while Ted Rowell was 39 when he played his last game, and Les Hughes and Bill Proudfoot played until they were 38. Of the more recent generations, Bucks played his last game at 35;
  • And here’s one for next week: assuming he gets through the Crows unscathed, against Essendon he will become just the seventh player in VFL/AFL history to captain his side in 200 games.

Thanks to afltables.com for the stats used in assembling this story.