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Cursed by the number?

Luke Livingston


Career : 2002 - 2006
Debut : Round 4, 2002 vs Port Adelaide, aged 19 years, 168 days
Carlton Player No. 1052
Games : 46
Goals : 2
Guernsey No. 4
Last Game : Round 11, 2006 vs West Coast, aged 23 years, 219 days
Height : 190 cm (6 ft. 2 in.)
Weight : 92 kg (14 stone, 7 lbs.)
DOB: 4 November, 1982


Luke Livingston was taken at Pick No. 4 in the 2000 National Draft, the draft selection Carlton received from St Kilda as part of the trade for then club favourite Aaron Hamill. There were high expectations that Livingston, at 190cm, would become a star key position player for the Blues. Livingston was drafted from the Bendigo Pioneers U/18's, with Kerang being his junior club.

'Livo' was given the prized number 4 guernsey worn by Hamill, but made famous by our long-serving, dual Premiership captain, Stephen Kernahan. He played the first half of 2001 in the VFL, but then suffered a knee injury, followed by a life-threatening bowel disorder. He therefore had to wait until 2002 to make his debut, in round 4. This was also the year after Full Back of the Century Stephen Silvagni retired, leaving a void in defence that would be impossible to fill. Luke played 17 games in his first year - mainly at full-back, against some the best full forwards in the competition. He was young and inexperienced, and on a steep learning curve.

In 2003, new coach Denis Pagan recruited the ageing ex-Roo Mick Martyn, in an attempt to add experience to the Blues defence. This limited Luke's opportunities and restricted him to just 10 games that year, despite being injury-free. It took him until round 18 to play his first senior game in 2004 but he maintained his place in the senior team for the remaining five games at full back, putting in some solid efforts against top full-forwards like Matthew Lloyd and David Neitz. He was impressive at full-back during our successful pre-season Wizard Cup campaign in 2005, before luck deserted him in round 1 of the senior competition when he rolled an ankle. That injury sidelined Luke for 9 weeks. He came back to play another 8 matches, but his form tailed off during the horror losing streak of 2005, and he saw out the rest of the season with the Bullants.

Livo was given a one-year contract for 2006. He battled through another five matches early in the season, but was back at Preston after round 11, and spent the remainder of the year in the VFL. He performed well, as he always did at this level, but it was not surprising that he was left off Carlton's list for 2007.

Over 2007-'08, Luke lined up with VFL club Port Melbourne, and in 2009 he headed back to the bush to play with Kerang. In 2010, Luke headed to EDFL club Maribyrnong Park that was being coached by Ex-Magpie Brodie Holland.

In assessing Livingston's career, it has to be said that 46 games over 6 years from a number 4 draft selection was a disappointing result for Carlton - especially after losing Hamill, and so rarely having a pick that early in the draft. The club really needed to have done better, and would eventually pay a heavy price for failing to establish enough quality players at that time. To compound things Trent Sporn, who was taken at number 11 in that draft as compensation for Justin Murphy fared little better, while Sam Cranage, who also came from St. Kilda as part of the Hamill deal, also had minimal impact.

Note: At the end of the 2013 season the Bendigo Pioneers Football Club named it best team of 21 years, the team included three players (Andrew Walker, Luke Livingston and Damien Lock who had played senior football with Carlton and another three players Steven Reaper, Simon Rosa and Michael Braun) who had a run with the Carlton reserves team (the latter player was to become a premiership player with the West Coast Eagles). The team was compiled with the help of former and present Bendigo Pioneer coaches that included two former Carlton players Brian Walsh and Tony Southcombe.




A relentless run of injuries that ran the gamut of possibilities saw his career fail to gather any momentum, despite his obvious talents. A near perfect size (his height is understated in most guides) and shape for a key defender, the Carlton Football Club desperately needed his luck to change and persisted beyond the usual time-frames of performance due to said need.



Career Highlights

2002 The Past Players' Association Encouragement Award
2005 Pre-Season Premiership Player

Articles: Carlton's Top Tenners | That First Pick ... Players taken with Carlton's first pick in the draft

Blueseum: Summary of playing statistics for Livingston | Career Breakdown | Livingston's Blueseum Image Gallery