Sanford Wheeler is confirmed dead at the age of 49.
Sanford was best known as a Australian footballer (Sydney Swans).
RIP Sanford Wheeler @TheTweetOfGod #TragicDeaths 💔💐 #SanfordWheeler add some flowers to their gravestone at
A moment of silence for Sanford Wheeler - #SanfordWheeler #Sanford #Wheeler #rip
RT @WLudbey: Vale Sanford Wheeler…
RT @WarwickCapper39: Shattering news to hear that my old housemate & @sydneyswans teammate Sanford Wheeler passed away . a great bloke .…
@maxii30 @di_sherman @USAFL1997 @AFL Sanford Wheeler
RT @WLudbey: Vale Sanford Wheeler…
So sad to hear Sanford Wheeler has passed away. A cult classic back in the 90’s and a trailblazer for the USA in Au…
RT @WarwickCapper39: Shattering news to hear that my old housemate & @sydneyswans teammate Sanford Wheeler passed away . a great bloke .…
RT @WLudbey: Vale Sanford Wheeler…
RT @WarwickCapper39: Shattering news to hear that my old housemate & @sydneyswans teammate Sanford Wheeler passed away . a great bloke .…
RT @WLudbey: Vale Sanford Wheeler…
RT @WLudbey: Vale Sanford Wheeler…
Vale Sanford Wheeler…
RT @jeffrey_gabriel: Death Notice in today’s @smh for former @sydneyswans Sanford Wheeler. He was such a novelty when I started watching…
RT @WarwickCapper39: Shattering news to hear that my old housemate & @sydneyswans teammate Sanford Wheeler passed away . a great bloke .…
RT @WarwickCapper39: Shattering news to hear that my old housemate & @sydneyswans teammate Sanford Wheeler passed away . a great bloke .…
@ahleach Sanford Wheeler too.
RT @WarwickCapper39: Shattering news to hear that my old housemate & @sydneyswans teammate Sanford Wheeler passed away . a great bloke .…
Wow. Sad news to start the AFL season. #rip
RT @RonnyLerner: That is genuinely upsetting to hear cult figure Sanford Wheeler has passed away. Only 49. RIP #AFLCrowsSwans
Sanford Wheeler
Personal information
Date of birth(1970-04-06)6 April 1970
Place of birthCalifornia, United States of America
Date of death10 March 2020(2020-03-10) (aged 49)
Original team(s)Parramatta (Sydney AFL)
DebutRound 6, 6 May 1989, Sydney Swans
vs. St Kilda, at Moorrabin
Height186 cm (6 ft 1 in)
Weight90 kg (198 lb)
Playing career1
YearsClubGames (Goals)
1989–1994Sydney Swans43 (7)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1994.
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com
Sanford Wheeler (previously known as Matthew Wheeler) (6 April 1970 – 10 March 2020) was an Australian rules football player for the Sydney Swans.
He is notable as being the first African-American born player in the history of the AFL and one of few players from the United States to play in the Australian Football League.
Matthew Wheeler migrated with his Australian father and African-American mother to Sydney, New South Wales at the age of 5. As a teenager, he began to take an interest in Aussie Rules and played his junior football for the Parramatta Aussie Rules club.
Recruited by the Sydney Swans as a rookie using their zone allocation, the athletic long haired Wheeler frequently exhibited some dash and flair off the wing and as a rugged rebounding defender off the half back flank. His quick run and hard tackling were trademarks of his game. However his disposal skills let him down and he had a tendency to get caught holding the ball.
Midway through his career, he changed his first name by Deed poll to "Sanford".
Up to 1993, he had played 36 games and kicked 6 goals during the Swans' darkest era.
After a serious knee injury and being used sparingly by coach Ron Barassi, he was delisted after the 1994 season as part of a shake up of the Swans list.
About cookies on this site
We use cookies to collect and analyse information on site performance and usage, to provide social media features and to enhance and customise content and advertisements.Learn more
ALLOW ALL COOKIES
COOKIE SETTINGS