After the Sydney Swans’ Alex Johnson suffered his sixth major knee injury in as many years last weekend, we take a quick look back at some of the lucky country’s unluckiest.
After getting himself through five major injury setbacks in six years to play in his first AFL game since the 2012 Grand Final, the Alex Johnson fairy tale was the story of the league. However, a match and one quarter into his long awaited comeback and an innocuous change of direction felled the Swan. The prognosis? A suspected ACL tear and at least another year on the sidelines.
The 2001 Swimming World Championships in Japan will long be remembered for the scenes after the 4 x 200 women’s relay final. After Giaan Rooney touched the wall in first place, her team soon jumped in the pool to celebrate. The only problem was that last placed Italy hadn’t quite finished when the Aussie quartet joined one another in the water. The result was disqualification from the race and a major news splash (pun intended) for every media outlet in the land.
Stuart MacGill’s main misfortune appears to lie in the fact his birth wasn’t 15 years earlier or later. Had it been, the leg spinner would have avoided spending almost an entire career in direct competition with the incomparable Shane Warne. Although Magill took over 200 Test wickets, the New South Welshman never played a Test in India or England, and for a bowler of his considerable talents, he only managed 44 Tests and three ODIs for his country.
Although it is hard to argue that a man who racked up 88 professional titles and spent a total of 331 weeks as the world’s No.1 golfer could be unlucky, Greg Norman’s run in the the majors makes him wholly deserving of a place on this list. The Queenslander placed 2nd eight times in major golf championships, winning just two (’86, ’93). In perhaps his most memorable runner-up finish, the Great White Shark threw away a final day six-stroke lead in the 1986 Masters to hand the title to Nick Faldo.
Despite being on the precipice of Test selection for much of his career, Callum Ferguson was forced to wait over a decade from his first-class debut before being handed a baggy green cap at the age of 32. At this point the South Australian was probably thinking his career would head along similar lines to Darren Lehmann, Chris Rogers, Michael Hussey and Adam Voges who all found runs for their country after getting a relatively late call up. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be for Ferguson who managed scores of 3 and 1 and was unceremoniously dropped from the squad for Australia’s next Test.