3 December 2022

Who is Patrick Cripps? Carlton’s Brownlow Medal-Winning AFL Captain


Patrick Cripps is a professional Australian rules footballer who captains Carlton Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL).

In 2022, he was awarded he Brownlow Medal as the “best and fairest” player across the entire AFL.

So, who is Patrick Cripps? Read on to find out more about the Carlton captain.

Patrick Cripps Quick Facts

Name: Patrick Cripps
Age: 27
DoB: 18 March 1995
Nationality:  Australian
Birthplace: Perth, Western Australia
Height: 6 ft 5 in / 195 cm
Weight: 14 st 6 lbs / 93 kg
Salary: $900,000 – $950,000 a year
Instagram: @patrickcripps – 164K Followers

Who is Patrick Cripps?

Patrick Cripps is a professional Australian Rules footballer who plays in the midfield for Carlton FC in the AFL. He is the team’s captain.

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After being drafted with the No. 13 overall pick in 2013 AFL Draft by Carlton, Cripps would go on to play his first game against Melbourne in round 4 in 2014.

He is a former Leigh Matthews Trophy holder, for the “most valuable player” in the league for 2019, and the current recipient of the Brownlow Medal for 2022.

He has also made the All-Australian team on three separate occasions, as well as a four-time John Nicolls Medal winner for “best and fairest” of Carlton FC.

Early Life

Patrick Cripps was Western Australia’s vice-captain in the 2013 AFL Under-18 Championships. Image: @WAFL

Patrick Cripps was born in Perth on 18 March 1995 but grew up in the small farming town of Northampton.

He would later move back to Perth, joining East Freemantle Football Club in the West Australian Football League for juniors and colts.

Cripps was relatively small for a midfielder as he was growing up. He said, “I was the smallest at my footy team and then probably 16 to 18 I shot up to 190. And once I got to [Carlton] I grew another five centimetres.”

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This growth spurt helped him as he got older, “I still feel like I’ve got all the traits of a small mid, just from growing up.”

He represented Western Australian at the 2013 AFL Under-18 Championships as the team’s vice-captain.

Prior to the draft, Cripps was – by his own admission – slightly out of shape and used to eat “whatever was in the fridge”. He came last out of potential midfield draftees at the 2013 AFL draft camp at the 3K run.

But the one thing that impressed scouts, specifically Carlton’s, was his ability to get the ball, a trait which he is still known for today.

Professional Career

Patrick Cripps has played his entire career for Carlton, from 2013 – present. Image: @Getty

Patrick Cripps was selected with the No. 13 overall pick in the 2013 AFL Draft by Carlton FC.

Having attended boarding school at Aquinas College in Perth, he was not worried about the relocation to Melbourne. Some scouts were worried that he would want to move back to Western Australia if chosen.

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His debut came against a shock loss to bottom-of-the-ladder Melbourne in Round 4, 2014. Unfortunately for Cripps – and Carlton – the young midfielder fractured his leg, only playing three matches in his debut season.

He came back strong for the 2015 season though, dropping five kilos and establishing himself as one of the league’s top inside midfields. That year, despite Carlton winning the wooden spoon, ‘Crippa’ finished second in the AFL Rising Star Award.

In 2015, Patrick Cripps also received his first John Nicholls Medal for Carlton’s “best and fairest” player, having won four in total.

Patrick Cripps has won the Leigh Matthews Medal and the Brownlow Medal during his time at Carlton. Image: @PatrickCripps

Cripps continued his stellar performances for the next few seasons, and in 2018 finished second in AFL Most Valuable Player (MVP) voting.

That season, he broke the record for most contested possessions won in a single season with 388. 2018 was also the year he was made co-captain of Carlton, alongside defender Sam Docherty.

It wouldn’t be long until achieved MVP though, as in 2019, he would deliver his best season yet, averaging 8.5 clearances, 17 contested possessions and 6.2 tackles a game on his way to the Leigh Matthews Trophy.

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Personal accolades kept coming for Cripps, as in 2022, he was awarded he coveted Brownlow Medal for the league’s “best and fairest” player, winning the award by one vote.

He was also voted on to the All-Australian Team, the third of his career.

Despite all his personal success, Carlton have struggled as a team, never making the playoffs during Cripps’ tenure.

Patrick Cripps’ Salary

In 2021, Cripps signed a six-year contract, which averages out between $900,000 and $950,000 a year.

There was some confusion surrounding the contract, with some outlets reporting that Cripps had taken pay-cut of around $200,000 so that Carlton could add more talent to the team.

However, these rumours were dispelled shortly after. He is the Blues’ highest paid player.

Patrick Cripps’ Fiancée

Patrick Cripps got engaged to Monique Fontana after over five years together. Image: @PatrickCripps

Patrick Cripps has been dating girlfriend Monique Fontana for over five years. The two got engaged back in March, with Cripps sharing the news on Instagram.

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She is a registered nurse and outspoken mental health advocate, having struggled herself with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Fontana started her own Instagram page discussing her mental health struggles but was subjected to cyber-bullying online. She has since removed the page.

Her and Patrick Cripps stayed strong throughout the whole ordeal, with the Carlton captain giving his fiancé a kiss while going up to receive his Brownlow Medal in September.

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