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Fox Footy AFL media awards winners, Gerard Whateley, Dwayne Russell, Mark Robinson, AFL 360

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AFL 360 co-host and senior broadcaster Gerard Whateley has taken out the top gong at this year’s Australian Football Media Association (AFMA) awards, claiming the Alf Brown award for the fourth time.

Whateley was named the most outstanding media performer for the 2022 AFL season for his work across Fox Footy and SEN radio.

In accepting the major award at Metropolis on Tuesday night, Whateley paid tribute to AFL 360 co-host Mark Robinson, as well as long-time producer of the program Tim Hodges and young gun assistant Anthony Bitzilis.

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Whateley was also named best radio match caller, while his SEN morning show took out the best radio program award.

It was also a successful night for long-time Fox Footy commentator Dwayne Russell, who won the award for best TV match caller.

All entrants were judged on colour and flair, accuracy, use of the language and an innate ability to marry the words with the pictures, with Russell beating out a competitive field.

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An emotional Russell in his acceptance speech thanked and reflected on the number of people in the industry that had “given me a chance” over the past three decades.

Fellow Fox Footy caller Anthony Hudson was commended in both the best TV caller and best radio caller categories.

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There was a special moment midway through the night when Robinson was made an AFMA life member just over one year after he suffered a life-threatening heart attack.

Robinson was interviewed by News Corp Australia National Sports Editor and long-time friend Matthew Kitchin, who moved in with Robinson after undergoing open-heart surgery last year. The Herald Sun chief football writer reflected on his love for newspapers, as well as his stints with various radio and TV organisations during his storeyed career.

Herald Sun reporter Jon Ralph, a familiar face for Fox Footy viewers for many years, was named best news reporter in the print/online space, while he was also commended in the Alf Brown Award category won by Whateley.

Fox Footy received several commendations: AFL 360 (Best TV program), Nathan Buckley (Lou Richards Medal) and Jess Webster (Clinton Grybas Emerging Talent Award).

The Clinton Grybas Emerging Talent Award was won by gun JAM TV producer Luca Urso, who has played a key role in the production of Fox Footy’s AFLW coverage in recent years.

The preliminary finals get underway from 6.50pm (AEST) on Friday on Fox Footy — available on Foxtel and Kayo Sports — when Geelong takes on Brisbane, followed by the Sydney-Collingwood clash on Saturday.

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