Full Name: IAN HARLOW CERVI (STEWART)
Date of Birth: 30/07/1943
Height: 180 cm ( 5-11 )
Weight: 78 kg ( 12-4 )
Debut: 03/04/1971, Round 1, Fitzroy
Last Game: 24/05/1975, Round 8, North Melbourne
Total Games: 78
Total Goals: 55
Honours: Premiership 1973, Club Best & Fairest 1971, VFL Best & Fairest " Brownlow Medal " 1971.
Ian played in the centre. He went on to become one of the greatest centre men ever to play in Victoria. He was an excellent mark for his size and a brilliant ball player who had a tone of courage. It was not uncommon for him to mark amongst or over a pack of players and on occasions he would back into an oncoming pack in order to mark. He was also a magnificent kick with either foot and an accurate pass whether by hand or foot. He had excellent vision and always put his possessions to good use. He was easy to recognise on a football field as he usually played the game with his tongue sticking out of his mouth. Superbly balanced, he had brilliant evasive skills and was one of the most compete all-round players of his era. A very adaptable player he excelled in all conditions.
He originally started his senior career with Tasmanian club Hobart in 1962. Within a month of making his debut for Hobart, he was selected to play in the centre for Tasmania and in that game he was opposed to Alistair Lord who went on to win the "Brownlow Medal" that year. After just one season with Hobart he was recruited by St. Kilda joining them in 1963 and remaining there until 1970. He won the "Brownlow Medal" in 1965 and 1966 and club Best and Fairest award in 1964 and 1966. He was a member of St. Kilda's 1966 Premiership side and also earned selection in the 1966 All-Australian team. He captained St. Kilda in 1969 having originally chosen to play with them because two former Tasmanians Darrel Baldock and Verdun Howell played there. Once at St. Kilda he formed a great duo with Baldock. It appeared as if the two players had radar, the way they could pick each other out even in very tight pressure situations.
Ian also proved himself in the toughest of all football contests, the Finals. He was voted St. Kilda's best player in the 1965 Grand Final and 1966 preliminary final both against Essendon. He was the Saints' second best in their 1966 Grand Final win over Collingwood and their third best two weeks earlier in the second semi-final. At Richmond he played well in several Finals including second best against Carlton in the 1973 qualifying final, and third best the following week against St. Kilda in the semi-final.
Ian came to Richmond as part of a swap for dual Richmond Premiership centreman Bill Barrot. At that time it was one of the most talked about swaps in football. Barrot playing only two senior games with St. Kilda before crossing to Carlton. Ian went on to win the "Brownlow Medal", his third, and the club Best and Fairest award. He joined Haydn Bunton, Dick Reynolds and Bob Skilton as the only players to win the medal three times. He also represented Victoria against South Australia in 1971. He was a fine contributor in the 1973 Premiership side. After being injured in the third quarter he was moved from the centre to a forward-pocket where he kicked two goals on virtually one leg. His highest individual goal tally with Richmond was 5 in the infamous game against Essendon in Round 7 of 1974. One this day a large brawl erupted at half-time between players and officials of both clubs.
He was a reserve for the 1972 Grand Final side, awarded Life Membership in 1971 and ran second in the 1973 Best and Fairest award. He is also a Life Member of the AFL/VFL and the St. Kilda Football Club. After leaving Richmond he coached South Melbourne for a total of five seasons as well as Carlton for a brief period in 1978. He later worked at St. Kilda in an official capacity. In 1996 he was inducted into the AFL's "Hall of Fame". Ian is a builder and lives in Queensland. His son Ben played with St. Kilda Reserves in 1992.
Macalburn 1960-61 ( Honours - Competition Best & Fairest ) ; Hobart 1962, Games 15, Goals 2 ( Honours - League Representative Team Games 2, Tasmanian Representative Team Games 2 ) ; St Kilda 1963-70, Games 127, Goals 26 ( Honours - Premiership 1966, Captain 1969, Club Best & Fairest 1964, 1966, VFL Best & Fairest " Brownlow Medal " 1965, 1966, Victorian Representative Team Games 4 Goals 1, All-Australian Team 1966 ).
South Melbourne Senior Coach 1976-77, 1979-81 ; Carlton Senior Coach 1978 ( Part ).