MELBOURNE - Gold Coast midfield star Gary Ablett has won his second Brownlow Medal for the AFL's fairest and best player.
Ablett won a nailbiting 2013 count with 28 votes by one vote from former Geelong teammate Joel Selwood, with Collingwood's Dane Swan third a further vote behind.
Ablett has become the first Gold Coast player to win the AFL's most prestigious individual award.
He won his first Brownlow in 2009 when a Geelong player, and becomes only the fifth man to win the medal with different clubs.
Ablett led for most of the count, but Selwood took the lead in a cliffhanger with two rounds of voting remaining.
Selwood held the lead going into the final round.
But he failed to poll in the Cats' final match of the home-and-away season, while Ablett polled the maximum three votes in the Suns' win over Greater Western Sydney.
Swan, also a former Brownlow medallist, was also in contention going into the final round of voting.
But he too failed to poll in Collingwood's final match.
Ablett, 29, admitted he would have loved to have shared the award with former teammate Selwood - something which looked in prospect for much of the final four nervous rounds of voting.
"I was actually shattered when I got the three (votes in the final round) - because Joel deserves to be up here just as much as I do," Ablett said.
"He's a very good friend and a fantastic leader."
For the Suns, in just their third season in the AFL, it gives them an individual award double after first-year youngster Jaeger O'Meara won the Rising Star award for the competition's best young player.
Ablett, the son of former Geelong superstar forward Gary Ablett snr, also paid tribute to his father - and was at pains to lay to rest any thoughts of comparison between himself and his dad.
"I do (get sick of the comparisons) because there shouldn't be any comparisons. My old man's the best player ever to play the game and he should have won a Brownlow," Ablett jnr said.
"Now I've got two, I can give him one."
Geelong star Steve Johnson, who was ineligible for the award after three suspensions during the season, was also high in the polling. He received 25 votes.
But he only played 16 of the 22 home-and-away matches in 2013 - missing four games because of suspension.