Sports fan can't be beaten on stats

A TASMANIAN sports fan is staking a claim at being the "Rain Man" of Australian sport.

David Ingram, 23, was a football obsessed 11-year-old when his mother gave him a book entitled More Than a Century of AFL Grand Finals.

Mr Ingram, of Hobart, said he read the book cover to cover numerous times and within two weeks had memorised its football facts and figures.

He now has knowledge of every AFL premiership since the competition started in 1897, every Brownlow medallist since 1924, every Norm Smith medallist since 1979, every Coleman medallist since 1981 and all the Rising Stars since 1993.

Mr Ingram has Asperger's, which has allowed him to retain sports related information in what he describes as his "sporting encyclopedia" mind.

"I could remember every AFL premiership in order by the time I was 13. I was a minor celebrity at high school because of it," he said.

Mr Ingram described Asperger's as being a form of autism.

"I'm physically 23, I've got an IQ of 135 with the social skills of a grade 7 student.

"As a result we generally do tend to keep to ourselves. The vast majority of my time I'll be in my room by myself absorbing as much information as I can.

"Most people with Asperger's have subjects that they are interested in, and know lots more than the layman. If we like a subject we obsess over it."

Mr Ingram said he had three main obsessions; AFL, cricket and Star Trek.

He said he had a photographic memory and any information stored in grids, tables or set out on a page or website "matter of factly" was easier to retain.

David Ingram can reel off every AFL premiership since the competition started in 1897.

David Ingram can reel off every AFL premiership since the competition started in 1897.


This interview was conducted over the phone.

Who kicked the opening score of the 2000 grand final and in what fashion was it recorded?

David Neitz took a mark on the behind line, he ran around and it hit the post.

How was this later to be seen as ironic to the opening goal of the match?

When Melbourne captain David Neitz took that mark and missed the shot at goal he missed the perfect opportunity to get his team off to a good start. The ball then went down the other end and Essendon captain James Hird managed to get the ball and snap a goal. It set the tone for the whole game.

How many Norm Smith medallists since 1990 have played at another club, either before or after picking up the medal?

Six (Seven: Paul Chapman in 2009 for Geelong; he now plays for Essendon).

•Greg Williams started at Geelong, went to Sydney and won a Brownlow and crossed to Carlton in the 1991 season, winning the Norm Smith in 1995.

•Shannon Grant played for Sydney before he went to the Kangaroos in 1998 and won the Norm Smith in 1999.

•Nathan Buckley played one year at Brisbane in 1993 before crossing to Collingwood in the next year and won the Norm Smith in 2002.

•Byron Pickett started at North Melbourne, went to Port Adelaide and then finished his career at Melbourne. Won the Norm Smith in 2004.

•Chris Judd started at West Coast, won the Norm Smith in 2005, played the premiership in 2006 and moved to Carlton at the end of 2007.

•Brian Lake was at the Western Bulldogs for about 10 years before he went to Hawthorn at the beginning of last year and won the Norm Smith last year.

Who was the unlikely goal kicker in the 1997 grand final and why was he seen this way?

Shane Ellen hadn't kicked a goal for the entire year and kicked five goals in the grand final - Adelaide v St Kilda.

Which player has had the most possessions in an AFL grand final?

I'm not 100 per cent sure on this one but reasonably sure it's Simon Black in 2003 with 39, for which he won the Norm Smith Medal.

Who was best on ground in the 1991 grand final?

Norm Smith medallist Paul Dear, of Hawthorn.

How much did St Kilda trail by at half- time in the 2010 drawn grand final and what was its score?

I think Collingwood may have had a few-goal lead at half-time but St Kilda had the better second half and came back to draw the game. St Kilda 10.8(68) and Collingwood 9.14 (68)

Who was the leading goalkicker in the 2001 grand final?

Matthew Lloyd, for Essendon, kicked five.

What was North Melbourne's final score in the 1998 grand final?

8.22 (70).


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