LITHUANIA – ADAM RAMANAUSKAS
Adam Ramanauskas (born 19 November 1980) played for the Essendon Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL).
Of Lithuanian descent, Ramanauskas debuted with Essendon in 1999 after being selected at No. 12 in the 1998 AFL Draft. Playing mainly as a defender or midfielder, he was an integral member of the dominant 2000 Bombers’ premiership team, which lost just one game for the entire season.
Regarded as one of AFL’s up-and-coming young stars, Ramanauskas was runner-up in the AFL Rising Star Award in 2000 and placed third in Essendon’s Crichton Medal the following year, before being diagnosed with cancer in 2003.
After surgery, Ramanauskas missed 8 matches but made a quick recovery to play a handful of games again in 2003 before a recurrence of his cancer. He had weeks of radiotherapy treatment, but managed to come back and compete a solid 2004 season where he played in all of the Bombers’ 24 games.
Ramanauskas had more misfortune in 2005 when he underwent a season-ending knee reconstruction after a Round 4 training mishap. After he had completed his recovery, he was set to make another come back. However, in February 2006, a recurrence of the cancer appeared and he underwent further invasive surgery and six months of chemotherapy treatment.
At the end of 2006, Essendon sought special consideration from the AFL to place Ramanauskas on a mature-aged rookie list for the 2007 season. In July 2007, Ramanauskas was elevated to the senior list and played his first AFL match in two years.
Named as one of The Australian newspaper’s “Most Inspirational People” in 2007, Ramanauskas’ courage and determination both on and off the field has inspired many. Ramanauskas announced his retirement from AFL football at the end of the 2008 season.
Club: Essendon Bombers (1999–2008)
VFL Reserves Premiership, 1999
VFL Reserves Best & Fairest Player, 1999
AFL Rising Star Award, Runner-Up, 2000
Represented Australia, International Rules Series against Ireland, 2001
Best Clubman, 2005
Most Courageous Player, 2007
AFLPA, “Community Spirit Award Winner”, 2008