ANDREW Swallow stood tall even when his team's season was ended by a 16-goal elimination-final loss to West Coast, and on Wednesday night North Melbourne's first-year captain was rewarded for leading from the front throughout 2012 by winning his third Syd Barker Medal.
Already the outright best and fairest winner in 2009 and joint winner with Daniel Wells last season, the 25-year-old joined such players as Les Foote, Allen Aylett, Matthew Larkin and Brady Rawlings as three-time winners of the Kangaroos' club champion award.
Swallow was at the forefront of a midfield that, with the continued emergence of Jack Ziebell and Ben Cunnington, is maturing into a force. He led the club in disposals, with 594, and laid a competition-high 164 tackles.
Defender Scott Thompson marked his career-best season by finishing runner-up to his skipper, while five-time Syd Barker medallist Brent Harvey vindicated his decision to play on for an 18th season in 2013 by finishing third.
''Shinboner of the century'' Glenn Archer, Ross Glendinning, Jock Spencer, Bob Ansett and Larkin were all inducted into the club's hall of fame, while Laurie Dwyer was elevated to legend status.