The understated veteran was thrust somewhat reluctantly into the limelight in 2021 as the club twice celebrated his landmark milestones.

After a calf strain in round four against St Kilda and then a false start when he had a setback on the eve of the round seven RAC Derby, Hurn finally broke Dean Cox’s club games record in his 291st appearance in round 10 against the Giants.

Unfortunately, West Coast was unable to secure victory for the much-admired premiership captain, falling short by 16 points at Giants Stadium, and put in a forgettable performance in round 20 when Hurn was lauded as the first Eagle to reach the 300-game mark at the MCG.

While those matches didn’t exactly go to script, Hurn’s achievements will long be remembered and the now 34-year-old remains a key part of West Coast’s on-field performances.

He started the season in blazing form and continued to be incredibly reliable with ball in hand from defence as the team’s main distributor.

But after suffering a hamstring injury in round 21 the Eagles superboot’s season was over early, with Hurn managing only 13 full games.

02:09 Mins
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Best of 2021 - Hurn

Our former skipper achieved two massive milestones in 2021 - breaking the club games record AND becoming the first Eagle to reach 300 games.

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Standout performance: Saving our skins

‘Bunga’ was brilliant in early wins over both Gold Coast (31 disposals, 12 marks) and Port Adelaide (26, six) but it’s impossible to overlook his match-saving heroics in the round 13 epic against Richmond.

Twice in the last 90 seconds the veteran showed his composure in the hottest of contests when he took game-saving marks on the last line of defence.

He intercepted the first from Jason Castagna’s long-range effort and with his 25th disposal launched the chain that landed in Josh Kennedy’s hands for the go-ahead goal.

Moments later he read Dustin Martin’s desperate attempt at a 55m match-winner like a book, leading his man back to the goalsquare and marking for the final act in a frenzied final term.

Fittingly, Hurn finished with the ball in his raised hands as the siren sounded on a famous victory and Optus Stadium erupted in scenes of pandemonium.

Season averages:

Disposals – 21.8

Disposal Efficiency – 87.8%

Kicks – 17.3

Intercept Marks - 2.7

Score Launches – 2.1

2020 AFL statistical rankings:

6th: Effective Kicks (14.9)