But Lloyd's rise to legend status was a long road with many trials. In 1996 he ruptured his spleen in the preliminary final. This injury impacted his 1997 season. In 2001 Lloyd was given a suspension and missed the Preliminary Final. In 2002 he was knocked unconscious in the elimination finals and subsequently missed the remainder of the season. A sickening injury in 2006 saw Lloyd's hamstring torn from the bone. This injury required surgery and ruled him out for the rest of the season.
A Russian proverb says that when tough times come some people break, but others break records! Lloyd's outstanding career has been forged through many trials and training sessions. He has been the AFL's leading goalkicker, AFL premership player, inducted as an AFL Life Member, Essendon's greatest ever goalkicker, Essendon captain , and now has a club medal named in his honour.
It is not only the Essendon fans that respect this legend of the game. AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou is full of praise for a man who has left a legacy for the AFL. "The AFL has been privileged to watch a great career in Matthew Lloyd, that finished at the end of the 2009 season. Matthew was a person who pulled people to our game with his skill and he will be missed by Essendon supporters. His achievements are recognised by all football fans." Demetriou said.
As Essendon captain, Lloyd was able to instill a mature and professional culture throughout the club. Many in the club point to this being one of his greatest achievements.
So with all these achievements, what was the secret to his success? At his testimonial dinner, Matty Lloyd says his family and his faith have been major factors. His marriage to Lisa, and his daughter, Jaeda have grounded him. In his 2007 Player Profile, Lloyd explained that his daughter was the best gift he'd ever received and one of the highlights of his life.
Lloyd also explained the importance of his faith in God. Specifically, he said that prayer has played a big part in his life and footy career. He said he would regularly pray, even before games. Prayer is simply talking to God: saying thanks to God for the blessings He has given, and asking for God's guidance in areas of need. God hears prayers because Jesus has opened up access to God. Jesus acts as the mediator who allows people like Lloyd to pray to God.