Gary Ablett Jnr won the award with thirty votes, eight votes ahead of 2004 medal winner, Chris Judd. It was Ablett’s first Brownlow, despite winning many other awards in the previous few years and being the Brownlow pre-count favourite for the previous three years. It was the second time in three years that a player from Geelong won the Brownlow Medal.
Hisvictory in the 2009 medal followed his sixth-place finish in 2007 and his third-place finish in 2008. In all three years he was the favourite to win the award. Ablett polled in 13 matches, including eight best-on-ground performances. His seventh best on ground performance in round 20 confirmed his victory as his 26 votes was seven votes ahead of Judd, Brown and Hayes equal on 19 votes, with only six votes left from the remaining two rounds. During his acceptance speech, Ablett referred to his father, Australian Football Hall of Fame member Gary Ablett Sr., who despite being considered one of the best footballers players of all time, never won a Brownlow medal.