DOB: 30 September 1979
From: Melbourne High School/MHSOB/Melbourne Reserves, Selection #64 1999 National Draft
Number: 32 (2000-2010)
Games: 224 (234 total)
Goals: 210 (211 total)
A former Victorian state Under-12 schoolboy player, Bruce was a part of Prahran's junior squads but didn't play for them in the Under 18 competition. Instead, he took a scholarship to Melbourne High, and was invited to train after being spotted by Danny Corcoran while playing for their amateur side. He joined Melbourne's Reserves, played 41 games over two years, and registered a top 10 finish in the 1998 Best and Fairest.
At the end of 1999 he was drafted, and debuted in the first round of 2000 after impressing in the pre-season. Bruce goalled with his first kick, and played every game for the year until missing the Grand Final when he couldn't recover from a torn quad suffered in the Preliminary Final.
Used almost exclusively as a forward early in his career, Bruce was given a midfield role in 2002, finished runner-up to David Neitz in the Best and Fairest, and was selected to play International Rules for Australia. He also represented Australia in 2004 after withdrawing from the team in 2003 due to post-season nose surgery.
Despite lucrative offers from several clubs, Bruce signed a new three year contract with the Demons at the end of 2004. He started 2005 in red-hot form, and was an early Brownlow Medal favourite. He had eight votes in the first three rounds before suffering a serious shoulder injury in Round 4. He missed four matches, then the last month of the home and away season with another injury, before returning for the losing 2005 Elimination Final.
2006 was another fruitful season, and Bruce kicked the winning goal in the Round 4 win against Sydney that kick-started Melbourne's faltering season. He was one of only two players in the league to average more than 22 disposals and kick more than 20 goals for the season. Bruce played 14 games in 2008, chiefly in defence in the early part of the season. Following the retirement of David Neitz early in the season he was named co-captain alongside James McDonald for the remainder of the year. He was vice-captain in 2009.
Bruce and the club were unable to agree terms at the end of the season, and he was selected by Hawthorn in the 2010 Pre-Season Draft. In an injury-interrupted first season with the Hawks, he played just nine games and missed their finals campaign. After just one match in the first four months of 2012, Bruce retired due to a back injury. In 2013 he took up a role as development coach at the Hawks, and was promoted to a senior assistant coach later that year. He remained with the Hawks until the end of 2017, when he became an assistant at Carlton. He served as a forward coach for the Blues. Became an assistant at Brisbane Lions in 2021 under his old Reserves coach Chris Fagan.