Happy Snap #12 My favourite Player

Stuart Maxfield and yours truly, circa 1994…as if the hair cuts didn’t give that away!

I think that this photograph speaks for itself. The year is 1994. It is my 13th birthday. As a gift of sorts, I was taken to Richmond training at Punt Road. Of course, training was still a Tuesday  and Thursday night affair hence all the darkness.

Richmond had just won four matches on the trot, in what was to that stage by far the most successful and exciting period I had encountered as a young Richmondite. The boys had just defeated Adelaide at Football Park, a year after being embarrassed at the same venue by 137 points. We went on to finish 9th….a joke now but a vast improvement at the time.

Stuart Maxfield. I have never had a player before or since I have loved as much. This may seem odd to some while others may relate. He was scruffy and a bit wild. He thumped the ball onto his boot in the strangest of fashions, and when it worked he could thump it 65 metres. At times it didn’t work but that didn’t bother me. I had his number 27 on my short sleeved guernsey. I bought the numbers and sewed them on myself. The 7 fell off.

I was heartbroken when, after season 1995, which had been a wild and heady time for this young Tiger, both he and coach John Northey departed Punt Road… Stu to Sydney and Northey to Brisbane. And so it came to be that in 1996, I ventured to Waverley Park to see Maxfield in red and white take the field against Richmond. A truly odd sensation. But the game is the game, and once the ball was bounced, it was only a Richmond victory that occupied my thought.

However I did smash my flag in two pieces at the games conclusion, perhaps a mixture of anguish that Chris Bond’s ‘winning’ goal had been disallowed and the subconscious stress of watching my favourite player running around for the opposition.

Seeing Stuart Maxfield named as captain of the Sydney Swans late in his career gave me a sense of pride. Although I’d far prefer that he’d stayed at Tigerland, he sensed that Sydney would provide him with more options, and it appeared to happen that way. It would have been lovely to see him lift the Swans 2005 premiership cup aloft, yet injury cruelled him at the wrong time. I still comfort myself with the fact that he was officially the captain of a club the year it won a premiership.

Stu Maxfield…a fine footballer.

Photo taken by mum…Joy Carr

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Happy Snap #11

This is a picture I picked up for $5 at the Don Bosco Op-Shop in Brunswick a year or so ago. My team is not represented, but I love this photo for many reasons, and it now hangs on our kitchen wall. Why do I love it? I’m glad you asked.

Firstly, the old boots. But it’s not just that, it’s the the old, uncluttered woolen jumpers, the old picket fence with no advertising to be seen and the punters standing in the outer. This is a shot from an Essendon v Melbourne match at the old Windy Hill oval. The fact that Barassi (top) played at Melbourne between 1953-1964 places this picture somewhere during that period.

Barassi’s face in fact is what really demands my attention in this photo. You can wax lyrical about his career, but in this single moment you can see all you need to see. Who in this pack of players wants the ball the most? To me, it is clearly Ron. Though out of position, a quick look into those steely eyes suggests he may well have won the contest, or at the very least made life difficult for whoever won the ball. It was in this manner that Barassi continued throughout his career as a player, captain and coach, having a hand in no less than 8 premiership victories.

I am unsure who the surrounding players are, and would appreciate if anyone had any information on who they may be. Purely for interests sake.

Thank you


Happy Snap #10

Today marks the beginning of the VFL-AFL’s 116th season, the start of what I believe is a new era in Australian Football. Though I’m now 30 years old, the first day of a season brings out the excitable little boy in me. As such, I thought I’d share with you a picture I drew when I was in grade prep (1987). My imagination had already been completely captivated by football, as is seen in my old school books kept by mum. Football everywhere. It also seems fitting to post this picture as my own daughter has just started prep, and I can’t help but consider the change in life, school and more importantly, football! (Wife cringes)

Note the players names I’ve written down…Dyyl Watmen (Dale Weightman) Muc Lee (Mark Lee) Daved Bolters (David Bolton) Woree Capu (Warrick Capper) and Greg Wilyms (Greg Williams). Also note in the background my fascination with cheersquads! Thanks to mum for keeping this…and even dating it! Enjoy

Happy Snap #9

Something which is sorely missing from league grounds these days is contrast. Stepping out from the dank innards of a grandstand to the bright contrast of the outer was something I cherrished. This pic was taken prior to the 2006 VFL grand final beetween Geelong and Sandringham at Carlton’s Princess Park, yet it is symbolic of many an old league venue. Adequate lighting in the stadia of today is clearly a necessity especially as we play a lot of football at night. But it’s a feature I miss.

Happy Snap #8

Can you spot the inaccuracies in this photograph?

My mother attended this 1975 Essendon v St.Kilda match at the old Windy Hill as an Essendon supporter, but also to watch her work colleague, Colin Carter, play for the Saints. She snapped a few photos from the outer side which I stumbled upon a few years back. With the magic of technology, I pieced them together. To the left you have 2 policeman looking on as the Essendon team runs onto the field, while on the right, play comes to a halt for a ball up. Just in case you were wondering.

Happy Snap #7

The coach pointing the finger of blame!

The year was 1987. This is what we simply called ‘footy clinic’, pre-dating both VicKick and Auskick. Yep…that’s me in the Richmond jumper, the only Tiger in my grade the whole way through primary school. Count the Hawthorn jumpers? 1, 2, 3. Oh, and there’s also a pair of Hawthorn socks.

Life at primary school was rather Hawthorn-centric, and this picture was taken before they won in 1988-89-91! Yes, it got much worse! Imagine what it was like showing up at school the Monday morning after Dunstall kicked 17 goals against my beloved Richmond? The horror.

Hawthorn has gradually turned these bandwagon jumping kids into long-standing fans and members, although it took some time. Thanks to my dad for sending me this photo!

Happy Snap #6

Ok….so I’ve strayed slightly from football, but seeing as the Boxing Day test is currently playing out down at the MCG, and what with my love of grandstands and stadia, this photo seemed apt.

Yes, straight from 1994, it’s mine and my brothers Test Match game on steroids, with much thanks to our extensive collection of lego. Note the Richmond fan standing on the grassed area, and the red & green 3rd umpire lights adoring the ‘main stand’, as was the style at the time.

Click on the below thumbnails and see the oddly placed cameramen (a la Waverley Park cameras in the pocket) and the apparent car accident  in the car park!

Most of the grandstands have survived and are sitting around somewhere at mum and dads, but the test match game has long since disintegrated.

Thanks to mum for the pics!