Fremantle on debut

011 Album 8 1994 to 19951Round 1, 1995. This is the birth of the Fremantle Dockers, inducted into league footy at the spiritual home of the game, yet thousands of miles from their own home base. It was an inglorious beginning; an honourable 5 point loss in front of a smallish crowd in a scrappy match, as Richmond tried to encounter the foreign beast which was Fremantle’s short kicking possession game, a sign of things to come.

The above pic is actually a few pictures from the day sewn lovingly together by my dad, and we can see Stuart Edwards about to goal with Peter Mann manning the mark.

It will be on this very ground that the Dockers will strive for glory this Saturday, having matured and come a long way from the team which ran out for Fremantle’s first match. And those who are up in arms about the Dockers not wearing purple on Saturday, well it was a predominately green, not purple jumper which the Dockers began life in. Perhaps the umps will be in green to pay homage to Freo’s short past?

Happy grand final everyone

 

Richmond v’s Carlton

Mention the football clubs Richmond and Carlton and you’ll get the usual response: halcyon days, the late 60’s and 70’s, Balme and Southby, Walls and Sheedy, Doull and Hart, fierce suburban rivals, Percy Jones and TJ…Helen D’amico.

BOURKE

The halcyon days

That is all well and good, but I’ve only ever read about those ‘good old days’ in books. The ‘Richmond v Carlton’ rivalry has been less glamourous yet no less intense in my years of following the yellow and black.

Being aged just one and blissfully ignorant as the Blues knocked off the Tiges in the 1982 grand final, my first memory of the two clubs is from 1988. Richmond by this stage was a basket case, while Carlton were the reigning premiers. The stage was a Friday night at the MCG, and I stayed up to watch the first half (on delay) at my nana and pa’s house. We moseyed home around the corner at half time, and as I had ‘footy clinic’ in the morning, I had to go to bed. I awoke to find a magical note on the end of my bed. My dad’s capital lettered print simply said;

‘Tigers by 17.’

 I remember that vividly and it still puts a smile on my face. We would often beat Brisbane, St.Kilda and sometimes North, but Carlton?

1988 TIGERS

Michael Laffy gets his handball away in the Tigers upset win in 1988

This ‘win against the odds’ has been the very basis upon which I’ve watched Richmond play the Blues over the years. Two years after the Friday night match, and with another wooden spoon in the bank, we piled into the old Kingswood and headed into the MCG to watch Richmond play the Blues in David Cloke’s 300th match. I distinctly remember my dad, as we wound through the back streets of Richmond, saying words to the effect of “Now John, you know we’re not a very good chance today, don’t you” as if to say ‘don’t get your hopes up son, don’t leave yourself open to being hurt.’

MICHAEL MITCHELL!!

Michael Mitchell gives ‘full back of the century’ a full body ‘don’t argue!’ (1990)

I remember the game well. It was in what I remember as Richmond’s best ‘era’ under Bartlett. Wins against the previous years grand finalist Geelong at Geelong, Sydney and Fitzroy in a 5 week period was unheralded, and the win against Carlton was a ‘back-to-back’ victory. Rare as hens teeth back then. We followed it up with ‘loss, win, loss, win’ pattern to make it 6 wins in 10 weeks. This form was on the back of a young group coming through in Knights, Lambert, Free, Nicholls, Barry Young and the Ryan brothers, ably supported by stalwarts in Flea Weightman, the General, Cloke and Michael Pickering. The nucleus of a promising group which sadly never eventuate as the club’s attentions soon became focussed on keeping itself alive.

Key to our survival was another Richmond v Carlton match, this time a ‘legends match’ fundraiser played at Windy Hill. Just on 20,000 filled the ground, and as I reflect back as an adult I am tickled pink that I was able to see Hart, Barrott, Bourke, Clay, KB and co run around, albeit a little slower and with a little less hair. Except for KB of course. Interestingly, David Cloke played in that match having retired at the end of 1990. He came out of retirement for season 1991 and is possibly the only player to have played in a legends match before the end of his career. His final game in 1991 saw him kick 8 goals and collect the three Brownlow votes in another upset win against, who else, Carlton.

Legends Match 1990

‘Not-so-Bustling’ Billy Barrot chases a loose ball whilst KB and Jon Ronaldson share a joke at ‘training.’

When 1992 rolled around the Tiges again had the pleasure of upsetting the fancied Carlton, sending them from the final 6 with a 3 point win at Waverley Park. Carlton went on to miss the finals by percentage only! Strangely, this was the only occasion our family went to an Essendon game instead of the Richmond, with mum happy to swap her red sash for a yellow one, another closet Richmond fan. I remember a lady with a little radio sitting next to us keeping my updated with the scores once she realised I was a little Richmond devotee. I was at the MCG physically but mentally I was in Mulgrave.

But it’s not just a one-way street of upset. The year 1994 saw Richmond enjoy their best season in years, certainly the first year I could remember us being competitive in a meaningful way. We even won six games on the trot! However, sitting 5th with just two matches to play, Richmond headed to Carlton for what was billed as an old-style suburban battle with the old foe. What unfolded was a 113 point drubbing at the hands of the old Navy Blues. And so began the ‘Ninthmond’ era, with the Tigers missing out on the finals by 6%; the same 6% we lost in that match against the Carlton or as my uncle refers to them, “the forces of evil.”

The following year, 1995, saw both teams improve to such a point where they met mid-season in a top of the table clash. Just two years prior a paltry 6,000 fans attended a Richmond v West Coast match at Princes Park. So the crowd of 84,000 blew this young teens mind, a throwback to ‘the glory days!’ In an enthralling tussle the Blues pulled away late as they steamrolled their way to the premiership. For Richmond, 1995 brought with it a long awaited finals appearance which should have been a foundation for future success. This sadly never eventuated, the club it’s own worst enemy once more as coach Northey left in acrimonious circumstances at season’s end.

The Gieschan years were far from glorious, however when he replaced ‘Carlton man’ Robert Walls as the Tigers caretaker coach in 1997, he propelled us to a series of late season wins, amongst them one of my favourite matches of all time.

In keeping with the theme, this time it was Carlton who simply had to defeat Richmond on their home turf to advance through to the finals. In the last truly ‘suburban battle,’ 35,000 fans crammed into the old ground to see Carlton jump out to a 40 plus point lead. I still pull the old video out every now and then and force myself to watch the first half. It makes watching the second half all the more enjoyable, especially as the commentators turn to talking about Carlton’s finals opponent the next week.

What ensued was a last man standing, nail-biting comeback in which former Blue Ben Harrison kicked the winning goal! Tiges by 2 points with the loudest ‘away cheer’ you’re likely to hear upon the final siren. Whilst we finished a lowly 13th, dragging Carlton down with us at the death presented great satisfaction.

Fast forward to the final match of 1999 and the Giesh had been well and truly unleashed (let go) by Richmond and would soon surface as coach of the umpires! The Blues were grand final bound whilst the Tigers were enduring another mediocre season, but in the spirit of this rivalry as I’ve followed it in my lifetime, the underdogs got up, although the game will forever be remembered as the ‘scoreboard fire’ match!

MCG fire

The final round of 1997 was soon evened up by the Blues, as in 2000 they thwarted Richmond’s attempt at a finals birth, again in the final home and away match of the season. The Tigers needed to beat Carlton to make it, with little percentage separating the Tiges from 8th place Hawthorn. The Tiges lost. The Tiges finished 9th. Again.

It took only a year for Richmond to exact revenge and this time in a footy match with meaning. Just as the teams will compete tomorrow, Richmond versed Carlton in a tough and scrappy 2nd semi-final in front of 83,000 fans. It was a sweet victory, the only finals win that Matthew Richardson and Joel Bowden would enjoy, whilst David Bourke was lucky enough to play also in the 1995 semi-final win against Essendon. Their fathers won 7 Tiger premierships between them.

Rory Hilton

Rory Hilton gets his big bum off the ground in his most important game for Richmond! Kicked the sealer!

However 2001 proved to be false dawn for a number of teams, and the two old ricals plummeted down the ladder to finish in the bottom 3. Both clubs have been slowly trying to claw back ever since. Richmond landed a large blow in 2005 under new coach Wallace, handing Carlton a near 100 point thumping in a false dawn of grand proportions. Then Nathan Brown broke his leg and Plough’s tenure headed steadily south.

A brutal blow was handed by Carlton to Richmond in the much-hyped ‘Ben Cousins’ match, where Richmond fans displayed how desperate they were for anything that could be claimed as a success. Pitted in front of a full MCG it was billed as the biggest build up to a non-finals match the game had seen. Carlton smashed the Tiges in demoralising fashion and I clearly remember a Carlton supporter behind me bellowing “Time for another 5 year plan Richmond!” It hurt because I knew it was true. That’s why I’m not looking forward to Sunday.

The two most recent blows handed to Richmond have actually come from the club formerly know as the Preston Bullants. Not once, but twice in the past 12 months a severely undermanned Carlton have beaten the more fancied Tigers, who in both instances had the match seemingly in their keeping. The fragility of Richmond on display for all to see. While last years loss, compounded with a loss against the Suns from another ‘unlosable’ position, saw us again miss out on finals action, this year’s loss to an undermanned Carlton fortunately was not enough to knock us out of finals contention. However the Blues still get their chance on Sunday, as do the Tigers for redemption.

I haven’t enjoyed this week to be honest. A loss to ‘ninth’ placed Carlton would be the ultimate insult and irony given the wretched run with ‘ninth’ Carlton inflicted upon Richmond way back in 1994. It’s also ironic that when we finally did make the finals, the 9th team also qualified due to Essendon’s disqualification.

Anyway, I’ll be anxiously watching on from level two of the Olympic stand with my keen six year old daughter beside me, the same spot my dad stood to watch the Tigers beat the Blues in 1969. Here’s to shaking off the shackles of failure, but my lid is still firm shut.

Carn’ the Tiges!

A footy tragic’s love of MS Paint

As I morphed from teenager to ‘man’ during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s I had one core belief…

“If it can’t be done on Microsoft Paint then it’s not worth doing.”

Being a big believer that limitations are key to creativity, in particular with music and the recording of it, MS Paint presented exactly that…limitations. I used it to create family Christmas cards, cassette covers for bands I was in (yes that’s right, cassettes!) and of course, footy logos.

Now this below work took a long time, a steady hand and quite an extensive reliance upon the zoom function. While Essendon’s rather simple style presented little problems, the Richmond logo was far more difficult, which can be seen by the fact that I merely put RFC at the top upon completion of the Tiger. I belive it was about 2001, and the phasing out of the classic logo shield shape was underway, with just a few clubs hanging onto that classic design.

The choice of background colour was I believe influenced by the seats in the Southern Stand behind the Punt Road end goals with the same or similar colours. It was, of course, also a prominent colour at the time. That’s still no excuse though.

clubs

Only a few of these designs remain, and in another 10 years the current logos will most likely face the same predicament. Whilst this was not the height of logo brilliance (1980’s in my opinion!) it’s still a nice little time capsule.

Happy footballin’ to ya!

1970’s Footy Enigmas

I’m always on the lookout for a different angle on Australian football, for that little gem below the mainstream surface. Dreamteam, standard AFL merchandising and the Footy Show leave me cold and empty. There must be something more!

Well there is. It has been with great interest that I’ve watched a most unique series of footy t-shirts develop. I’ve kept in close contact with t-shirt creator, Chris Rees, who has been inspired by his childhood love of footy cards. Whilst my own footy card obession was short and intense from the years 1988-1990, Rees offers an earlier view, drawing on his 1975-79 Scanlens collection.

HB TEES BEDFORD CALLERYOn display is one of the classic footy card poses, the camera balk. with ball tauntingly held in cameraman’s face.

Growing up on the North West Coast of Tasmania meant that Rees relied on three things for his VFL fix as a kid; the wireless, The Winners and of course, Scanlens footy cards.

“Often I have no memory of seeing someone play, but I have had their card as long as I can remember. That frozen moment at training is how I know those players” recalls Rees. With these images burned into his mind, he has gone about adapting these old images in a unique yet familiar style. They now sit perfectly on a new range of t-shirts he has brought out titled ‘1970’s Footy Enigmas.’

As the name suggests, this isn’t the ‘A-list’ of VFL stars; the Harts, the Jesaulenkos and the Keith Greigs. (I know, there was only one of each, but I just love this ‘footy-speak’) Rather, these t-shirts celebrat the cult heroes, with the odd champ thrown in for good measure. So dust off your old footy cards and compare notes as we take a look at the players chosen, one from each old VFL club, in club-by-club alphabetical order.

SCANLENS CATOGGIO

When talking ‘cult heroes’ it’s hard to go past one Vin Catoggio. His unique hairstyle and catchy name has helped him stay in the current footballing fan’s mind. I like how Rees has used his hair as his defining feature, without need for mouth, eyes or nose.HB TEES CATOGGIO

“I always loved his name and his afro, and they way he defied tackling. His story grabbed me anew when I read Brent Crosswell’s account of the 1973 Grand Final. It was Vin’s first game and he didn’t make an impact – something it took him a long time to get over” recalls Rees.

SCANLENS McKENNAI said that there was a champion or two in the mix, and Peter McKenna certainly fits the bill. With his mop-top of hair and a short lived career as a singer, McKenna’s finest work was still done out of the goal square dressed in black and white. However he fits the quirky nature of this range of t-shirts.

HB TEES MCKENNA

“I was tempted by Rene Kink, Billy Picken and Ron Wearmouth but the sealer was when someone gave me a book with frame-by-frame pics of his kicking style, with his Beatle mop flopping about.” (You can see the frame-by-frame images of McKenna in the first short video here) Add to that McKenna’s ‘Hey Hey it’s Saturday’ connection of being ingloriously replaced as co-host by Ozzie Ostrich, and he’s right at home here.

SCANLENS BLETHYNThe bespectacled full forward Geoff Blethyn is another whose unique appearance on the footy field has kept him in the public eye all these years later. Unfair really, given that he did kick 100 goals in a season. If McKenna were the Beatle-esque footballer of the time, then Blethyn can be described as the VFL’s Buddy Holly.

HB TEES BLETHYN

I have two Dons cards from ’72 and they are both shot from the same up-the-shorts angle.” says Rees of his oldest football cards. “I always liked this card and could never imagine quite how he played with the specs. When I recently looked up his record and saw that he kicked a ton in 1972, that was the genesis of my idea to bring some of these unfairly forgotten players back to people’s attention.”

A recent Age article by Peter Hanlon celebrated both Blethyn and this range of t-shirts. It’s great to get Geoff’s reaction to being ‘immortalised’ on fabric.

”We’re all a bit quirky in our own way,” was his take on the players selected.

Read the article here http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/blethyn-specs-a-tall-order-20130625-2ov7y.html

SCANLENS QUINLANContrary to popular reports, Kevin Murray was not the only player to pull on a Fitzroy jumper during the 60’s and 70’s. ” I eliminated Kevin Murray as he has had plenty of (fully warranted) attention in recent years. But it seems like Superboot was due for some recognition. He’s a sneaky inclusion in a 1970s-era list as he really shone at Fitzroy in 1982 and 83.”

HB TEES QUINLAN

Quinlan spearheaded the Roys to a final tilt at the ultimate success in both their 1983 and 1986 finals campaigns. The Roys fell short on both occasions. In a career of two halves, Bernie played for 9 years at Footscray before heading over to Fitzroy where he equally spent 9 seasons. At this point in time, he is ranked 7th on the all time games played list.

SCANLENS DEMPSEY

I really like Rees’s explanation on why he chose Gary Dempsey as Footscray’s 70’s enigma. “I picked Dempsey on his record – not the Brownlow medal but his club Best and Fairests, six in eight years. It sounds like he was carrying that club.”

HB TEES DEMPSEY

The Dogs didn’t have much going for them while Dempsey was around. Sometimes a player can keep a club going in tough times in terms of giving fans something to cheer about. It reminds me of what Matthew Richardson meant at Punt Road.

SCANLENS SCRATCHER

To be honest, other than knowing the name ‘Scratcher Neal’ and that he played for Geelong, I knew not one thing else about the man. In my research, I came across this great little piece on Scratcher on the ‘the terrace’ website. And to me, this is what Rees’s t-shirt series is all about, bringing long forgotten footballers back into some form of limelight.

HB TEES NEAL

I love his nickname and that he’s that he’s from Wynyard (Tasmania-also the Cats) and his outrageous red hair. In his card from 1982 his fringe is ruler straight and his hair is a shiny copper helmet.” says Rees of this Geelong wingman. And the nickname Scratcher derives from his background as a potato farmer! A great addition to the enigma series.

SCANLENS TUCK

If ever there was an enigma, it was Michael Tuck. He has played the most games of league football in history, virtually an extra season’s worth than his nearest rival Kevin Bartlett. Consider also that he also played 50 games in the reserves before consolidating himself in the senior side! Remarkable longevity.

HB TEES TUCK

“I hate Hawthorn, so this one was always going to be a challenge. But Tucky never whacked anyone, never grandstanded, never staged for a free – just kept going and going and going. I didn’t think any of his footy cards really captured Tucky so I painstakingly drew this one from a bleary frame taken from YouTube.” His wiry frame is indeed captured here. As are his 7 premiership cups!

SCANLENS FLOWER

Robbie Flower is responsible for one of my very first footballing memories. It was in his Forest Hill sports shop, served by him, that I brought Dale Weightman’s iron-on number 3 to put on the back of my Richmond. Flower is the the first league footballer I can remember laying eyes upon.

HB TEES FLOWER

“Robbie Flower stood out clearly as the man to represent the Dees. No still picture seemed to convey the essence of Flower which to me was his run. So I went back to YouTube and drew a sequence of 12 little Robbies.”

I agree that the sense of balance and movement you get from theses ’12 little Robbies’ encapsulates the great man well. “It’s mysterious how it’s established wisdom that he was Melbourne’s only good player for about a 10 year period and came out of it with ONE best and fairest.” says Rees. A trivia question I would most certainly have gotten wrong.

Watch Flower in action!

SCANLENS DENCH

I particularly love the cery 1970’s moustache and hair which David Dench is sporting in this image. If you averaged every white Australian male from the 1970’s, then David Dench is what you’d end up with.

HB REES DENCH

“I was stuck on North Melbourne – Nolan? Cable? Kekovich? Dench? I approached the highest profile Roos supporter I could reach, Tim Rogers. He was unequivocal – it had to be Dench. I always loved his square head, his moustache and his manner when he was captain-for-a-day in the Roos 2nd flag in 77.”

Dench certainly played out of his skin in the drawn grand final. His move forward provided a catalyst in the final term, and he kicked 2 of his career’s 29 goals on this day. A week later, he held aloft the premierhsip cup.

SCANLENS MCGHIE

“The only players with tatts in my card collection are Kevin Murray and Bones. His name, his tatts, and his legendary toughness set him apart in my mind.”

“Then I saw the photos of him Rennie Ellis took on Grand Final Day 1974. A smoke while he does he up his boots pre-game, a tinnie on field after the win. I took inspiration from the pics, but changed his pose so not to incur Rennie’s wrath from beyond the grave.”

View Rennie Ellis’s glorious photograph of Bones McGhie HERE!

HB TEES MCGHIE

I’m not too sure what needs adding here, other than to say I get a thrill whenever I end up at the local supermarket at the same time Bones does! As a Tiger I’ll be sure to add this ripper to my wardrobe.

SCANLENS COWBOY

Cowboy Neale is often remembered as the bloke who king hit Peter Hudson in the 1971 grand final. The hit caued Hudson to miss a string of gettable goals which left him stranded on 150 sausage rolls for the season, just one shy of breaking the record. However Cowboy often misses out on the true adulation he deserves.

“I always thought of him as a lovable rogue, with a reputation for biff. I was surprised when I looked into it that he basically won the 1966 flag off his own boot, but old Barry Breen gets all the press.” says Rees of his choice for Kevin Neale.HB REES NEALE

“His card was chewed by the dog at some stage, and the few extra creases around the face thanks to Minnie gave him a very smiley look. This is the one proper press photos that I have used, and I am happy to settle up if the photographer wants to make himself known.”

SCANLENS BEDFORD

Finally we come to Peter Bedford, another name I’m glad that Rees has brought to light. I actually know the name very well, a Brownlow Medalist who grew up barracking and playing for Port Melbourne in the VFA before joining South down the road in the big league. But what I didn’t know was of his love for cricket and that he represented Victoria 39 times as a batsman/leg-spinner. Sounds like the exact thing the national team needs right now! And upon finding Peter Hanlon’s piece on Bedford from late last year, I learned that cricket was his first love!

HB TEES BEDFORD

“I have Bedford’s 1974 and 1976 footy cards. I have always been impressed that he struck the same lairy “selling the dummy” pose. (see below) I don’t recall seeing him play but as a Brownlow medallist and Shield cricketer he commanded respect anyway.”

hb-tees-bedford-callery

So where can I get myself one of these t-shirts?

Wonderful question, I’m so glad you asked. You can view and purchase the wide range of styles, sizes and colours that these prints come in, from small to triple XL, from mens and women’s t-shirts to hoodies and long sleeve tops… all at the link below

1970’s Footy Enigma T-Shirts

Bernie T

An example of how the Quinlan t-shirt comes up on this very pasty Fitzroy supporter.

You can also follow Chris on twitter @4Boat if you would like to make contact or have any questions about a purchase.

I think these shirts and designs are just the sought of thing that needs to be injected into the often sterile AFL marketplace, and I look forward to seeing them proudly worn at the footy. As Molly Meldrum would say, (whilst wearing the Cowboy Neale hoody) do yourselves a favour!

Animated Football books

It’s been a long while between posts as life built to a crescendo the past month or so, but I haven’t been sitting idle. I’ve actually made a new friend called Vine; a program which gives you six magical seconds of video footage. You can shoot 6 seconds straight or you can get into some tricky stop-motion animation. So my mind, of course, turned to football.

Below are some short video’s or ‘Vines’ I’ve compiled from some old football books, Football for Boys and How to Play Football Australian Style. Theses old books would demonstrate the skills of the game using a series of photographs displaying each skill. So I thought to myself…let’s animate it.

Footy Books 2

Below are such heroes as EJ Whitten, Peter McKenna, Peter Bedford, John Dugdale and more, their still shots now brought to life. Please enjoy the following 18 seconds! For some reason the videos default to mute. You can hear the fairly unimpressive sound by hovering your mouse in the top left hand corner.



Happy Snap #21 Royce the Legend

Royce Hart sharpened

Just a quick celebratory post today to signify Royce Harts induction as a Legend of the VFL-AFL competition. As you can see, Scanlon’s footy cards recognised Royce’s ‘legend’ status back in 1989, labelling him ‘The Richmond Legend.’

A big thankyou to my old footy card collection, still going strong, still proving relevant!!

And some extra reading and looking upon Royce from my archives…

The day Royce first set foot upon Punt Road Oval…

Royce Hart and the Tassie Tiger connection

Home movie-Richmond v St.Kilda from 1990 (thanks grandpa!)

As I was looking through some old videos lying about the house, I stumbled across some of my grandpa Harold’s finest work from the year 1990, when as a family, we headed (with friends) to the MCG for the round 12 clash between the Tiges and the Saints. This was before my little brother Pete had become a Footscray follower, so there’s some rare footage of him in yellow and black, bouncing on my mother’s knee.

Footy Vid

About to leave for the footy with our Richmond supporting friends. I am extreme left, my sister right. Behind sat our mode of transport that day, the rusty old Kingswood

As fate would have it, my mother also had her camera on the go this day, so our expedition was documented in far greater detail than usual. In fact one of my earliest posts was of a photograph taken this round 12 clash.

One of the intriguing aspects of the video is the dismantling of the old Southern Stand. As you can see, the roof was being removed, the Richmond cheer squad shunted around to the wing for a portion of the year.

Also worth looking out for is Michael Mitchell’s sensational goal at the 2 min 50 sec mark, yours truly taking great pride in his flag at 5:56, and the Richmond supporter being escorted from the ground by the police at 6:10. There are many other gems such as the prevalence of Sweathog apparel and cigarette smoke, both severely lacking from the modern game.

Fam vid 22

To the left is grandpa Harold in his Essendon beanie, video camera in hand

The day I saw the Tigers win the flag

VFL Park 1989I can hear the questions in your head. A Richmond flag? At VFL Park? Something’s not quite right. In fact the year I’m focusing on is 1989, when my beloved Tigers won the wooden spoon, barely seeing out the following year, 1990, due to hemorrhaging finances. But there was a ray of sunshine, a light at the end of the tunnel. The 1980’s are bookmarked with Richmond premierships.

Yes that’s right, we won the under 19’s flag!

Boots Rich v NM record 1

The game was meant to be played as the first of three matches on arguably the most famous grand final day of them all, when Ablett thrilled us with his wizardry, Brereton with his courage and the Hawks with their tenacity to make it back-to-back flags. However the Richmond under 19’s played a draw in the finals series which back then meant coming back the following weekend to resolve differences, meaning that on grand final day, the curtain raiser to the main event was in fact the under 19’s preliminary final.

As you can see below, the record noted ‘…the one sad thing is that there will not be the build up to a 95,000 crowd to watch the skills of these brilliant youngsters.’

BOOT RECORD COMPILE

And so it was that 10,000 fans headed out to Waverley Park the following weekend, of which around 9,500 wore yellow and black. I was there with my family, and as an added extra my nana and pa were there too, the only game I ever went to with them. As I have mentioned before in these pages, they were a huge influence on my love of Richmond. Here’s a shot of yours truly with my nana and pa in their Forest Hill home, pa with his Tip Top work gear on.

Nana and pa tip tops

I also look back on the day fondly because, unwittingly, it would be my first sighting of Stuey Maxfield, a favourite of mine, in a Tiger guernsey. He wore number 9 that day and was one of a handful to go on to wear the yellow and black in the seniors. Ash Prescott, Matt Francis and Ty Esler the other notables.

A look through North’s under 19’s list is also interesting, in particular Brad Sholl and Anthony Stevens, whilst Glenn Kilpatrick would also carve out a nice little career down at Geelong. Oh, and the North coach of the day turned out to be pretty handy also! Given North had won the two previous under 19 grand finals, this result was all the more pleasing.

What a great institution the under 19’s was. North used it to perfection, with many of their 1996 and 1999 premiership team having come up through the junior ranks. It’s now just a distant memory.

Not one passage of play remains with me from that day, but I can chalk it down as having seen a Richmond premiership, in the flesh. The only memories I have are that we entered via the members wing which we’d never done before, that we walked into the ground alongside Mil Hanna, where we sat (members wing-ooh ahh!) and a kick on the ground after the match. I also remember sitting in nana and pa’s old falcon post match on our way back to their house for dinner.

Rich v NM 1989 score

Tiger fans celebrated that day like no other club would celebrate an under 19’s grand final win. Though our last flag was only 9 years prior to this, the club was really down and out, a shell of our ruthless self. Little did we know that we’d still be waiting for a senior flag some 24 year later!

Cory Young of Richmond was named as Richmond’s best on ground. Tiger fans foamed at the mouth about Cory Young, much like the way Justin Plapp became a cult hero down at Punt Road in the reserves. Having played seniors in the final 3 rounds of 1989, Young came back to the under 19’s for the finals, helping the Tiges lift the premiership cup on the first Saturday in October.

Alas, Young never kicked on, playing just 4 more league games, three at Tigerland and one for West Coast. He did however win a Liston Trophy in the VFA with the old Oakleigh footy club, so the kid could play.

boot-records-1989These lists make for some interesting reading, Peter Filandia the most notable player in the goal-kicking list!

  I’m still waiting to see another Tiger flag, a reserves win over Hawthorn in 1997 all that now keeps me going.  But back to that glorious day of which I have little to no memory, and what better way to conclude a day at the footy than with a kick on the spacious playing surface of VFL Park.

Glorious

WAVERLEY 2323

My dad is just inside the boundary line wearing a red top and jeans. Directly in front of him is my sister and about 10 metres to his left is a little me, waiting for the ball to come my way

NOTE-This was the last official match under the Victorian Football League (VFL) banner, the league changing to the Australian Football League (AFL) the following year. This does not include any exhibition matches which may have been played at the Oval in London! And thanks to @Crankie82 on twitter for help on the final score, and @footyjumpers for finding the grab from the Age. VFL Park photos taken by my mum.

Footy Drawings: the sights, the colour, the smells

HB drawing 7

The above drawing was done by my five year old hand back in 1986. I was obviously enamoured with my new love football. As you can see, mum has carefully labeled the main features of my ‘work’, and this really highlights what first captured my imagination when it came to the footy.

And that’s what this post is all about. Just what was it that grabbed your attention when you first visited a footy ground, smelt a leather footy or opened your first packet of footy cards. Does your first trip to the MCG remain with you until this day?

HB prep footy

And what of today’s kids? Does footy still fill their senses and leave them entranced? Is it fantasy footy or some other new fangled technological advancement which captures imaginations these days? Or is it much the same as it was for us slightly older footy fans; the colours, sights and smells?

The following is the result of putting the word out there for any old footy drawings people may still have lying about, to give an indication of why people fell in love with the game. I was also keen and happy to receive a number drawings from kids growing up with football today.

@MicLooby Swans

Goodsey, Confetti and Cup

Let’s kick it off with one of the more recent pics sent to me by @MicLooby on twitter. It is his 6 year old daughter’s 2012 grand final week ‘premonition’ of how events would unfold on the Saturday, and let’s just say that she nailed it! Simply a jubilant Adam Goodes, the premiership cup and a plethora of red and white confetti! It’s also a great attempt at the Sydney jumper, which is no where near as easy to draw as the regular stripes, sashes and hoops!

HB drawing 10

This was a picture my little brother Pete did after we attended a Footscray v Richmond match in 1993. As a 6 year old Doggie he sat there in tears early as his Dogs fell behind, but my Tigers crumbled and the result is his ‘happy’ memory of the days events. What I particularly love is how high the Richmond sock is travelling.HB drawing atoshaThis magnificent pic was sent to me on twitter by @atosha, and there’s so much to like about it! We can see a beautifully crafted Essendon man (Tim Watson) peeking out from behind the quintessential hooky board, although I’ve been assured that behind the cheesy smile, her Richmond supporting brother would have at some stage ripped ‘Essendon man’ to shreds. Typical Richmond supporters!

Dave combine

This drawing is by the fair hand of @TheIron_Sock, and dates back to the late 70’s when North and Collingwood featured in a classic drawn grand final. Unperturbed by Collingwood’s subsequent loss, young David depicted a North and Collingwood player sharing a kick to kick, smiles on faces, the sun out. And check out the intricate boot and lace work, along with the North players balanced kicking style.
Dave Pie

To contrast that picture we have a far more recent contribution from @RedRoverSays, this drawn by her 7 year old son and serving as her twitter profile picture for quite some time. I like the understated nature of the sponsors badge on the playing guernsey, the piercing blue eyes and the ginger-bread man quality this player possesses. It is in fact ol’ blue-eyed Jobe Watson.
HB Rach

Continuing the close up profiles, we have another glorious picture sent to me on twitter by @4boat of his youngest sons drawing…of him! Given that his younger son isn’t into footy, this really meant a lot to him. Unfortunately the arms were copied from an old photo of Aaron Fiora, but I’ve been assured they are not an accurate depiction! I also love the tailored pants and shoes.

@4Boat

Now this next drawing is one of my favourites. It was again sent to me by @4Boat, this time by his eldest son. Now I grew up with footy cards, but at best they had a photo on the front, a few stats on the back and came with a piece of chewing gum! What we see here however, in great detail, is todays footy card and the statistical footy world that our kids are growing up with. I particularly love his take on Nick Malceski; his face reminiscent of a 1930’s cigarette card.

@4Boat kids cards

Speaking of detail, here’s a small glimpse into my brother’s mind. He went on a logo rampage, covering off on AFL, VFA, SANFL, Eastern Footy League, even our primary school’s nemesis, Blackburn Lake! I think he was joking with the Peninsula Dolphins…at least I hope!

HB drawings 6

Here’s another hopeful piece I drew as a kid, obviously trying to tap into movie ‘Field of Dreams’ theory of ‘draw it and it may happen!’ It’s Richmond taking on West Coast in the Panasonic Cup grand final at Waverley Park. What I love is that most of the spectators in the stands are further away yet considerably larger than the players!HB drawings 5

Continuing with drawings of footy action, here’s a great drawing sent to me by Mero, (@footyjumpers) who runs the comprehensive footy jumpers website (check my blogroll.) Drawn back in 1979, these are the grand finalists in his ‘dice footy’ game; this the winning goal. It’s Collingwood’s Billy Picken looking to smother, and most likely Glen Hawker about to cover himself in glory.

Mero also tells me, and I think we can all relate, that the mud applied to the players was courtesy of mum’s eyeliner, also known as his ‘mud pencil!’

Hawker & Picken

Fast forward through the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s and we arrive at a drawing of Pie star Dane Swan by 7 year old Aven. Sent to me on twitter by his father and Pie nut @M_itch, I was really taken by the accuracy of the body proportions and stance. By 7 I’d just graduated from stick figures! And another tick for the young man, he’s forgone the club jumper sponsors! Expect a phone call from Eddie McGuire, Aven!

@M_itch 2

The above picture was printed for safe keeping onto canvas, whilst we continue with another clever way of immortalising your child’s artwork, some more magpie artwork by Aven, with Cloke and Swan clearly the stars in his eyes.HB Mitch Aven

Now we come to one of the more spectacular parts of footy and one which the artistic eye can really have some fun with; the speckie!

We’ll kick off with some of ‘brother Pete’s’ little ‘speckie sketches’ he doodled as a boy. The top left shows a sensational pack mark, complete with a melee breaking out on the wing. We move clockwise to find a most sensational grab taken over the pack, but I’d like to draw your focus on the player on the left. Could it be Nick Holland and his dodgy shoulders? And finally, bottom left, we have the iconic Gary Ablett v Melbourne FC pack mark from 1989.

HB Pete conglomorate

Here’s one I drew back in 1990. It’s a little confused, but what I think I’ve done is take Michael Mitchell’s mark of the year against Fitzroy, and substituted the Roys for Melbourne. Why? I can’t say. I can tell you that David Cloke is looking lost in the middle of the ground while Jimmy Stynes (11) and Mark Lee (1) are moving towards the contest. I love the desperation of the Melbourne player trying to smother, whilst apologies to Michael Pickering (dunny brush haircut, no.35) and Craig Lambert (no.4) for their rather ‘plump’ appearances.HB drawing 1One of the best mark of all time, Shaun Smith’s 1995 screamer at the Gabba, was beautifully depicted again by ‘brother Pete’ (@carr_pete) in this unfinished drawing. Though goal umpires are to remain neutral and unphased by the play, this umpire can’t hide his reaction to seeing Smith’s bird-like feat. HB drawing 12

Keeping with aerial feats of magnificence, this painting was sent to me by Sean depicting Merv Hobbs iconic mark in the 1961 preliminary final. Sean, a Dogs supporter, was 10 at the time of painting (2010) and was stuck for something to paint. His dad suggested this mark (great parenting in my opinion) and the rest is history. Sean also points out the Merv Hobbs ran a printing business in Williamstown for many years called ‘High-Mark Printing.’ I think we can see why!

MervHobbsBuddyMerve Hobbs       Danny Hargrave!

Merv Hobbs mark on the left, and a similar style mark covered in a recent post!

Finally we turn our attention to footy grounds, stadia, the crowds. Below is a picture done by my daughter Molly, 6, just a few weeks back, simply of ‘the football.’ Note the gorgeous placement of the light towers, whose globes look much like the heads in the crowd. This is Richmond verses ‘Poo-ingwood’ as she at times calls them.

HB drawings Mol

Here’s a collection of footy ground drawings I churned out in the mid 90’s. Top left must have been drawn after we’d ended up in the nose bleed section of the Southern Stand, when you could still look across and see the city. To the right we have what was a made up ground, which on reflection looks a little like York Park down in Launceston. And below that is one of MANY footy grounds I ‘designed’ full of little nooks and crannies, pokie stands and at times, architectural impossibilities.HB Footy Grounds

Now I had nearly finished putting this post together when I received an innocuous email from Jeff Dowsing, wondering if I was still after football drawings. ‘Sure’ I said, but I can’t say I was prepared for what I received.

Jeff sent through 16 detailed drawings he drew during the late 80’s whilst in year 7 and 8. I’m only sharing the ‘best of the best’ here, although I encourage you to visit his website where you can see more. Collingwood features in each picture, but don’t let that put you off!

HB Jeff Dowsing pics

I’ll basically let Jeff’s images do the talking, but the attention to detail, the intricate crowd work, the colourful advertising hoardings and the positioning of the drawings, as if Jeff was sat there in the middle of the action, are just fantastic. Top left we have Carlton and Collingwood at the ‘G (note the few spare green bench seats in the 2nd tier of the western stand) whilst to the right of that we see Darren Millane slamming home a goal to the Punt Road end, the old Southern Stand in all it’s glory.

Below that we find a scene from the old Western Oval, the old EJ Smith stand in the background, and to it’s left we have the Pies taking on the Roys at Victoria Park, Millane again taking a towering mark.

Finally we have the Dees and the Pies at the MCG. I grew up with the old Southern Stand and remember it fondly, and love that it features heavily in Jeff’s works. What really captured my attention here however was the Melbourne player who’s just given up, sitting on the turf like it’s the under 9’s, as the ball moves down the other end.

HB Jeff MCG

 While the crowd work is not as intricate, the passion is still there in this piece my brother and I did back in 1995. It appears that Footscray are well on top of the Cats, perhaps we were trying to re-write script for the 1994 Footscray v Geelong final?
HB drawing 8

Well we’re nearly done. Thanks so much to all contributors, without your help this post would never have gotten off the ground. I’m still interested if you have any football drawings lying about, perhaps your parents have kept stuff you’re not aware of, and will happily add them into this post should they surface.
 
I’ll leave you with this unfinished drawing I did in the early 2000’s of the Richmond grog squad down the Punt Road end of the MCG. I stood there for a time and just loved the singing, the chanting and the passion. That’s me wearing the long sleeved number 4, although to be honest I was usually squashed in down the front, shorty that I am. Hopefully this scene of joy will be replicated tomorrow night at the MCG!
HB drawing 14
The post contines to grow…
It’s never too late to contribute to this blog. Richmond supporter @dugaldjellie on twitter yesterday sent through these two wonderful drawings his mother has kept from the late 70’s. The first appears to have been inspired by the famous mark by Disco Roach against Hawthorn, the second is of a Melbourne v Richmond clash in 1979. Please keep sending your pics in!!
RICHMOND v HAWTHORN - Roach!
Pack Mark, Rich v Melb, 1978

Happy Snap #20 The impossible mark on the dunny wall


Danny Hargrave!
Do you remember when you were a kid and your imagination wasn’t limited by the laws of physics, gravity and the like? The above drawing by my little brother Pete embraces this freedom in creativity as  he imagined his Footscray hero, Danny Hargraves, floating above the pack and plucking a grab in the square. I have to say it also bares a remarkable likeness to the famous mark by taken by Footscray’s Merv Hobbs in the 1961 preliminary final.

Merve Hobbs

What was a bit special about this drawing however was that it was ‘immortalised’ upon the  dunny wall at Blackburn primary school, the same dunny where I had my 1991 BPS premiership photo taken. Amid flutes, skipping, flowers and trees, all lovely, sits this footy gem, or at least sat. The toilet block was demolished some years ago.
Pete pic 22

The giggling artist, 1997, as a 10 year old Doggy fan in Melbourne’s leafy east.

pete pic 2

A broader shot of the dunny wall, which was basically included to show how mangy the rubbish bins were!

And I show you this picture as a source of inspiration. I am currently collecting peoples footy drawings that they did as kids, or drawings their own children have done, for an upcoming post. I have already received some cracking entries, and would love to see your drawings too, with any back story you may have.

Please contact me on twitter @TheHolyBoot or by email-john@cherrystone.com.au.