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

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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

Footy Books

Holy Boot blog-Books

Footy books. I have hundreds of them. Sourced from op-shops, fetes and second hand book stores. I even shell out for the odd new book. My books don’t just sit their gathering dust either, I give them a good working over where possible.

Nana and pa

My nana and pa in their Richmond days

My love of both footy and its reading material stems back to my nana and pa’s house in Forest Hill. Old Richmondites, they ‘migrated’ like many from the suburb labelled ‘Struggletown’ to the south-east and finally eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Amongst books on gardening, Australian history and the odd Agatha Christie novel sat a clump of books on our great Australian game. I spent many hours poring over these books, and they have shaped my love of the game, it’s history, it’s social meaning, it’s sense of humour.

Holy Boot Blog bookss

Some of my nana and pa’s footy book collection

I’m going to focus this post on the two books which most captured my imagination; The Courage Book of VFL Finals-1897-1973 and Grand Finals, Victorian Australian Rules Greatest Moments. Both are similar in that they move chronologically through the history of the VFL, and I often read them in tandem. They say a picture tells a thousand words, and as a young boy, it was mostly the pictures I focussed on, along with the match details. As such I’m still yet to read much of the text!HOLY BOOT Books combine

When my grandparents sadly passed, I snaffled the Courage book of Finals , and the below photo is a great memory I have of my nana. You could hardly touch one of her books without a plethora of related news clippings tumbling forth.
Holy Boot Blog nana boook

Below is a photo of the 1907 grand final between Carlton and South Melbourne which sits on the back cover of the book of finals, opposed to the ‘current’ image (1973) on the front. I looked at this photo endlessly as a boy, trying to comprehend just how the marquee styled pavilion and treed terraces was in fact the same MCG I grew up with, a concrete jungle.

What strikes me is the carnival atmosphere this photo captures. People up trees to gain a better vantage point, trees which are positioned in front of the pavilion and grand stand, the warm September sun as Melbourne emerges from the depths of winter. What you’re looking at is in fact the precursor to the old and new Southern Stands. I’m still mesmerised  by this photo.
1909 2This photo of the packed footy tram is a classic, though not necessarily connected to Essendon’s 1897 flag. It says to me that as much as things change, they also stay the same. Stripped back, it’s a photo of football supporters on their way to the footy by tram. I did that myself a number of times last year.1897Something that of course made me snicker as a youngun’ was the fact that the bulk of early grand finals in the VFL were umpired by Ivo Crapp. Still raises a grin. To the untrained eye it may appear however to be a brief report on the days work by the man in white.

1900

From sifting through these old pictures, scores and words as an impressionable child, a deep impact has been made. I was intrigued that Fitzroy was the early powerhouse of the VFL, was amazed that St.Kilda took years to actually register a single victory, and even more amazed that the two clubs played off the the 1913 grand final! How different things could have been had the Saints gotten up? The below photo also shows a great shot of the scoreboard which sat in the forward pocket a the punt road end of the MCG, not all too far from where the kids play up at the cricket these days.

For more reading on the MCG scoreboards and 1913 grand final, these are some fantastic posts on the scoreboard pressure blog.

HB Fitz v St.K 1913As a young Tiger growing up in a Tiger household, I stopped often at the Richmond premiership years, and 1920 in particular. The phrase ‘We Ate ’em Alive’ was born after beating the hated rival Collingwood, who’d the previous year downed the Tiges in the big one. My nana still lived with a hatred for Collingwood born from the streets of Richmond, and as both my grandparents were born in 1920, I always found this page a bit special.1920A quick peruse of this site should quickly reveal that I have a thing for old footy grounds. Well much of that too can be traced back to hours spent trawling through these books, pouring over grainy old photos such as these.

HB footy grounds books

The photo on the left is of the Junction Oval on grand final day 1944, Fitzroy defeating the Tiges to claim their final league flag. It’s hard to spot them, but my grandparents, my nanas sisters and cousins, they’re all there. And why a grand final at the Junction Oval I hear you ask? Well the MCG was out of bounds, home to American and Australian troops amid World War 2.

The photo in the top right corner takes us to Fitzroy’s Brunswick Street Oval for the 1903 semi-final between local rivals Carlton and Collingwood, at a time when the MCG wasn’t the assumed home of finals footy that it was soon to become.

And below that is a wonderful still from the 1950 grand final between North and Essendon, another ‘forgotten’ grand final given North’s lack of success until the 1970’s. Imagine if Waverley Park could have seated people between the boundary and the fence!? Would have doubled the capacity!
1939The composition of this photo always appealed to me, the fickle ball leading the players a merry dance as it tumbled this way and that. The Richmond player is Charlie Priestly, the Melbourne player more noted as a master coach, Norm Smith.

HB combined

Whenever the 1977 drawn grand final is mentioned, as it often is, the image in the top left hand corner is what comes to my mind first. The exhaustion and demoralisation is palpable, though it turns out simply to be Len Thompson receiving a 3 quarter time mouth wash, a fact I only realised as I read the caption for the first time yesterday!

To the right of that is one of the most dramatic pictures in Australian football history. Essendon champion, John Coleman, tearily walking away from the tribunal a shattered young man, a four week suspension ending his 1951 final series before it began. Geelong defeated the Bombers by 11 points come grand final day, surely Coleman would have made the difference? We’ll never know.

 Below Coleman we find the old MCG fence, unable keep the bumper 1908 grand final crowd of 50,261 at bay. However it has lived to tell the tale. Between the two 50 metre arcs on the southern wing of the MCG, the very same 1884 boundary fence, with some slight modifications, still stands, making it clearly the oldest part of the MCG, not so closely followed by the 1985 fly-swat light towers.

HB Grabs bookThe photo on the left shows action from the Geelong v Collingwood grand final in 1937 in pretty much the same position that the 1907 Carlton v South photo was taken (above). The Southern stand was brand spanking new in 1937, and as you look through these books, the action suddenly becomes recognisable with the arrival of the grand stand, suddenly looking ‘modern’ compared with the treed MCG, the knickerbockers and numberless jumpers.

To the right of that photo sees St.Kilda’s Bob Murray, taking what I see as the most graceful of marks in the 1966 grand final, while further right we see EJ the showman in the 1961 semi final against the Saints, triumphantly holding the ball aloft, giving the appearance that he’d just performed quite a feat to secure it.

Finally, as the books were published mid 1970’s, the arrival of glossy coloured images filtered their way into the production. The book on Grand Finals comes complete with an ‘Action Packed 70’s’ colour section, wedged in between the years 1945 and 1946, akin to a Cleo sealed section. Again we see the characterful old Southern Stand, packed to the hilt, as Carlton and Richmond battled it out for the 1972 premiership.

HB70'w
I hope you’ve enjoyed my trip down memory lane. You may even recall these books, or have more recent copies which were reprinted in later decades. While the old days of footy are at times difficult to connect with the game we know today, it’s good to know where footy has come from, that during the 1920’s, the 50’s or the 70’s, the game was always seen as we see it today, quicker and more skilled. We may look back on today’s football in 100 years with a nostalgic glance to a funny looking game they used to play on real grass! Who knows?HB Dad's writing

The Courage book of VFL Finals may have come to a halt in 1973, but my father, in his early 20’s, utilised the several ‘Further Results’ pages at books rear, maintaining detailed finals results up until 1976, along with a cameo appearance from the 1980 grand final.

Nice Statistic #9 The beauty of a rounded figure

Here’s a nice and even statistic to keep you going in the off-season, though not being quite the ‘blow your socks off affair’ of this little nugget! For round 21 of the 2012 AFL season, the 5 matches played in Victoria had the following crowd totals.

38,179  –  59,381  –  44,956  –  19,396  –  23,098

This gave us the beautifully round total of 185,000 on the dot, with an average crowd of 37,000 precisely! This is as rounded-off, neat and even as the Subiaco crowd figures which have been historically either a) guessed b) rounded to the nearest thousand or c) the actual number of people in attendance! I’ve always felt the answer lies somewhere between points a) and b). If you don’t know what I’m talking about, ask me. I’ll find some evidence!

Even Stevens to you all!

Nice Statistic – Hawthorn’s Premiership Gold

History. Records. Come Saturday afternoon at the MCG, the players won’t be giving these two words a thought in the world and rightly so. It is the now that they must live in. But alas, I am not playing in the AFL Grand Final, and therefore wish to delve into the past.

Should Hawthorn win the 2012 premiership, they will break a long held, little know record. It has been well documented that Hawthorn has won at least one premiership in every decade since the 1960’s, which equals Melbourne’s record of 5 straight decades with at least one premiership (1920’s-1960’s.) Should Hawthorn overcome the Bloods on Saturday, they will become the first VFL/AFL team to claim premierships in six consecutive decades, a truly remarkable feat of sustained success.


To illustrate, the three most successful clubs, Essendon, Carlton and Collingwood, have at best managed just four consecutive premiership yielding decades, giving an idea of just how successful the Hawthorn Football Club has become since John Kennedy took a hold of them and since they changed from Mustard Pots and Mayblooms into predatorial Hawks.

What makes it all the more astonishing is the meagre beginnings of the club. Formed in 1902, the club unsuccessfully progressed through the Metropolitan league, the VFA and into the VFL, all with a bare trophy cabinet. Once in the VFL, they spent the 1920’s-1950’s as a cellar dweller, and along with the other 1925 inclusions to the league, Footscray and North Melbourne, didn’t look like winning a premiership.

Footscray was the first of this trio to break through for a flag in 1954. But just seven years later in 1961, as both Hawthorn and Footscray met on the big day, it was the ‘underdog’ Hawthorn who were the sentimental favourites, winning their first flag and beginning an astonishing run of success.

But they come up against a formidable foe in Sydney, also once the easybeats of the league. In fact the Swans (continuation of the South Melbourne into the Sydney Football Club) have undergone a transformation not unlike Hawthorn’s in the 1960’s. After six fruitless decades, surpassed only by St.Kilda’s 1890’s-1950’s drought, the Swans shed their easybeat image, internally rebranding themselves as the Bloods, leading to premiership success in 2005.

She’ll be a grand old game come Saturday.

Thanks as always to http://www.footyjumpers.com/ for the Hawthorn logo images!

Happy Snap #17 Dockers First Hurrah!

I just quickly want to post this picture from the family photo album as there are a few interesting little aspects to it. Firstly, this is just seconds before the Fremantle Football Club commenced playing in the Australian Football League, round 1, 1995. The time is 2:10…traditionally when matches used to begin! It’s anyone’s guess these days! We were there because Richmond were again used as the guinea pigs to welcome a new Western Australian club into the big time.

But thanks to my dad, we have some idea as to the Dockers mindset in relation to their powerful big brothers, West Coast, who had won two of the past three premierships. This little home-made sign hanging over the fence simply says…

“Eagles don’t look after members…Freo Dockers!”

A disgruntled Eagles fan perhaps? Sick of success? Or perhaps sick of being on a ten year waiting list to get a seat at a home match? Either way, this Freo fan or fans have failed miserably in one aspect…you can’t read yellow texta from a distance!

Richmond nervously held on for a 5 point win, with little indication that it would be the first of 7 successive victories. As a side, this is the old Western or Ponsford stand at the MCG, and the photo is dated by the ‘Telecom’ (not Telstra) and “Brian Nailor-Ray Martin…Who’s who of news” advertisements!

PS.Thanks to mum for her happy-snappery!

Happy Snap #15 Great Southern Stand

So here we have the Great Southern Stand, obviously under construction. The year is 1991, and things have changed dramatically at the ‘G from a year earlier. I can’t remember if this was the game against Sydney or St.Kilda as we sat in the same spot for both, but the focus here is clearly on the enormity of the impending structure, now looked down upon by the Ponsford, Olympic and MCC stands. And when looking at the ‘G in this 1991 state, I automatically think of the enigmatic Allan Jakovich.

And of course, who could forget Brett ‘Fruity’ Allison’s 1991 mark of the year as he stood atop Gavin Crosisca…and then kept going up! All in front of the new stand being built. Thanks for bringing this to my attention Jeff Dowsing!