Celebrating Pies occupy the Yorkshire Stingo

I remember Steve Fahey. Not him exactly, but do remember the 30 or so people sitting in the trees. I was 15, and my parents had the Yorkshire Stingo at the time and I’ll never forget that day. My family are all Essendon supporters, but I still remember that day as one of the greatest in my life.
The build up to the game was unreal, I have never seen anything like it. Collingwood back then was full of many colourful characters, it was a real community. At the start of the finals Tony Shaw got up in a cherry picker and put up a huge banner on the Town Hall reading “Good old Collingwood forever, they know how to play the game”. A few days later, Pizza Hut on the next corner at Gipps St put up a sign reading “side by side we stick together”. My Dad then got a sign made for the Yorkshire Stingo on Langridge St reading “to uphold the Magpie name” and stuck it right above his big sign, which read “Go Bombers”. Best thing he ever did, the amount of people who called in and had a beer to ask about the sign made the investment very worthwhile.
On the Friday night before the game, Collingwood was a ghost town, with only two customers in the pub. The next day was a different story, with people banging on the doors when we arrived at 7am. It was a big morning at the pub before everyone trundled off to the MCG, myself included.
As we were getting whipped, I decided to leave after Collingwood kicked their first goal of the 4th quarter. I was pretty much the only person on the street on the short walk back to the Yorshire Stingo, everyone else was inside watching the game. I arrived back about five minutes before the siren to a handful of people in the pub, including Collingwood legends Ray “Gabba, not Gabbo” Gabelich and Duncan Wright. As the siren went Ray and Duncan were bawling their eyes out and gave each other a huge hug. I’ll never forget that too, I don’t think I’d ever seen Ray that happy before.
Someone rushed in and said “come and have a look outside”. The few people in the pub emptied out and stood there in awe as we watched the gigantic sea of people heading our way. Even from the distance they were at we could hear the Collingwood theme song being sung, loudly. I reckon I heard that song about 30,000 times over the next week.
Dad had bought enough stock to last us about 4 weeks of normal trade as he knew it would be busy if they won. When the mob arrived they immediately took over the place and proceded to begin drinking us dry, literally. The pub’s capacity would have been about 300 people standing, but there was around 6-700 in the bars, about 300 on the footpath and the 20 in the trees mentioned earlier. Our old cook Dawn immediately shut down the kitchen and started collecting empty glasses. People outside were playing kick to kick across all six lanes of Hoddle St, only slowing down to throw full pots of beer at the loudmouthed morons doing laps of Collingwood in their crudely painted Red and Black panel van. Even the line for the Red Phone was 30 people deep all night long. We ended up closing at around 3 am to clean up and go home to change.
The next morning and week after were just as hectic. The day after was mad enough, until Damien Monkhurst walked in asked me for directions to the Terminus. The crowd went off!
It was the suburb of Collingwood’s greatest time ever. Shame it’ll never happen again, as the pies have now left Vic Park. I wish they would keep a finger in there, that club was the suburb’s lifeblood.

Comments

  1. Steve Fahey says:

    Fantastic recollection Wayne, it was a great night/week. One of my mates, Medallion Club Mick was leading us on “train” runs through the bar and lounge at the Stingo, singing the song with great gusto.

    I am currently reading “Kill for Collingwood” the history of the Collingwood Footy Club written by Richard Stremski in the mid 1980s. Last night I came across this gem :

    “The celebration of the 1935 premiership was one of the most riotous in Collingwood’s history. An old piano was rolled onto the centre of Victoria Park oval on the Saturday night and Dick Dummett…pounded out honkytonk melodies until the early hours of the morning. …Sunday night’s celebration was just as jubilant. Afterwards, Harry Collier, Harold Rumney and their wives left in the captain’s car. At the top of the Studley Park hill Collier drove his car into Archbishop Mannix’s fence….

    Mannix’s reputation was terrifying , especially to two non-Catholic footballers, but his humour and wit were evident when they went to apologise (some time later as they had departed the scene with their bumper bar wedged in his fence). Archbishop Mannix told them not to worry; he too was pleased by Collingwood’s grand final victory…..Moreover, he could mend his own fences. Collier sheepishly retrieved his bumper bar from the Kew police station, and the Club did the right thing by reimbursing him for the damage done to his car.”

    P.S. Who is responsible for the word Collingwood coming up as spelling error/item to be checked when one submits a comment on the Almanac site ? Many possible culprits, including Mr Butler ?!!!!!

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