Lockett to Winmar

Winmar to Lockett.


Lillee to Marsh.


Just saying it sounds beaut.


In footy, in my generation, it was “Winmar to Lockett!” Oh, yeah!


Winmar. To. Locket. Just to hear those words again.


Before my time it was Farmer to Goggin. We are all history, or soon will be. I would have given my eye-tooth to see Farmer to Goggin.


NIchols to Jackson would have been a good follow-up.


Williams to anybody. Especially Healy. Fed him a Brownlow, no doubt. They say when he first came to Sydney, Williams would enter a pack, and Toohey and Bolton, who also came with him from Geelong, would start running off the half back flanks. “Where the hell are they going?” their teammates would say, and ‘pop’, the handball would come out.


Then there was Krakouer to Krakouer, Roach’s fingertips to a swooping Bartlett. Cox to Kerr. Jackovich to McKenna, you don’t notice it as much, but a lot of backmen have had that thing. Smith to Johnson. Lacuria to Buckley. Burns to Buckley. North Melbourne Football Club to Carey.


I’m an adverage country footballer who has his good days. 6ft 2″ and slow. Take an honest mark. No huge leap, just read it and don’t get out of the way. Mick Hickey, a butcher from Alvie, knew it when we played together at Otway. I grew up on modern footy. On keeping moving and keeping it moving. He knew that, too. If I took fifteen marks, he was there for 13 of them. He got 13 extra kicks. If I only got nine, he got at least eight, took the handball and ran, and, hey, got votes. I rarely went back on the mark. Just gave it and watched him go, take a bounce and deliver deep. We made 70 meter plays.

“It’s not rocket science,” he’d tell me, every time. “I can’t believe no-one else is smart enough to figure it out.”

The butcher and I had something good going beneath the game. It made us mates.

Eventually, he became non-playing coach and tried to retire me. “Too slow” he said, “Keeps coming back from injury too soon,” he said, and put me against a kid in a ruck drill, hoping the kid would do good. I bumped the kid out of it, slapped the ball past the rovers, along the ground, and watched as it kicked up, right into Mick’s hands. And, for a second, we gave each other that look, beneath the drill and teamamates.

The old connection. Firmly, I was saying, straight to his heart: I’m not going quietly. I ain’t done yet.

There were better rovers, like Spike Parker, CJ Tannis. God knows there were better ruckmen. So what? I have nothing but respect for Mick Hickey. He gave me the name Old Dog, because he knew. We shared adventures across two leagues, throughout the farming plains, mountains and coasts of Victoria’s South-East. What counts is, to me, he was great.


I always stop in on his shop when I’m passing through Colac.


I wonder if Nicky and Tony still catch up?


  1. Jared Newton says:

    Winmar off to Loewe, get on your toes, Loewe off to Lockett and home it goes. I’m pretty sure was a tune from the Coodabeens on the ABC in the 90s.

    The old Ruckman/Rover connection. The strongest in footy if they’re on the same page.

  2. Matt Zurbo says:

    Jared, absolutely, and a big IF!

  3. Good town Colac, Hodgey comes from there. I don’t really know the place other than when I ask the family to stop in each year on our way to the Port Fairy Folk Festival. I stop and buy a drink and imagine King Colac running through the streets, footy in tow, looking for a mate 55 metres up the road with a target on his chest that you know is going to be hit as Luke leans back on his right leg and follows through with a text book left footer, as clean as you like.

  4. People will think I’m a biased Cats fan again, but I reckon a couple of brothers wearing blue and white hoops were the genesis of one of the fundamentals of the modern game which is switching play.

    Back then, Lou Richards so perplexed as to why Ian would kick it across the ground, often to his brother Bruce (and vice versa), instead of going foward that he nicknamed them the “Leyland brothers”.

  5. Matt Zurbo says:

    Rick, music and footy. I suspect we might get along! Colac is a pretty flat town with not too much to do, I reckon. Maybe that’s why the one rural city has 9 current AFL players. Most of them of the tough, knock-a-bout variety. Hodge, of course the gun of the lot. What a footballer!

    Peter, that’s pure gold!!! I remember it now! And, yes, your take on it, when mentioned,makes perfect sense. Good one.

  6. Alovesupreme says:

    I’m a Colac boy (alas not much chop as a footballer). When I was a kid, we lived two properties from Hodgey’s grandparents.
    TheColac district has been producing good footballers for a long time, although I think of the much smaller town, Cobden as the outstanding example from the wider area – Thorold Merrett, John Rantall, the Lords and it looks like Gary Rohan is set to continue the tradition.

  7. Andrew Fithall says:

    Greg Fleet was at the recent Northcote Social Club event for the Strange Birds in Paradise CD/DVD launch. His performance included a segment on Colac, which, according to Greg, the locals refer to as “the lac”. This is because, in essence, it lacks everything. Please don’t be offended. It was very amusing.

  8. Matt Zurbo says:

    Supreme, I had no idea! We never fought outside Pete’s Pizza did we? haha! I once had one of those pizzas when it wasn’t 2am and I was sober. It was heartbreaking! All those years i had thought they were the best tasting thing on earth!

    Andrew, no offense taken. I was from the mountains and would pull a rise out of my townie teammates by calling it Brainlac.
    Ha! Who was I to talk.
    They would reply by calling me something funny, but unprintable (to do with no women and spuds).

    Stories on Colac and Cobden to come.

  9. Matt Zurbo says:

    Supreme, Cobden are Bomber colours, aren;’t they? I vaguely remember playing against them in the Hamden League.

    Peter Foster was my all time favorite player from that region. (even more so than Tim Pekin!!) He just looked so much like he had his opponent on one side of him, and a barbie and stubbie on the other. And was the nicest bloke.

  10. Alovesupreme says:

    Cobden have worn Essendon jumpers for decades now, but until the 60s at least, they wore a different version of red and black,something like a big red band (more than a stripe) on a black background.
    My family left in my mid teens, and as I’m considerably older than you, I’m pretty confident we never came to blows outside the pizza shop.
    I was at school (different grade) with Tim Pekin’s uncle; his dad was a bit older. The Pekins were the last family to come to our school on horseback. Peter Foster is a very distant relative.
    The best footballer to reach the high spots from Colac in my time was John Devine. I maintain that the best footballer from the district at that time was Fred Lynch, who played just six games on permit with Essendon, but chose to stay (or was needed) on the farm. His son Paul was a quite good player at Geelong, but had his career cut short by injury. Luke Hodge’s achievements have probably earned him the title of the best player to come from Colac.
    I suspect I know the parent generation of your playing partner Hickey, again as school contemporaries.
    Andrew, I hadn’t heard the Greg Fleet jibe, but I don’t feel offended; many of us felt that way, and while I’m still fond of the place, most of the modest opportunities that have come my way, depended on my getting out.

  11. Cox to Judd. Judd to Cousins. Cousins to La La Land. Judd to Carlton. Cox to one last crack. Natanui to Natanui – thats the future.
    “And the seasons they go ’round and ’round
    And the painted ponies go up and down
    We’re captive on the carousel of time
    We can’t return we can only look behind
    From where we came
    And go round and round and round
    In the circle game”
    Wonder who Joni supports? Thanks Matt.

  12. Dave Nadel says:

    One of my favourite songs PeterB and has been since I heard Buffy Sainte Marie’s version of it in 1969.

    My favourite sequence is Price to McKenna, not the same McKenna that Matt was referring to. The nexr kick, more often than not, was through the big sticks.

  13. Matt Zurbo says:

    Supreme, sorry, mate. That biffo line is a nod and a wink that all the Colac footballers use. That pizza shop has seen a lot of action. Thanks very much for the insights. Especially the Pekin one. I played under Tim for two years at Otway, and followed his straight-laced brother who was coaching Colac and drank with his hippy brother down in Apollo Bay. A pretty unique, amazing family.

    Thank you, PeterB. You legend!

    Dave, that wouldn’t be the McKenna who also liked to sing, wold it?

  14. In my opinion, Paul Lynch was going to be an elite player. I remember a string of games he put together when his back/hammies were OK for a while and thought he would win the Brownlow. I then heard Dermott Brereton on radio say he thought Paul Lynch was going to be a superstar.

    The Cats were looking terrific for the flag in 1997 on the back of Paul Lynch and Derek Hall. In the first final against North, on a miserable and wet night, Lynch and Carey starred in the first half. Lynch had 4 goals to half time but went off injured. Carey kicked 8 for the game including a 55-metre torp with a heavy ball.

    Lynchy didn’t play again that season.

  15. Matt, that would be the McKenna who did indeed like to sing and who was a much better full forward than he was singer

  16. Malby Dangles says:

    Nice Matt. TISM did a cool song called Winmar to Lockett which had great lyrics about the singer and his dad’s devotion to the Sainters during the lean years and the superstar Winmar Lockett combo.

  17. Jared Newton says:

    TISM also had a great song called Shane Crawford. I rooted a girl, who rooted a guy, who rooted a girl, who rooted a guy, who rooted a girl, who rooted Shane Crawford.

    My hair ain’t boofed or blonded, my TER was so-so, won’t ever score a hundred or even win a Brownlow, to be something is something, i fall short of, but me and Hawthorn’s captain are connected, sort of.

    Possibly some of the greatest lyrics known to man, and very relevant to thousands of sporting hacks around Australia

  18. Matt Zurbo says:

    If you can, track down the Monaros ‘Blue and White Stripes’ about Wayne Carey and a certain toilet.

    Very rude but very funny!

    Will, if permitted, try to post a link.

    (TISM were great!)

  19. Matt Zurbo says:
  20. I actually attend Richmond matches with a former member of TISM.

    I’m sure their identities are all out of the bag by now (or should that be the balaclava?) but I’ll respect their efforts at preserving their anonymity.

    Anyway, combine the razor-sharp humour of TISM lyrics with passionate barracking and no-holds barred analysis of the Tiges (and all manner of other things), and you can imagine it’s a pretty entertaining afternoon.

    Actually, he never swears (out loud) and is a really great bloke to have a yarn and a beer with.

  21. Matt Zurbo says:

    Very Jealous. I used to see them before they were TISM. Their name was Klu Klux Frankenstien. They wore black robes and hoods with two points. They changed their name because they kept getting billed with punk bands.

  22. Andrew Else says:

    Played under P Lynch in 02-03 at Lara in the GFL. We won the flag in 02 at Kardinia Park with Lynchy kicking 5 and getting BOG. He’s moved clubs a couple of times and is now coaching Birregurra in the Colac League where he’ll be playing/coaching in the Grand Final against South Colac this Saturday at Colac. 3 of my team mates from that 02 Lara team will be playing also, so I’ll be making the trip up. Looking forward to it.

  23. Jared Newton says:


    There would be grown men that would pay good money for that privilege!

  24. Me being one of them.

    Well, give lots of shouts, anyway.

    Jared! I will post on it later, but I am going too. A lot of my old teammates have banded together to play Twos for Otway and they have come from fifth to make the granny. I am going over for it! Look for the tall dickhead in the Otway jacket with dark hair everybody is caling Old Dog!

    Birri are a fine team, the Hinze brothers came from there. And their president is just about the nicest, most down to earth bloke I have met in footy! An absolute champion of all things good about the game! He deserves a win. South, too have a ripper committee man, one of my favorite former opponents, ruckman Steve Bode.

  25. Matt and Jared

    I think it’s probably a privilege wasted on me as I don’t really know much about TISM. But anyone who can come up with album titles like “Great Truckin Songs of the Renaissance” is on my wavelength!

    A sense of humour like that is also pretty handy when you follow the Tigers!

  26. Stainless, it’s official. Look up the dictionary. Gallows Humour has been replaced with Richmond Humour!

    You-Tube TISM, is totally worth it. Otherwise it’s liike Raquel Welsh going out with a blind man! Haha.
    I mean ‘I’m on the drugs that killed River Phoenix’.They were funny.

  27. Jared Newton says:

    A Grand Final from 5th? That’s fairy tale stuff, especially if the team is filled with ageing warriors on a last hurrah, I’d give anything to do something like that with my mates from Crib.

    Stainless, what I always wanted to know (might be strange) but what were the occupations of the TISM lads? Aside from This Is Serious Mum, I also heard that TISM stood for Teachers in Schools of Melbbourne. Any truth to that?

    It took iTunes a while but their whole catalogue is there now.

    Entertaining and you’d learn a thing or two after listening to them. Listening to Greg the Stop Sign should be mandatory for all teenagers sitting their P Plate licence. It had a greater effect than any TAC advert made!

    ‘5 yards’ is as true as it is funny.

    ‘I might be a c**t”‘ is just funny.

    ‘Whatareya’ was ahead of it’s time in terms of social culture.

    I could go on forever. I even got my girlfriend to appreicate them.

  28. Jared Newton says:

    Just a thought, instead of wasting our time on Lionel Ritchie could the AFL consider TISM as Grand Final pre-match entertainment? They’re very Melbourne and would be far more entertaining. We don’t do the ‘Superbowl glitz’ well. Just a few guys taking the piss would be far better.

  29. Matt Zurbo says:

    Jarad… OATH!!!!!!!

    Yeah, I had a girlfriend who’s constant claim to fame was one of TISM was her teacher. I meantion this because, I mean, what a great subject for a TISM song! Haha!

    I hope she was wrong.

    I never wanted to know. I figured if the masks were their thing, why kill their magic and my imagination? I also hated people who called Johnny Rotten by his real name for the same reason. I mean, the Rock’s the Rock, damnit!

    I had another girlfriend who constantly laid claim to the fact her Mum had a thing with James Rayne, as if that meant anything.

    But that’s anotherstory….

  30. Occupations? Let’s just say that you don’t get that sort of command of the English language by being a brickie’s labourer!

  31. Jared Newton says:

    I couldn’t help myself but the ex-gf’s claim that her mother had a thing with James Reyne reminds me of a TISM song actually- the Shane Crawford one

    “Our Nicole buys her bread rolls from a bread shop near my mums
    I met the Gallagher brothers though not the famous ones
    My brother stood next to Steve Waugh…. In a lift
    I had dinner at Warney’s but that’s just a urban myth.”

  32. Matt Zurbo says:

    You two are legends! Watch out for my next entry which is on football and music!! Next day or two! Feel free to contact me about anything. Facebook, whatever.

    Meanwhile, I think I know why TISM went the balaclava. I know a certain kids book writer who contributes to a footy blog who did stand up comedy as a bloated ex-wrestler, complete with mask, to avoid very R-rated conflicts of interest.

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