1980 State of Origin Carnival – What KB Did Next

What did Kevin Bartlett do after Richmond’s next to most recent premiership? Pour himself another cup of Tetley? Maybe. Give his Norm Smith Medal another polish? Probably. Pack away the low-cut adidas moulded soles until February? Uh-uh.

Two weeks after the Grand Final, KB, Mark Lee, ‘Flea’ Weightman, ‘Ghost’ Jess and Geoff Raines were in the Big V competing in the Tooth 1980 National Football Championship at the Football Park construction site. Robert Wiley was representing WA and ‘Disco’ Roach the Tasmanians.

Not to mention the scores of non-Victorian based players whose regular season had finished weeks before their respective Grand Finals.

Yep, that’s right, mid-October footy, State of Origin at that.


The four competing states were Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania and South Australia.


Saturday’s results can be gleaned from this fiercely neutral summary.

SA 22.18 (150) def Tas 8.13 (61)

Vic 14.20 (104) def WA 9.15 (69)

The crowd for this double-header was 10,666


Tasmania’s captain Darryl Sutton trod the fine line between “money hungry” and “money peckish” according to this profile.


Back to KB, who, unless enigmatic is Greek for comb-over, seemed to be anything but according to this article. Perhaps “legend” was the word the author was looking for.


Here’s the early game, between Saturday’s losers. Duperouzel, Wiley, Featherby, Green, Alexander, Fitzpatrick, Glendinning and Sidebottom were all VFL players by this stage. A few more would head east in the next couple of years.

For the Mapchesters, Roach, Robertson, Shaw, Carey, Davis, Eade, Good and Hamilton were running around in Melbourne that year. Interestingly, Noel Carter was playing in the WAFL at the time.


The Final was telecast live into Melbourne, making household names of Trevor Hill, Jim Lihou and Kevin McSporran. SA borrowed Bennett, Carman, Maylin, Roberts and James from East Bordertown for the weekend’s squad. Strangely, the Vics decided not to use the likes of Tim Evans, Bill Nalder or Robert Dean from the SANFL and went with a VFL only team. A big last quarter was testament to the Vics’ superiority (and the lack of right hand side score recording, a testament to my parochialism).


The “crowd” was 17,579 for this blockbuster day of mid-Spring footy.

By the way the Tooth sponsorship worked wonders, didn’t it. As did the NFL.


Here’s a link to some more detailed results (including the All-Australian team)

State of Origin in October – bring it back.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pqoL98RCSs&w=560&h=315;&rel=0 ]

About Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt

Saw my first SANFL game in 1967 - Dogs v Peckers. Have only ever seen the Dogs win 1 final in the flesh (1972 1st Semi) Mediocre forward pocket for the AUFC Blacks (1982-89) Life member - Ormond Netball Club -That's me on the right


  1. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    How did Ross Prunster go for WA? Great name. Imagine the Ross Prunster instead of the Ross Faulkner.

  2. no Stephen Michael? say what?

  3. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    I was going to put in all of the pen pix, which varied between the states.

    Some examples


    DON McLEOD – ‘Doctor’ Don is 25 and is captain of North Hobart, where he has played 146 games as a utility/ruck-rover

    MICK HUNNIBELL – A key forward with the New Norfolk club in Hobart, Mick’s strong high-marking is a feature of his game

    West Australia

    ROSS PRUNSTER – 29 years of age, height 5′ 10″, weight 12.4, 170 games (East Perth). Back-pocket

    RON ALEXANDER – 29 years of age, height 6′ 5″, weight 16.0, 110 games (Fitzroy). Ruckman


    NEALE DANIHER – One of two brothers in the Essendon line-up, Neale has developed as a promising league half-back. He first played in 1979 after starring as a schoolboy footballer with Assumption College. Has played 45 senior games. Made his State debut against Queensland this year.

    BILL PICKEN – A high-flier who is one of the most spectacular centre-half-backs in the league. Bill, 24, 185cm and 85.5kg can outmark the best of them but his main flaw is his poor kicking. He has played 149 games for Collingwood since 1974. Victorian representative on four occasions.

    South Australia

    PETER CAREY – Born in Gawler, 27-1-54, 6’5″ and 16.0 Ruckman. Joined Glenelg from Seacombe High School in 1971. Has won his club’s Best and Fairest award twice, 1975 and 1979. Captained State Schoolboys 1971. SA Youth team 1973. State team member since 1975. All-Australian 1979. Games: Glenelg 226, State 11. Goals: 328

    MAX JAMES – Born in Bendigo, 27-12-51, 6’1″ and 13.0 Utility. Brilliant high-marking run-on player who can also play key attacking and defensive positions. League debut with Port Adelaide in 1971. South Australian representative 1973, 1975, 1977. Moved to South Melbourne 1978. Games: South Melbourne 39, Port Adelaide 148, State 5

    Phil, there’s your man Prunster

    Peter, I’m none the wiser re Michael, he played the whole 1980 season for South Fremantle (who were premiers)

  4. Robert Shaw that is a horror memory,as was typical of so many state games in front at 3 q time and the bloody big v storming home thanks Swish

  5. Love it Swish. Those Origin carnivals were magnificent. We got to see the stars from the other states. What a terrific game that was.

  6. That’s an unbelievably good Tasmanian side. Nowhere near the power of the big v though, clearly. Any idea where the match reports may be found, Swish? (For some of my own research).

    I agree Peter, lots of South Freo representation (Carter, Rioli etc) but I’m stunned that Michael didn’t get a gig after he won the Sandover that season. Possibly injured?

  7. That whole post-season carnival concept is amazing, Swish.
    I’m sure there were plenty of off-field hi-jinks, too.

  8. Kevin McSporran was always a household name – in our household. The WA team looks awesome. Fingers crossed for the next instalment re the final.

  9. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks all. I haven’t been able to find any match reports (yet), even in future years’ Budgets.

    I’ve updated this to show the Saturday results and the desultory crowds that accompanied this ill-timed tournament and a link to a wiki page.

    Ron Stubbs – All Australian

  10. Swish,
    I assume #5 for Sth Australia, John Roberts, is the same player who was at South Melbourne for a while?
    I saw him take one of the best marks I have ever seen one day at Arden St.

  11. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Yes Smokie, the same John Roberts who I saw kick 16 goals against Centrals without realising that he’d kicked that many

  12. He could sure take a grab.
    Not sure he had a long career at South, though

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