1981 Revisited – Round 3: ‘Oh no, not you again!’




It’s 29 minutes into the last quarter in the MCG blockbuster between Richmond and Essendon. The Tigers have trailed all day, but have launched a blistering comeback to take the lead with just minutes to go. But as so often happens playing catch-up, our charge falters with the finishing post in sight. Essendon’s gun recruit, Tony Buhagiar swoops on a couple of loose balls and misses both chances. Then, Terry Daniher drives a long kick forward. Soaring in front of the pack for a match-winning grab – ‘Fabulous Phil’ Carman.


Carman’s got form against Richmond in these early-season games. In 1979, then at Melbourne, he played a blinder against the Tigers on Anzac Day, propelling the Demons to an upset win. Last year, with some late-game heroics, Carman got the Bombers across the line in one of the games of the season, just a fortnight before headbutting a boundary umpire. And now, after spending most of the quarter on the bench, here he is again…


Music and football were uncomfortable bedfellows during 1981, my Year 12. Without blowing my own trumpet (or, rather, clarinet), I was a pretty good muso, to the point where I had the serious decision to make at the end of that year. Music or university? Spoiler alert – the latter won.


But back on this warm, sunny April Saturday, I’m torn. My obligation is to be at school at 3.00pm for a rehearsal for our production of Guys and Dolls. But my heart is urging me to the MCG where Richmond will be unfurling its 1980 Flag in front of 60,000. With some diplomatic manoeuvring I let my musical director know in advance that I might be “a bit late” to the rehearsal (for reasons undefined). Mindful that an eight-hour rehearsal on a weekend is a big ask, the director responds with “get there when you can”.


Inwardly, I’ve decided to leave at half time. I’ll have seen a decent chunk of the game and still be at school just an hour late. But after witnessing President Ian Wilson’s wife unfurling the Flag, the Tigers are outplayed, decisively, throughout the first half. Despite missing Simon Madden and Paul van der Haar through injury, the young Bombers are flying.


My resolve weakens. I crib a few minutes of the third quarter in the hope of a turnaround. But the signs aren’t great. The Tigers are trailing by 20 points as I slink guiltily out of the ground. I follow the game on my transistor during the trip and by the time I arrive at school, it’s three-quarter time and we’re 26 points down.


On a glorious day for football, high scores were again the order of the day, with only two teams failing to crack the ton. Despite this, the biggest winning margin was just 27 points at Arden Street. In truth, North Melbourne, superbly led by Glendinning and Dempsey, should have beaten the disappointing Cats by much more, but Wayne Schimmelbusch’s 2.8 was wasteful and an eight-goal final quarter salvaged some pride for Geelong.



At Waverley, Hawthorn slammed ten goals on the board in the second quarter, but just four after half time as South Melbourne turned a 33 point deficit into a 22 point win. Teasdale and Tony Morwood starred for the victors while six goals from Michael Moncrieff weren’t enough for the Hawks.


At Princes Park, Fitzroy showed further signs of their improvement, pushing Carlton all the way until some late theatrics from Mark Maclure wrested control for the home side to record a hard-earned third victory. Also unbeaten at this point was Collingwood, with another 40+ goal affair, this time at Moorabbin. The game is remembered for Jeff Fehring’s famous goal kicked from the defensive side of the centre circle and later measured at 87 metres.





Interestingly, the quarter-by-quarter scores don’t indicate a strong wind advantage (which was commonplace at Moorabbin, as we will see later in the season). Sadly, I can’t locate any other footage of the game, which must have been a “ringa-ding-ding” affair. Peter Daicos topped the goalkicking on the day with his third consecutive bag of six!


At Footscray, the game was certainly wind-affected and produced a thriller. The luckless Bulldogs, already missing prolific kick-winner Ian Dunstan and key forward Kelvin Templeton through injury, now had coach Royce Hart recovering after an appendix operation. And to cap it all off, a last-minute goal by Melbourne captain, Robert Flower denied the home side their first win. As Demon supporters celebrated their first win under coach Barassi, little did they realise it would be their only success for the season.


At around 4.45, the orchestra takes a break. I switch on my radio to hear the worst. “And the siren’s sounded and Richmond has hung on to win by four points…”. My cramped surroundings of instruments and music stands prevents me from doing the cartwheel that’s bursting out of me. It’s only later that night that I see the frantic last quarter, including Phil Carman’s inglorious miss from just 20 metres out. But for any Richmond fans who haven’t seen it, or would like to re-live it, play it again, Sam…





(I’d love to hear from other Almanackers if they have any memories of these games to enrich my brief summaries.)


To read further stories from ‘1981 Revisited….’ click HERE








South Melb: 5.5 8.8 16.10 21.13 (139)

Hawthorn: 4.3 14.5 16.7 18.9 (117)


Goals: SOUTH MELBOURNE: T. Morwood 5, J. Roberts 3, Wright 3, Foschini 3, Taylor 2, G.

Smith, Evans, Round, M. Smith, Rhys-Jones.

HAWTHORN: Moncrieff 6, Goss 2, Davies 2, Wallace 2, Goad 2, Kennedy, Ablett, Hendry,



Best: SOUTH MELBOURNE: Wright, T. Morwood, Teasdale, Round, Jackson, Foschini.

HAWTHORN: Goss, Moncrieff, Wallace, Goad, Tuck.


Umpires: W. Deller, K. Smith.

Attendance at VFL Park 21,977. Receipts: $47,422.





Carlton: 4.6 7.11 8.19 14.24 (108)

Fitzroy: 4.5 6.10 10.13 12.20 (92)


Goals: CARLTON: Ashman 3, Maclure 3, Bosustow 2, Maylin 2, Wells 2, Fitzpatrick, Klomp.
FITZROY: Rendell 4, Conlan 2, Mugavin 2, Everett, McConnon, Murnane, Quinlan.


Best: CARLTON: Wells, Fitzpatrick, Ashman, Southby, Maclure.

FITZROY: Mugavin, Alexander, Smith, Rendell, Wilson.


Umpires: P. Howe, R. Sawers.

Attendance at Princes Park 24,780. Receipts: $36,845.





Collingwood: 6.3 11.6 17.15 23.19 (157)

St. Kilda: 7.6 10.12 12.16 19.21 (135)


Goals: COLLINGWOOD: Daicos 6, Morris 4, Stewart 3, Davis 3, Hannebery 2, Barham, Mc-

Cormack, Williams, R. Shaw, Kink.

ST KILDA: Meehan 3, Breen 3, Faletic 3, Jesaulenko 3, Lofts 2, Roberts 2, Fehring, Elphingstone.


Best: COLLINGWOOD: Daicos, Moore, Picken, Morris, Williams.

ST KILDA: Roberts, Dunne, Sartori, Breen.


Umpires: J. Chapman, J. Morgan.

Attendance at Moorabbin 33,882. Receipts: $71,086.





North Melb: 3.8 9.15 13.21 15.26 (116)

Geelong: 2.3 4.4 6.4 14.5 (89)


Goals: NORTH MELBOURNE: Hodgeman 4, Easton 3, Spencer 2, W. Schimmelbusch 2, Good, Smith, Payne, Icke.

GEELONG: Mossop 3, Bright 2, Turner 2, Mangles 2, Clarke 2, Whitcombe 2, Johnston.


Best: NORTH MELBOURNE: Glendinning, Dempsey, W. Schimmelbusch, Kelly, Hodgeman, Spencer.

GEELONG: Taylor, Witcombe, Malarkey, Clarke, Featherby.


Umpires: J. Sutcliffe, P. Cameron.

Attendance at Arden Street 17,744. Receipts: $30,810.





Melbourne: 0.1 8.4 12.6 18.12 (120)

Footscray: 3.5 7.6 15.11 18.11 (119)


Goals: MELBOURNE: Jackson 8, Catoggio 4, O’Donnell 2, Byrne, Seddon, Healy, Flower.

FOOTSCRAY: Jennings 3, Loveless 3, Edmond 3, Burton 2, Whitten 3, McKenna, Wheeler, Komp, Johnson.


Best: MELBOURNE: Jackson, Catoggio, Smith, O’Donnell, Healy.

FOOTSCRAY: Egan, Kennedy, Whitten, De Koning, Jennings.


Umpires: N. Nash, I. Robinson.

Attendance at Western Oval 13,256. Receipts: $22,113.





Richmond: 3.5 7.7 10.11 17.16 (118)

Essendon: 5.4 10.8 14.13 16.18 (114)


Goals: RICHMOND: Cloke 4, Roach 3, Weightman 3, Wiley 2, Bartlett 2, Mount, Tempany.


ESSENDON: Foulds 7, T. Daniher 2, Carman 2, Neagle, Reid, Heard, Taubert, Fowler.


Best: RICHMOND: Cloke, Wood, Rowlings, Weightman, Tempany.

ESSENDON: Foulds, Neagle, N. Daniher, Reid, Andrews, Hawker.


Umpires: G. James, K. Quinn.

Attendance at MCG 61,908. Receipts: $138,348.







P W L D F A % P
COLLINGWOOD 3 3 0 0 494 352 140.3 12
CARLTON 3 3 0 0 375 281 133.5 12
NORTH MELBOURNE 3 2 1 0 360 297 121.2 8
RICHMOND 3 2 1 0 345 368 93.8 8
GEELONG 3 2 1 0 273 294 93.5 8
St Kilda 3 1 2 0 399 374 106.7 4
Hawthorn 3 1 2 0 377 374 100.8 4
Fitzroy 3 1 2 0 380 377 100.8 4
Essendon 3 1 2 0 296 294 100.7 4
South Melbourne 3 1 2 0 346 407 85.0 4
Melbourne 3 1 2 0 342 427 80.1 4
Footscray 3 0 3 0 311 455 68.4 0


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


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About Sam Steele

50 years a Richmond supporter. Enjoying a bounteous time after 37 years of drought. Should've been a farmer!


  1. Ta Sam.

    Two pivotal goal kickers that day are no longer with us: Robbie Flower and Geoff Fehring.

    Melbourne’s victory was their only win for the year, as the return of Ron Barassi did not mean a return to their hoped glory days. Barassi didn’t get them into a finals series, it was John Northey in 1987 who had them return to September glory: still no flag since 1964.

    That win saw Frank Goode coaching Footscray as Royce Hart was unwell that day. Frank Goode’s VFL coaching record was one game for a 1 point loss.

    Was Terry De Koning in Footscray’s best that day? If so it would have been the match of his career.


  2. Hi Stainless

    Loving these reminders of a great time Stainless.

    I was second year at UQ living at Union College. There weren’t too many College people who followed footy and some of those who did are well-known to the Almanac. Peter Stirk. Hungry Baker (because he looked like KB when he was 20). Lord Mulcaster – who we don’t hear from often enough – he penned the piece about Eagle Rock and the down trou.

    I love the name of your series. So very 1981, becasue that was the year of Brideshead Revisited and Lord Mulcaster on the almanac site takes his name from one of the characters Boy Mulcaster who was actually a lord. In College life Lord Mulcaster was actually Gulbo who has many stories to tell. Gulbo is a mad Collingwood supporter andwe would get to the TV room just as Ken Hose and Bruce Burgoyne were crossingto one of the great Melbourne gorounds of the early 80s -to Lou Richards and Peter Landy. If the Pies were having a shocker (or even if they weren’t) Gulbo would remove his old thong and pitch it at the Rank Arena – and had the capacity to hit the on-off button surprisingly often. He would then lean back in the cheap lounge chair like Grand Poo-bah and would bark instructions to one of us young’uns, often me: “Get off your fuckin’ arse Darky and turn the mother back on.”

    I hope these excellent pieces prompt people to tell their 1981 story.

    I don’t specifically remember this round – but I’m sure there will be games I do.


  3. Stainless says

    Hi Glen – yes, it’s a bit scary to watch these young athletes as though it was yesterday, and realise that quite a few of them have passed. I’m afraid I can’t comment on Terry de Koning.
    Hi John – As we discussed, I had forgotten “Brideshead Revisited” until you reminded me. As I recall the episodes on the ABC were on a Tuesday night and therefore clashed with the Escort Cup games. Brideshead was mandatory viewing in the Steele household.
    In my haste to get this week’s post up, I omitted to mention the outstanding effort of Gary Foulds who kicked 7 goals as a makeshift full forward and very nearly won Essendon the game. Normally he played at the other end of the park.

  4. Thanks for this series, Stainless.
    I was in Year 10 in 1981, and hardly ever missed a North game in those days. In fact, in 1981, I only missed one match. I recall Schimma that day – he was absolutely dominant despite kicking 2.8

  5. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Enjoying these Stainless – that VFL stuff wasn’t all bad. I had a laugh when the commentator almost called “Noose Brankervis”.

  6. Luke Reynolds says

    1981 Daicos. My most common YouTube search. Alongside 1982 Daicos. Superstar.

    Enjoying the series Stainless!

  7. matt watson says

    Hi Stainless.
    What a round of footy!!
    Such a different era in footy. One I thoroughly enjoyed.
    The footy seemed to have freedom.
    It certainly was exciting.
    I was at the North v Geelong game.
    I remember writing about Schimmelbusch at school on Monday, how he couldn’t kick straight.

  8. Hi Stainless – great post

    Re the Essendon vs Richmond Round 3, 1981 match, do you know if Sheedy dropped Essendon captain Simon Madden in 1981 due to poor form? In your post you said Madden missed the Round 3, 1981 through injury.

    I’m pretty sure Madden missed 4 games (Rounds 3-6) in 1981 through injury and illness not due to poor form.

    Did Madden ever play in the reserves in 1981?

    Madden was Essendon captain in 1980-81. Sheedy’s first year as Dons coach was 1981.

    Sheedy didn’t like the fact that Madden was too laid back, lacked emotion, was a school teacher and Essendon captain. They fought for most of 1981.

    Sheeds had a distaste for any player who wasn’t a hard arse farmer or tradie and Simon being the ciggie smoking hipster school teacher was top of his list.

    Sheedy stripped Madden of his captaincy at the end of 1981 and replaced him with Neale Daniher (who never captained Essendon due to injury, Ronnie Andrews stepped in as captain in 1982 and then Terry Dahiner when Andrews was out of the team).

    Simon Madden (who wasn’t captain during the 1982 season) was dropped from the senior team between Rounds 4-5, 1982 and played in the reserves under coach Bernie Sheehy. At one stage there Madden was on the bench in the magoos.

    Madden returned to the Essendon team in Round 6, 1982 and had a solid end to the year. Madden won the Essendon B & F in 1983.

    I’m pretty sure it’s all mentioned in Sheedy’s book.

  9. Hi BigKev – Simon Madden didn’t play between rounds 3-6 and according to the Footy Record of the time, this was due to injury. I don’t believe he was dropped to the Reserves during this period.
    Whatever bad blood there might have been between Madden and Sheedy, there’s probably no coincidence that Essendon’s form started to lift when Madden returned to the side in Round 7. Sheeds mightn’t have rated him as captaincy material, but I’m sure he recognised his quality as a player.
    Thanks for your support.

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