Adelaide University Blacks FC: Jerk reaches 500 games!


Darren “The Jerk” Graetz will play his 500th game this Saturday (16th August) for the Adelaide University Football Club, becoming the 1st player to achieve this remarkable feat. Darren will have a kick and catch for the C 3 team known as the scum (rises to the top). The big game is against Pulteney starting at 10.15AM at Bob Neil #1 (Uni oval). Darren’s incredible career achievements include closing in on 1400 career goals which is an Australian amateur record (we don’t only encourage a ground invasion next Saturday if he achieves the feat, we demand it, don’t try and lift him though it is against occupational health & safety laws!), 9 times Premiership player which is the most in Ad Uni FC history, 3 times century goal kicker (inc. 17 in a game) & Premiership coach.

“The Jerk” has played in ALL grades for the club including The Farmers, the over 35 side, basically in 9 sides! Darren came to the club as a skinny 63kg rover in 1985, he has grown considerably over time, outwards not upwards, and is now a rotund full forward in general these days. Though he did rewind the clock recently playing on a half forward flank, providing a brilliant hand ball over the top to  Chimp, who ran in to an open goal and predictably missed. Darren also took a diving chest mark and got asked to replace the divot. Darren has a loud, infectious, gregarious personality hence the nickname The Jerk!

Darren loves a punt and TAB’s are known to start celebrating with the projected profit for the day upon seeing Jerk and Stump enter the premises. In a game a few years ago, Darren ventured out of the goal square, moving down the ground signalling to Greg Clark who was goal umpiring at the other end. The Edward’s Clown full back yells out pick them up on the kick out they have got a secret kick in play, Jerk replied that he was letting Clarkey know re the syndicate bet you idiot!

Darren is a fantastic club man , always the life of the party and symbolises everything that is fantastic about the Blacks, as John Turnbull famously remarked, a social club loosely based around football. We encourage EVERYONE with any connection to the Blacks whatsoever to get along to Bob Neil #1 aka Uni Oval early to support The Jerk! If everyone turned up who has played with The Jerk we would fill up Bob Neil #3 (the Adelaide Oval) over the road. Darren we look forward to seeing Denise (definitely your better half!), with Temperance and Chloe to dominate in the adventure playground as part of family day also, see you Saturday. (Please add in your favourite Jerk story in the comments section)


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  1. Kieran Harvey says

    I played a few years and a few games with the Jerk. First impressions: loves a punt, on and off the field, kicks lots of goals like Stephen Kernahan – with the helicopter punt. One memory stands out. 1996 Intervarsity in Canberra. The Jerk is stretching up pre-game, supine, tits up. Four or five of us are looking down admiring the big man. The discussion goes thus:
    “Wow what a fine gut.”
    “it likes an investment, think of all the cash and beer that’s been poored into that gut over the years”
    “It’s like a super fund”
    “Yeah, and it’s about to rollover!”

    18 years ago I thought you were past it Jerk and here you are still going. Great bloke, living the dream. Well done,
    Harvey Wallbanger #152

  2. Fantastic piece mate, really well written (and the stats!). As Lazy Ben puts it, “Jerk is The Greatest Black.”

  3. Kieran Harvey says

    One more Jerk memory. Bob Neil #2. Always prone to a bit of lairising, when I got the footy 10 metres out I attempted to slot it with a drop-kick, and missed. Coach Jerk gave me a spray for being undisciplined. Five minutes later Jerk gets the pill and slots a drop-kick from 20 metres out, and says “that’s how you do it.”

  4. Congratulations Jerk on 500. Due to another football commitment I can’t make your big day, but will try and send my best vibes to you via ESP. As to Jerk stories, Too many to tell here! May have to way until there is a jerk roast.
    Rabs out.

  5. Luke Reynolds says

    Well done Jerk, 500 games is an amazing effort. Fantastic tribute Malcolm.

  6. Congratulations to the jerk

    All the best


  7. To the tune of the Vegemite ad … for pure posterity.

    “He’s fatty little Darren Graetz,
    As fat as fat can be;
    He guzzles all that beer for breakfast lunch and tea.
    His mummy says he’s getting fatter, scaring all the tarts,
    Because he loves his beer,
    He just adores his beer,
    It puts a stink in all his [email protected]!”

    It’s been a pleasure to wear the strip with you Graetzy.

  8. My favourite Jerk memory – playing Lockleys at Lock-Up-Your-Daughters in A7, filling in along with BD and Handbag in a game following my 7RES match because of the usual Uni Holiday dilemma … got walloped.
    In the rooms after, Jerk breaks into song;

    “We don’t play for adoration,
    We don’t play for victory,
    We just play for recreation,
    Loyal Uni scum are we.

    Balls to (Lockleys),
    Balls to (Lockleys),
    We won’t play you anymore,
    We won’t play you anymore.

    Cause you gave us a f**king great hiding,
    You gave us a f**king great hiding,
    You gave us a f**king great hi-i-ding …

    By the time we get to this last bit, everyone is in full voice and we’re raising the roof.

    5 minutes later the Lockleys captain walks into the changerooms with 2 jugs of beer – and tells us that they were in stitches.

    Priceless :).

  9. Great work Jerk,,,many memories to make me grin.
    Lucky to play when he kicked 17 . Half way through last quarter we stopped kicking to him for a laugh, He should have had 20 .
    Cheers, Nobum

  10. Mike Ellery (Pud) says


    Congratulations on an out sanding effort of 500 carrier games. And to think you may kick your 1400th goal on the same day. Well done. You truly are a Blacks Legend.


  11. Matthew Wojcik says

    congrats on the milestone Jerk!

  12. True legend, ripping bloke and the ultimate team man – he makes all his team mates appear faster and thinner than they actually are just by his mere presence on the forward line!
    Congrats Jerk – looking forward to the next 500.

  13. Brian Rocky Austin says

    Very impressed how the jerk overcame his battle with anorexia.
    Through dedication he has kept it in remission for years now.
    He’s an inspiration.

  14. Good luck Jerk an amazing effort.

    As for the punt I feel a big win is just around the corner

  15. Jerk overcame the old footballers problem of hamstring, groin and calf tears decades ago. Of course his genius solution is to not move. There’s no reason with this strategy that he can’t make 1000. Brilliant.
    He got angry at me once for missing a goal from the top of the goal square – I probably missed because I had to kick it around him! “Kelly – get your arse on the f$&€ bench”. Ah I can recall the tone of his voice as I sit here contemplating.
    I also recall what it sounded like when he hit the ground face first after failing to clear a chain fence 4 inches of the ground and broke his scaphoid. That was genuinely funny.
    Go Jerk.

  16. Impressive mate, impressive!

  17. Super Dazz says

    My biggest regret is passing on the KFC sponcership because I thought it would damage my amature status
    Rocky, can chicken really be considered a financial inducement?.
    I can personally attest its not performancing enhancing although I did take a chance not knowing what was in those secret herbs and spices!

  18. I just hope the pelvic injury suffered on Saturday while gallantly venturing out to a forward flank, has received the necessary `Jerk first aid treatment – 6 of Bobs finest down the gullet immediately to reduce swelling, a 6-pack strapped to pelvis for backup & at least 4 varieties of O’Connell Street Bakery’s gourmet pie selection. Avoid ice, rice compression and all that crap – it hasnt been used for 499 games so why change now?

    Rest up for a big one this week champ!

    PS will be bringing my wide angle lens to capture the great man in action. Get there early to ensure a seat folks.

  19. Nick Raschella says

    The Jerk is like one of those big Kelvinator fridges from the 1960’s – still going. The fact he is as big as a fridge might be the secret to his longevity. Don’t run to far or fast away from the goal square to pick up any injuries.

    I played with the Jerk in his first or second season in 1986. 28 years ago and still going is an amazing effort.

    I will be there at Bob Neil #1 cheering him on and having a couple coldies afterwards with him and the hundreds of others who have played with him.

  20. Julian Holsman says

    A man very much after my own heart.
    Rarely seen outside the 50m arc or a TAB.


  21. Congrats Jerk. 500 games @ 0.3kg per game sounds about right!

    I have a pic of a young Jerk running out behind me as I lead a scruffy bunch of larrikins out for my 200th. That was over 400 games and about half his current body weight ago.

    Enjoy the game and I hope the runner supplies you only beer, and the club supplies a wheelchair for the change of ends (alternatively, halve the walk by only playing 1 goal square)


  22. Well done Jerk. An amazing effort. It seems such a long time ago we were playing in the A1R together… oh, that’s right, it was a long time ago. Hope you bring up the 500 in style with a 1400th goal.
    Cheers, Deery

  23. Homewrecker says

    As a first year player back in ‘92 I remember hearing about this guy ‘Jerk’.
    I was curious -not really a lovable nickname, he seemed to have a good posse of off siders, he can’t be too bad a bloke?
    That was until my first HYB at the Dover Castle, Chocka’s reading out the BP’s and this loud obnoxious prick keeps yelling out crap to the BPs, Coaches, raffle chicks everyone – that’s when I got it.

    It wasn’t really for 2 or 3 years that I had too much more to do with him except for his constant HYB heckling, hearing about him kicking bags of goals and the weekly singing of the Fatty Little Darren Graetz song –always with his head bowed and shaking in annoyance of the jingle.
    Coming off repeated hamstring tears Jerk somehow convinced me that a run in his team “Jerk & the offs” would be the best recovery option against Physio Pykey’s recommendation of a couple more weeks rehab.
    Jerk would randomly come off the ground from full forward and sit on the bench with his transistor radio to his ear, listen to a race then wander back on and kick a few more goals.
    Looking back it was probably this experience that set me up for a life down in the lower grades, how good was this have a kick, don’t take things too seriously then make a night out of it.

    Since then we have been good mates even though we have only occasionally played together.
    I recall several random nights on the turps but my most memorable was the night Gary Lyon thought Jerk was getting a little ahead of himself with that drop kick at the EJ Whitten game.
    If only Gary saw him about 5 hours later.
    Fantastic man, never takes himself too seriously, always there for some wise advice and a beer.
    Club & SAAFL Legend.

  24. Jerk and I both joined the Blacks in ’85. I played with him in his first (only?) A grade game in ’87 or ’88. He had considerable ability. A dozen or so years later we were teammates in the FGA premiership in 2000. I’d been retired 9 years. He’d been playing uninterrupted throughout, despite his well-documented fluctuating battle with anorexia.

    That year he got into a particularly brutal fight with the opposition fullback in a game at Bob Neil 1. I was close by. It looked to me as if Jerk was going to be literally murdered such was the ferocity of the opposition thuggery, but I was powerless – this guy’s biceps were twice the size of my thigh. I felt like a small schoolboy as I held up my hand and waved and shouted for the umpire (himself a scrawny kid) to intervene.

    Eventually it finished. Blood streamed down Jerk’s face in torrents and pooled around him as he lay motionless on the ground. I could barely breathe. I prayed for him to move, but feared the worst. How could any many survive such a merciless beating? The Jerk did. He sprang up, shook his head vigorously in front of his opponent’s face so the blood sprayed all over this incredulous, hapless numbskull and said, “IS THAT ALL YOU’VE GOT YOU WEAK C**T?!”. I could’ve hugged him to death at that point.

    For all his gregariousness Jerk is gentle, sensitive, kind, loyal and understated. A beautiful man, a respected friend, and a living Blacks’ legend.

  25. Well done Darren, a tremendous effort. Cheers.

  26. Dale Roberts says

    Congrats Jerk. What an effort.

    It’s been 16 years since I was last blasted for not kicking it to you in the goal square when i was only 30m out myself.

    Great time and great laughs in the Scum with Fosters’ Green Assholes.

    A legend!

  27. This is simply too much – great stories and all soooo true.
    I was one of the jerks victims – taught how to enjoy the game and then drink way too much afterwards. After a shared 1Res Grand final victory – he managed to save me from a fight in the lovely Mansions at 4am, then drag me home covered in vomit to hand me over to the mother.
    And the chocolate chip cookies he passed around on the bus to Melbourne Intervarsity caused all sorts of havoc amongst those silly enough to think they weren’t laced.
    I’ll be doing my damndest to get out on Saturday big fella!

  28. Congrats on 500 games, remarkable effort. Loved his drop kick goal in the 2012 ej whitten game!

  29. Dan Hansen says

    Onya Darren. 30 seasons of senior football. I don’t know how you do it. I remember you as a fleet footed rover with a large mouth. I never would have expected you to become a “get out of my goal square” full forward with a large mouth.


  30. Congratulations Jerk! 500 games and 1400 sausage rolls is an amazing effort. You truly are the Greatest Black…ever!!


  32. And 17 goals in a single game…you gotta be a good player to do that! “He’s fatty little Darren Graetz…”

  33. Legend of the goal square!

    Well done Jerk……

  34. Dan Sergeant says

    Congratulations on the 500 games jerk. I was lucky enough to play a few with you, and remember that even though you may have lacked pace on the field you never slowed down when it came to putting on a quaddie post game or racing to get one of west ends finest products.

  35. dart altmann says

    dear jerk- the 80’s were the pinnacle of football – my kids are now playing over a senior 100 games and you’re still going!!!??!!
    unbelievable and congrats party hard lotsa luv to you and the mighty blacks – dart

  36. Jerk – what can be written that hasn’t been so far….not too much. Simply a great bloke – the type of person that the bedrock upon which the World’s Greatest Football Club is built upon.

    I’ll never forget the Jerk stepping in to stick up for me at Chocka’s testimonial back in 99 at Jimmy Watson’s – some wobble headed old boy from Very Old Scotch on the Rocks had just finished up giving me and my table a spray for being a little rowdy (perhaps justified) when the Jerk sprung into action – he told him to stop picking on the young kids and to piss off to his own club – he had me at that moment! Jerk you are a legend of the Club – good luck for this Saturday!

  37. …it (W.E.D.) puts the stink in all his farts!

  38. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Fine effort Jerk

  39. Jerk was the man when I first joined the club in 08, was great to see him still running around a few weeks back in the scum!

  40. Breakfast. Lunch. Tea.

    Unbelievable effort.
    Absolute Legend!
    Onya Jerk!

  41. the fact that the great man has been playing for the blacks since before i was born is just mind blowing

    congrats jerk, looking forward to celebrating with you on saturday

    ps nice falcon on the weekend rulebook you flog

  42. Lace out? No thanks.

    I remember when we were belting Brahma Lodge on the scoreboard and they were belting us everywhere else. The Jerk storms in at 1/4 or 1/2 time with his head duly punched numerous times by the fullback and demands “I don’t want the ball up here or here”, signalling out in front of his eyes and above his head, “just kick it on the bloody ground in front of me”.

    A nice bloke and a worthy legend.

    Still, I reckon if Fos didn’t tell me to spend all my time staying out of Jerk’s way I could’ve been a champion forward pocket.

  43. Gus Leitch says

    Jerk, it was a pleasure to play in one of your seven premierships – One Bloody point in the scum. You’re a great inspiration to anyone who’s played at the club, with your input to the club. Well done and enjoy the day.

  44. Jerk,

    Congrats on a great career with the Blacks. I will certainly get out to BN #1 this Saturday to see you run onto the ground in your 500th game – as should every current and past player from the WGFC!

    Good luck – break a leg!


  45. Will Chapman says


    Unbelievable effort – only 101 games until your 600th!!!

    Have a great afternoon.

    Champam, Smallgoods, Chap, Marque Forward

  46. Dougal Whyte says

    Fantastic effort, don’t know how you still get out there.
    Would be great to be there for the 500 or the 1400 whatever massive milestone but I am sure you will have plenty of supporters. Makes me think about getting a pair of boots on after 20 years

    Congratulations and keep going

  47. Lisa Edwards says

    A great effort and record from The Jerk.
    He was a pleasure to have in the team and in the pub, I’ve patched him up in both places!
    Lovely Lisa

  48. Richard Kimber says

    Well done, to the Jerk, if Daddsy’s memory is correct then the Jerk and I must have been teammates in a game or two back in 87′ or 88′.

    In the future, the saying will go ….” I knew the Jerk indeed I had the privilege of playing with the Jerk..and you sir are no “Jerk”

    Kimber The White Lion

    PS. I dips me lid.

  49. Taylor Walker only picked the number 13 for himself because he knew that Jerk had immortalised the number himself. It’s a number for a forward that guarantees one to kick a bag as it’s been blessed by Graetzy…

  50. Jerk,

    Congrats. I can believe you are still playing.

    Sorry I can’t be there for the weekend. Enjoy.


  51. David Gordon says

    Congratulations Darren!

    Careful, you might break “Clarry the Computer” (again). Like hitting the Year 2000 he might spit the dummy after recording “500 games” for you.

    Hopefully you’ll get another bag of goals in your big game this Saturday.

    All the best,


  52. Witnessing the 17 goal day and Jerk’s post game celebrations are a fine memory. Could never quite work out why the nickname? A good bloke is Jerk.
    Enjoy your day on Saturday, Frazzle

  53. Tom Martin says

    Quality in all the important things – goal-kicking; clubmanship; humour; loyalty; incurable irreverence and the Great Australian Trifecta of Vices (drinking, gambling, smoking).

    Add longevity and humility and you attain legendary status.

    Nothing sums up better the egalitarian yet high-brow cult of the Blacks than a brash but gentle Riverland scallywag who has played every grade and has a PhD to boot.

    Nobody does it better than The Jerk.

    May Bob be with you Saturday as you kick another f**kin’ bag!

  54. Great read and an amazing effort rulebook!


  56. Ray Ashwood says

    Congratulations and good luck , Saturday Darren have always enjoyed your company and enjoyed goal umpiring and time keeping your games . We’ll done a fantastic achievement hope you kick lots of goals and have a win
    Ray and Margaret Ashwood

  57. 500 big ones for the jerk, that’s Volvo mileage. if we assume that dazza has clocked up a conservative 4 Ks per game ( as I am sure he would support) with the distribution skewed to the first 300 games that’s 2000 Ks or 1300 miles which is more that the run from Sydney to Adelaide. if we assume an average of 80 minutes of footy per game that’s 40000 minutes of game time or 666 hours of chasing and disposing of the sherrin, catching breath, remonstrating with the ump and exhorting team mates. jerk ya just run in mate and approaching prime output space.

  58. Great story,, it’s always great to hear stories like these I’m sure every club has a similar story, just not as many games or goals,, congratulations to the Jerk and the club

  59. Congratulations Dr Jerk like Darren Jarman skinny in the 80s and a slightly different size now but all skill still and the heart n soul of the AUFC

    Congratulations Darren and thanks for all you’ve done for the blacks – even more than Nelson Mandela

  60. Darren,

    Well played, terrific effort and a deserved milestone.

    I must say that I am glad I listened to your advice – well part of it anyway.

    Not the bit about dumping that shiela (now my wife), not the bit about don’t take that job (6 years of fun & valuable experience in Hog Kong), not the bit about where to buy property (I doubled my money in four years) but the bit about being too old to think about playing in the higher grades (I was only 27), that apparently I wasn’t very good anyway and that I should join you in the lower grades where it was more fun – this resulted in back to back undefeated premierships in the FGA’s where I met a truly fantastic & talented bunch of blokes that inspired me so much I somehow pipped Wes for a B&F (Wes I think it only happened because everyone was a bit tired of giving you the 6 votes you deserved every week). Oh, we also had Malcolm umpiring which added a further dimension of fun to every game – Quote MA to an ‘opposition’ player “Why don’t you shut the f^%$ up and try to get a kick”

    Enjoy the day and the celebrations.

  61. Matt Wilson says

    Congratulations Graetzy (and well done Rulebook on kicking the tributes off),

    I played two years with Graetzy in the early 90s and was very fortunate to finish my Blacks playing days in 94 in a premiership side. I have some really clear memories of the day of the GF and some slightly fuzzy memories of the festivities after, my favourites are;

    Graetzy being lame courtesy of a groin/hammy issue but playing anyway (as is the right of the playing coach!) and have the perfect stat-less game at full forward.

    Graetzy’s generosity in providing baked goods in the sheds after the game

    Something to do with the premiership shield being “misplaced” at a venue somewhere near Light Square.

    Congratulations on a fantastic achievement Darren, have a great day.

  62. Congratulations on the milestone Jerk, but to be honest with all the decorations you gained in the past 10 years I thought you had already played 500 games!
    Without ever playing with the Jerk, my fondest memory is the night of one of your retirements, late 2000’s the same night Bird and Uppy? retired too.
    The boots were thrown over the Havy truss in the beer gardens during HYB, then not too further into the night the vodka glasses were being emptied down your throat then over the shoulder and up over the truss smashing on the floor in front of the bouncers….that was the first time I saw anyone over the age of 25 to try punch on with the bouncers.

    My other memory must have been early 2000’s at the Havy because smoking was still allowed in the pub. You were at the bar, beer in one hand and fag in the other with your back to Mrs. Legrand, you must have had a couple because your hand holding the lit fag kept falling back behind you and accidentally burning Wes’ misses on the leg, it must have happened 3 or 4 times in a couple of minutes. I couldn’t believe that she didn’t lose her rag at you! Must attest to either the understanding of Mrs. Legrand or just the legendary status that you hold!.

    Good luck this morning, I can’t believe I cant make it, just make sure you don’t give off anymore of those handpasses please!


  63. Good story Mal. Played against the Jerk a few times at Uni Oval, St Paul’s and Mawson Lakes after he’d played around 400 no doubt. Hard to stop at that level (D7 reserves!), particularly with you umpiring Mal… Good luck today Jerk.

  64. Malcolm Ashwood says

    What a great day ! Follow up article to come

  65. Malcolm Ashwood says

    The great man kicked goal number 1, 400 yest against pooraka in a easy win for the greys ( our over 35s side ) go the jerk !

  66. Aidan Hammond says


  67. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Aidan glad you enjoyed the article the great man has now retired

  68. My best memory of Jerk on the footy field was when he was named in a forward pocket by Darryl West ( former AUFC A Grade Coach) in the 1991 Intervarsity grand final vs Melbourne. Despite his size and copping
    Abuse from his direct opponent Greatly pulled in some brilliant marks and kick 2 crucial goals in heavy mud and rain. The Blacks held onto record a 11 point win. The celebrations post game were huge. No one though celebrated harder than Blacks Legend The Jerk. . 500 games. 1400 goals. Outstanding record and bloke.

  69. BHW what a awesome game that was,Jerk made a major contribution as did Smid the spy with his incredible 2nd quarter four long goals with a heavy ball and yes we all partied v v hard.My Place disco with the lady entertaining herself under the table with a guy and the bouncers telling us off was different although I reckon,Darren’s vociferous encouragement may have contributed.POD Peter O Donnell and I were only reminiscing about the game and night recently.Westy values the iiv win enormously and one of his favourite memories at the blacks – thanks,BHW

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