Almanac Books: The Last Hurrah by Adam Woolcock

The Last Hurrah



Hardie Grant Books | 7 JULY 2021 | Paperback | RRP: $32.99




The Dees are flying so far in 2021 with high hopes that this could be the year that they finally get that longed-for premiership win.


You have to go back 56 years to the last time. The Last Hurrah tells the story of Melbourne Football Club’s 1964 Grand Final win and the fall from grace that has left the club without a premiership since.


The history is fascinating. From the mid 1950s, the Melbourne Football Club, led by the legendary coach Norm Smith, dominated the Victorian Football League like no other club before or since. From 1954 to 1964, the Demons competed in 11 finals series, played in eight Grand Finals, winning six. Year after year the club was able to recruit new stars, as other left or retired.


The 1964 Grand Final victory, achieved after a last-minute goal by back-pocket player Neil Crompton, turned out to be not only the end of this dominant era, but also the beginning of a black hole of success for the club. In the years since, Melbourne has made just two Grand Finals, both thrashings.


The Last Hurrah describes the reasons why Melbourne was such a great team, and how its great coach Norm Smith was sacked – albeit briefly – the following season, leading to what many have described as the ‘curse of Norm Smith’.


Author, Adam Woolcock, describes, in comprehensive detail, the thrilling events of 1964, and what has followed, a period in which Melbourne has competed in just 13 finals series, with little success. (….but could this be the year that turns it all around?)



Adam Woolcock is a Melbourne Football Club historian, and owner of the MFC history site, the largest single club sporting history website in Australia. In 2018, was commended in the multimedia category of the Victorian Community History Awards. Adam has published match reviews at since 2005, and in 2017 released The Great Deepression, a memoir of Melbourne’s disastrous years – 2007-2016. Adam’s MFC related Twitter account @demonblog has a dedicated following. He has also contributed sporting articles to Guardian Australia.



For interviews and further information please contact:

Kirstie Armiger-Grant at Hardie Grant Books

Email[email protected]



Copies of the book can be purchased HERE.




The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020 will be published in 2021. It will have all the usual features – a game by game account of the Tigers season – and will also include some of the best Almanac writing from the Covid winter.  Pre-order HERE



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  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Adam and this book get a good run in The Age today

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