Almanac Classics (in a milestone week for the Almanac)

This is a big week for


We will celebrate a milestone. More about that later in the week.


We have published over 17,000 stories in our eight or so years. The site’s admin system allows us to categorise them. And they can be found by author as well. For example Almanac Golf is a category. Memoir is a category. [We have a lot of categories!]


Occasionally, apart from its sporting category, a memorable piece will be categorised a classic – and put into ‘Almanac Classics’. Often, in the busy-ness of editing, we forget about this category. So, ridiculously, it only includes 36 pieces. We have had so many more classics over the years.


See the Almanac Classics HERE.


But, let’s add to it. If there is a piece you have loved, please let us know either by email or in the comments below.


We’ll add it to the list.



About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three kids - Theo13, Anna11, Evie10. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst three. His ambition is to lunch for Australia.


  1. So many absolute crackers. P. Flynn’s “Johnno” piece is certainly one of them.

    Many from old mate Mathilde – will review some of these treasures.

    Harms on Richmond.

    Will need some time to review the list!

  2. What a wonderful project.
    Agree with Dips.
    P Dimitriadis has a strong back-catalogue.
    Including the striking:

  3. Neil Anderson says

    Like to nominate one of Swish’s. Anyone of the Dudley Street Doggies series. I remember probably the first one, where one of the characters referred to the ‘Bullydogs which got a great reaction from the Almanackers. I never did find out how the Crow-supporting Swish ended up in the heart of Bulldog territory. My other choice would be just about anything written by Mathilde.

  4. Can’t remember who it was but the one from the 2013 Hawks V Cats prelim where he was sitting in front of Jeff Kennett and his beret.

  5. A ripper bloke called Declan Fay.

  6. I loved so many of Dips re Kate’s adventures and competitions I admit crying re the teaching Kate about catching the bus as many of you no being involved in helping out with the disability sector these really resonate with me ( why the article I wrote re Rick Neagle has so many different meanings.i also really admired the passion by PB he nailed it

  7. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks Neil. Clem etc started out as a self imposed exercise in creative writing that soon descended into vaudeville. It started at the time of the Dogs 2015 resurgence. Not really sure why I chose the subject. I didn’t actually ever set foot in Footscray until 2016, so it was mostly a product of my uninformed imagining and anything but classic.

    Can’t believe that Matt Zurbo hasn’t been mentioned here yet.

  8. Dave Brown says

    E.Regnans’ pieces on closed head injury, Swish’s trips to Geelong and Mickey’s first ever Almanac T20 report

  9. DBalassone says

    Here’s a few more that spring to mind:
    JTH on Bobby Davis.
    Zurbo on meeting Blighty.
    Lord Bogan on Picken, 77-81 and grief.
    Cranky Pete/Micky on their respective favourite Glen Campbell/Jimmy Webbs songs (even though I maintain ‘Galveston’ is better than both).
    PJFlynn on the toepoke.
    Any article that mentions Ross Brewer.

  10. This is great.
    Kaisha Thompson’s “Get Stuffed” after M Payne won the cup.

  11. So many.
    I’ll keep going.
    JTH on community cup this year
    J Butler at Etihad
    D Lusher in Doggies GF week
    Tess Pryor on Doggies
    Tony Wilson’s suckers in your beds piece

  12. Peter Flynn says

    Dips on Kate.

    Mathilde on the half back flanker.

    Anybody who has been Doyled!

  13. Pamela Sherpa says

    Dip’s Stawell Gift piece is top of the list for me. Glad you have it featured .

  14. ER – your Flanagan open letter.

    So many – a few others.

    Old mate Mathilde – half back flankers
    Old mate Mathilde – Chaos and Control

    J Harms – Chappy – he’s so reliable.
    J Harms – JK Trewick
    J Harms – Five Minutes of Stevie J.

  15. Flynn’s Dart’s in Belfast – great call.
    Tess on the Doggies – great call.
    Smokie – I hate Richmond.

  16. Sophie’s Choice. Which of the children do you save? Been mentioned but I always come back to the first 2 Almanac pieces I ever read (Easter 2011). Dips piece on competing at Stawell is one of the finest insights into the mind and emotions of the elite sportsman.
    And JTH on the Newell Highway with JK Trewick is a trip back to a time and place full of romance and wisdom. (Funny how much the Newell features in the life and times of JTH – see Diaries of a Mug Punter).
    John Butler’s epic series on the 1911 VFL season was riveting. Constant reminders of how times change but people and greed don’t. Start here –
    So many others. Phil D’s poignant overlay of his and Tom Wills’ experience. Early ERegnans magic realism when he introduced Clarrie Grimmet the flying horse and Harry Collier to Test Cricket. (Nearly edited that one into oblivion – hasn’t the bloke ever heard of full stops and commas. Mozart sounded crap the first time to people raised on Salieri).
    Rulebook on Garry McIntosh. Who knew there was a keen mind lurking beneath all that raving passion? (Both of them).
    Gigs on falling down and getting up again. (Is there an emerging theme here?)
    PJ Flynn on Bubba Watson. And Jack Styyyyrrrrriiiiinnnnggg. And his obit for Al. Like Sinatra, PJF could sing the phone book – if only he’d get off his arse and write more. I’d pay $100 for a Get the Lazy Bastard out of the Pub/TAB/lecture hall PJF Monthly article (is it asking too much?) Almanac Subscription.
    Anything by Mathilde (bloody traitorous Cygnet)/Swish (Pie Girl progenitor)/E Regs (Bib, Bub, Bob?? – who knew there were so many of them)/Luke (brewery boy)/ JTH (Premiership Progenitor – time to get the tool out of the shed? Or should that be….) etc involving time with their kids. (Another bloody theme).

  17. Definitely not blowing my own trumpet but,
    for old times’ sake, Mrs Smokie has requested
    my piece on the backyard soccer match.
    She was telling a few friends about it but could not find it??

  18. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    So many to choose from JTH !! Any chance of re-hashing some of those ABC Footy Unleashed pieces from 2008?
    Still reckon this little gem from RTS Kane rates:

    Especially with the election of Trump and the SSM debate of late.

  19. E.regnans unforgettable story of his head injury and everything that followed..

    Dips wonderful Stawell Gift story relatable in so many ways.

  20. Reckon we could have a series where the subject of the piece actually left a comment – Mickey’s Greg Chappell hat a highlight:

  21. Earl O'Neill says

    I’ve read a lot of great pieces here, too many to recall any particular one. But the best of Matt Z (congratulations Dad) and the more impassioned Rulebook raves deserve inclusion.
    Jan Courtin’s writ some great stuff, Yoshi, Swish too.
    And one of mine, cos I have the best hair.

  22. The People’s Elbow
    Matty Q on his father’s passing
    Whatabout one of the Podcasts?

  23. Loved Peter B’s trip to Europe in 2015 and his attempts to get coverage of the Weagles September run, partly because I was in Europe at the same time.

  24. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    Bravo, bravo JTH and Almanac/kers all. Even up here in Sydney, 5 million still seems worth a fair bit!!

    Too many classics to call … but the mind conjures …
    Harms on ‘Uncle Stan’ (Dec 2015)
    Mountain Ash’s not so ‘Small Revelation’ (Jan 2014)
    Dips and Kate’s ‘Please let me win’ (April 2017)
    Flynn on Darts (April 2016) and Johnno (Aug 2015)
    Pete B’s 2015 European Finals Diary with the Zestok Orao
    Zurbo’s ‘Off Season Odyssey Part 42’, the ute falling inland (Dec 2016)
    Mickey Randall’s ‘Barney 17’ (Aug 2017)
    Neil A, Luke R, Earl O …
    Kate’s paintings!

  25. Barry Nicholls says

    Anything by Mike Sexton tops my list.

  26. JTH

    Echo all comments re E.regnans, Matt Zurbo and People’s Elbow critiques of the Blues.

    Also I nominate Peter Z/T-Bone’s article in which he relived his days umpiring and how he awarded BOG votes

    (Flattered ER included my overheard piece, shucks)


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