Almanac E-newsletter – July 23 2021: Peanut, Lord North.



This is the Almanac newsletter from today (July 23, 2021). If you would like to receive newsletters by email, contact us:  [email protected]


Thanks to Sean Mortell in assisting in compiling the newsletter.



G’day Sportsfans


Sitting at my desk here in the Barossa, I feel like I’m in an Irish novel. I think dank is the term. I should ask Frank McCourt. Cold, wet winters are good for writing and reading, as are pandemics, as the lengthy list of pieces in this email suggests. Spirits are high for lots of reasons. Theo has harvested a whopping broccoli, from his Grade 8 Ag plot and after three days of eating it we’re not half way. And we have a new load of blue gum from Truro (made famous by Hayden Haitana and now Rick the Firewood Man).


Spirtis are especially high here because the rain started about six weeks ago and hasn’t stopped. Now we’re in a pattern where the deep lows sit in the Southern Ocean and the clockwise winds whirlpool onto south-eastern Australia and we seem to be right in the middle of it all. So the Barossa has had its wettest July on record already, and it’s only the 23rd. We’re supposed to get 15-35mm tomorrow and then more next week. (The footy between Tanunda and Angaston at Tanunda was suitably muddy last Saturday.)


After a few drought years (we’ve almost forgotten the tinder-dry continent the summer of the tragic bushfires – remember the Oakey Gold Club fairways?) and some lean Vintages in 2019 and 2020, this rain is great for the vignerons and winemakers, and the Valley generally, as the sub-moisture is restored. The Hills are Emerald-Isle green, so that now the cream-coloured houses stand out on the slopes, especially if spotlighted by the watery sun.


So it’s jigsaws and TV and home-schooling and Narkie (or Up and Down the River). The Festival of Television Sport has never been more celebrated. Fires lit. Footy into British Open into Tour de France into replays. This was a wonderful British Open, played at Royal St Georges near Sandwich in the south of England. It’s where G.Norman saluted in 1993. I was there, a guest of Peanut, Lord North, the thirteenth Earl of Guildford, who made many claims in the Shakespeare Inn around the corner from Mayfair (or was it Park Lane) in London the night I met him, at least three quarters of which were true (loosely). But I did spend the weekend with him and Gary ‘The Dog’ and Mishy and a party of characters who’d stepped straight out of an Evelyn Waugh novel. Actually the pub was in Kensington (he said, consulting his travel journal). But I felt even closer to this tournament than usual. It’s always better to have walked the course (rather than been thrown off it, as I was at Troon) and to know where the bunkers and rises and hollows and fences are.I wanted to go to all four days but we didn’t leave the row of cottages on the estate (he really was Lord North) until the Saturday. Especially, I wanted to see Jack Nicklaus but he missed the cut for the first time in 31 years. Seve still walked the earth like the super-being he was and I will never forget moments from that early morning (he was out of contention), one in particular when the collective whisper “Seve” at his tee shot to the sixth filled the natural amphitheatre with liturgical reverence. Twas a great day, even if the Poms (hankies on their heads to avert the 22-degree sun) followed Faldo like lemmings (carrying step-ladders which they’d brought with them on the train from London.) Ridiculously, we weren’t part of the tounament’s denouement because when Mishy woke up very late after a cavalier late-barbecue near the folly in the pheasant wood (not kidding) she announced “Let’s go to lunch”. Gary The Dog and I rolled our eyes and,as Norman was on the driving range, we were driving in a Range Rover heading in the totally opposite direction. “Oh Peanut, there’s a little Mexican place in Canterbury I’m told is simply divine!” she had said. “We must go, we must, we just must,” replied the 31 year old derivatives trader from Paris (who’d popped over for the weekend). You’re kidding. So I  listened to the final strokes of that Open on the BBC somewhere on the M20. (I’ll write this story properly one day.)


Well, I’ve run out of time now. I need to get this email sent.


Anyway, the point I was making is that there’s been lots to watch on TV. And there’s heaps to read in the list below. Perhaps I should send an email every few days for a while to highlight some of the pieces. Because they deserve highlighting.


I will single out a couple of terrific memoir pieces now though – one piece by Allan Grant about being a six year old falling in love with sport in 1955. Another by Martin Flanagan about footy (and life) on the West Coast of Tasmania which is the intro to Gravel & Mud. (This anthology is also featured).


Those who compiled Gravel & Mud (Tony Newport et al) will be guests at the Hobart lunch on Friday July 30. Details are HERE. This lunch will definitely go ahead – even though the travelling Vics and Croweaters won’t get there. Farmer Bill Trethewie and the Tassie crew will still convene at the Ball and Chain in Salamanca Place.


The Gideon Haigh Almanac Lunch today was postponed. More on Gideon’s book The Brilliant Boy in the coming days. There’s plenty of interest in the subject Doc Evatt.


All the best to everyone around the nation. Or are we just a step closer to being six nations?


The Olympics start tonight. Who knows how that will play out. (You might find Andrew Starkie’s piece on Brisbane’s Olympic situation interesting – the link is below).


Go Cats




Richard Griffiths has slunk away from Hawthorn of the late `70s and finds a new footy home – with his brother at Queenscliff. Here’s his story of happy years with the Coutas. [Accommodation deal is a cracker – Ed]



Round 18 – Haiku Bob: slammed shut

Haiku Bob found similarities between the current Covid situation and the performance of Collingwood in Round 18.



Almanac History: Almanacs Through The Ages

In this Friday’s column, KD presents a very short history of almanacs in words and images.



Inspired by Col Ritchie’s recent homage to the Procol Harum classic, ‘A whiter shade of pale’, Ian Hauser recalls two other songs from the same album which he deems worthy of recognition.



Andrew Starkie expresses his thoughts, in no uncertain terms, about Queensland winning the right to host the 2032 Olympics Games.



Mind the gap! The NRL’s Round 19 features a host of matches between the high flyers and the also rans. Ian Hauser tries to find something to get excited about.



Martin Flanagan recalls life on the West Coast of Tasmania with its places, and characters and its distinctive footy. This piece of fine story-telling is the introduction to Gravel & Mud, an anthology put together by Tony Newport and the Carswell brothers Chris and John.



This piece was published originally in March 2020, with the Olympics to be cancelled. We’re now on the precipice of the Games finally taking place, albeit behind closed doors. Glen! gave us the background on the Tokyo Olympics and previous cancellations of the Games, as significant now as then.



It’s 1955 and six year old Allan Grant is living in Balaclava. This brilliant memoir covers all of his early sporting loves – and is a look into the life of Melbourne at this time. The saints, visits from Arthur Morris, Dad’s brickie mate who plays for North Melbourne, connections to racing and the Stawell Gift, tennis, the Olympics on the horizon and a Grandma who only went out with Brownlow medalists. Fine memoir from Allan.



Missing their two dominant rovers, the Cats bludgeoned Richmond in Round Five of the 1953 season, with spearhead George Goninon booting double figures. Peter Clark details the victory in the newest entry to his series.



Losing to Carlton hurts says Cam Hooke as he reviews the Round 18 match, and looks ahead to the Round 19 clash against the Power.



The triumph of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony came to mind as Jan Courtin watched the Swans roll onto victory in their game against the Giants.



A Whiter Shade of Pale’ is one of the greatest songs ever written according to Col Ritchie. Gary Brooker performs in concert the song he wrote with Keith Reid, and recorded by Procol Harum in 1967.



FEARLESS catches up his match reports with those for Rounds 15 and 16. He also offers his thoughts of some current footy issues.



Covid has certainly played havoc for Merv Collins and his football going days as he explains the trials and tribulations of this time.



Awaking from the stupor of deep sleep can leave the mind with the fear of dread as Tommy Mallet’s poem ‘Scratchy Greys’ implies.



Grandstands come in all shapes and sizes. Col Ritchie has come across one incorporating a huge tree trunk at Beech Forest in the Otways long ago. It’s a ripper!



Frank Taylor valiantly reports for the Floreat Pica Society on Collingwood’s disappointing loss to Carlton on an emotional occasion for all footy fans.



Some movies are classics for a reason. Matt Quartermaine has named a wide selection from several genres and decades condensed into the category of ‘old movies’ perfect for viewing with kids of most ages.



All you need is love sometimes…in this time and place E.r was moved to share a local riff on one of Ringo’s finest moments while living in lockdown.



Harold Peacock relates the wonderful story of Sidney Mines, from his journey as an African American man from the civil rights conflict area of southern USA to Australia and becoming a basketball legend in Queensland.



A few players who wore Number 16 in recent decades caught Rodney Boyd’s eye for their more interesting feats or foibles…including one player with a surprising basketball background.



This Monday’s poem from Kevin Densley looks in detail at the sickle (or crescent) moon – compared to its gibbous and full cousins, it is found wanting!



The Wallabies in a more disciplined and determined display of rugby win the deciding match in the Trophee des Bicentenaires reports Brian The Ruminator.



Nick Kossatch had his heart in two places; against the Saints in Melbourne playing his team the Power, and for the BITS Saints in Rockhampton. The results caused mixed feelings as he explains in his match report of the games.



Missing some star players, it was a miserable T20 series against the West Indies for the Aussies as Luke Reynolds reports in his review of the series.



Warren Tapner pays a fitting tribute to Carlton great Sergio Silvagni, who passed away a few days ago.



As you will see over the coming days, as the Almanac publishes this series of extracts, Gravel & Mud is full of wonderful yarns.



Sal Ciardulli remembers Carlton great Sergio Silvagni, and presents his thoughts and tips for the Round 18 matches.



Ron Reed, an award-winning sports editor, columnist and feature writer with the Herald and Weekly Times, and a past Australian Sportswriter of the Year, reminds Australians why Ash Barty matters so much us.



Another tough match for the Ainslie Tricolours as they go down to the Riverina Lions as reported by Declan Kerlett in prose, verse and image.



Yeeeeeeaaaaaaahhhh, Slaaaaaaaaaaaade! In this Friday’s column, KD celebrates UK rockers Slade, a favourite band of his early teen years.



Tony Newport, John Carswell and Chris Carswell have compiled a classic anthology of footy stories from the west coast of Tasmania. Here’s some info about the book. Look out for some stories from the book to be published here in the coming days. [A ripper – JTH]



Almanac editor Sean Mortell, holidaying in Far North Queensland, offers his thoughts on Origin III and the 2021 series as a whole.



Earlier this week, Chris Bracher poured his heart out over his beloved South Melbourne. Now he’s lost her again to the uncertainties of the far north. Oh, the pain!



State of Origin author Liam Hauser reviews last night’s final game in 2021 and offers his thoughts on the overall flow of the series.



Newtown RLFC, the Jets, have a long and proud history. Here is a collection of photos of some of the characters who pulled on the famous blue jersey over the years.



Cam Hooke’s confidence in Collingwood paid off last week. He’s doubling down for this week’s clash against Carlton, as he reviews Round 17 with a hopeful eye to the MCG. (Let’s hope we get there – Eds).



The NRL has moved to Queensland for a month or so. What uncertainties might that unleash? Ian Hauser tries to find his way through the revamped schedule to find the winners in Round 18.



KB Hill profiles ‘one of Benalla’s finest sporting products’, Baden Cooke who rode in the international peloton for well over a decade.



Wayne Ball watches on as Australia resumes rivalries with international sporting opponents in cricket, rugby and basketball. He realises just how diminished the powerhouses of his youth are in 2021.



Stereo Stories, a partner project of the The Footy Almanac since 2014, will be performing at The Memo Music Hall in November. Get on down!



Brian the Ruminator summarises Australia’s defeat by Les Blues at AAMI Park, as the Wallabies continue to struggle at the venue.



In Part 4, the final part of Roger Spaull’s account of the history of the Lexton Football League and the Lexton Football Club, he highlights some of the great footballers who played at the various clubs in the Lexton Football League.



Geelong’s miserly defence held John Coleman to just four goals in its victory over Essendon in Round Four, 1953. Peter Clark continues his ongoing series on the Cats’ dominant run.



West Australian correspondent Les Everett updates all the WAFL Round 14 results and reviews.



Jan Courtin is a very happy Swan after Sydney’s fantastic win wearing the old South Melbourne colours against ladder leader the Western Bulldogs in Round 17.



Ian Hauser fears that it will be more doom, gloom and misery for the Maroons in tomorrow night’s State of Origin Game III.



Part 3 of Roger Spaull’s history of the Lexton Football League and Lexton Football Club highlights many of the great players that have represented the club throughout the club’s history.



In an amazing collaboration between avant-garde jazz musician Pharoah Sanders, electronica favourite Floating Points, and the London Symphony Orchestra, they all came together to develop and record an album of music inspired by Julie Mehretu’s painting ‘Congress’.



Tony Scully writes for the Floreat Pica Society after Collingwood came from behind to snatch ‘another famous victory over the the enemy’.



Tommy Mallet’s epic poem ‘The Irish Girl’ comes to its conclusion in Part 3. Does Tommy stay, or does he go? [Warning: mature themes are contained in the poem – Ed.]



The Emerald Hill Chronicle returns to profess a deep and undying love rekindled by a timeless red ‘V’ on white worn by a victorious Swans side.



Brian the Ruminator turns his attention from rugby to baseball as the MLB’s season begins to take shape.



Paul ‘Fearless’ Thomson gives us another double dose of his AFL reviews with Rounds 13 and 14 in the rearview mirror.



Two relatively rare sporting occasions happened this week: top draftee Jamarra Ugle-Hagan made his Dogs debut as a Gunditjmara man from Victoria and Ngarigo woman Ash Barty won Wimbledon 50 years after Evonne Goolagong-Cawley’s famous victory. Roy Hay shares his thoughts on what makes both special.



Any way you slice it, Ash Barty is a marvel on and off the court. In light of her win on tennis’s biggest stage during NAIDOC Week, Paddy Grindlay takes a look at her composure, abilities and ongoing legacy.



There are wings aplenty in Rodney Boyd’s best of Number 16 side since 1980…the team also includes the author’s first ever favourite player.



Old Dog is watching Essendon play the Crows and it gets him thinking about footy. He considers many things including a way of describing the ages of football.



This week’s poem from Kevin Densley concerns Hieronymus Bosch’s famous painting and how foolish people can be.



Ash Barty – what a champion both on and off the court! But what makes her universally admired? Here’s Ian Hauser’s attempt at ‘the ABC of Ash Barty’.



Braham Dabscheck’s spirits are high after his Sainters won their third match in a row, this one away to one of the premiership favourites.



Life goes on, and so we’ve scheduled our annual Hobart lunch for July 30 – to coincide with the North Melbourne – Geelong game. We hope mainlanders can get there, but at least the Fossils will be able to lunch!



Caspar McLeod is pleased with the growing maturity of the Bombers, given their convincing win over the Crows, but goal-kicking practice is sorely needed.



Roger Spaull continues his history of the Lexton Football League and Lexton Football Club as he examines the formation of both. Roger also looks at the ‘golden era’ of the club, and presents his observations of one of the legends of bush footy, Howard ‘Plugger’ Lockett.



This is a remarkable feat from a bush footy club in Queensland. [Well done to the mighty Yeppoon Swans – Ed]



Nick Kossatch was pumped and expecting Port Adelaide to give the Dees a touch up. That’s not how it transpired.



Roger Spaull begins his history of the Lexton Football League and the Lexton Football Club with an overview of the role of country footy as seen through the eyes of Richmond great, Jack Dyer, in an interview conducted by the club in 1971.



Matt Watson continues with his father and son profile of former Melbourne footballers, Steven and Billy Stretch. Part 2 features Billy Stretch.



Greg A reports on the torrid tussle that took place when Old Collegians hosted arch-rivals Brighton in Adelaide’s Premier Grade rugby union.



Declan Kerlett reports on the Round 4 Division 2 clash between the Ainslie Tricolours and Belconnen Magpies with the Tricolours just falling short for their first win.



Philip Mendes recounts Fitzroy FC’s 1978 home and away VFL season, a season of new beginnings and promise for the future but one ending in disappointment after losing eight games by less than two goals costing them dearly.



Deakin student Paris Emini was the only girl in Thommo’s gym. She remembers her life as a young boxer.



Who loves anchovies? Who loathes them? There seems to be no middle ground when it comes to this salty little fish. In this week’s instalment of KD’s Kitchen, Kevin Densley argues strongly on the side of these who are fans.



The vaccination rollout is taking forever! Paddy Grindlay has a list of changes that he thinks are more likely to happen before we’re all jabbed and jocular. (Ed’s comment – Don’t hold your breath!)



It’s time for some teams to make a move, according to Sal. This week he matches teams with player movements over the years (for better or worse) and provides his tips for Round 17.



Melbourne Demons fans may be a little edgy following recent indifferent results. Club member Lynda Carroll offers her perspective in this recent post on the MCC’s blog, Balcony Banter.



True to form, The Footy Almanac pays tribute to 2008 Cox Plate winner Maldivian.



Brian the Ruminator brings us coverage of last night’s First Test between the Wallabies and Les Blues in Brisbane. What a cracker of a finish!



William Westerman concludes his account of the Fitzroy Lions/Brisbane Bears merger by placing it into its historical context and finds that, although it was ‘a tragedy, it was also the birth of something unique and special.’



It’s more than a little worrying when it looks like the top four is done and dusted by the beginning of July with nine rounds to go. The gap between 4th and 5th is now two games plus a sizeable points differential.



Wangaratta Rovers have lost one of their greats, Merv Holmes, who passed away last week. KB Hill reprises an earlier tribute to ‘Farmer’ Holmes.



The Northern Bullants first survived, and now, thrive. Daniel Kelly covers the Bullants’ mighty win over Richmond in last weekend’s round of VFL competition.



Citrus Bob has sent us a famous photo of a Dad, John Hall,and his sevens sons on the day they all played in the Buln Buln seconds.



Peter Clark continues his series on Geelong’s record run of wins in 1953 with the Cats’ Round Three defeat of Collingwood.



Round 16 was not a good match for the Pies against the Saints. Cam Hooke is confident Collingwood can turn their fortunes around in their Round 17 match against the Tigers as he predicts in his preview.



Lynda Carroll visited the MCG and was moved by the eerie feeling of emptiness despite the presence of other fans. First published by Balcony Banter.



Butch Hancock, Joe Ely, and Jimmie Dale Gilmour are The Flatlanders, an iconic Texas band who have been performing together for over fifty years to great acclaim. Listen to a couple of tracks from their new album here.



Mark Mullins digs deep for the Floreat Pica Society to write this report after working night shift. He saw a pattern sadly familiar for Collingwood fans in 2021.



Almanac Poetry: ‘The Irish Girl’ Part 2 – Tommy MalletTommy Mallet’s epic poem of life and love ‘The Irish Girl’ continues with Part 2 this week. [Reader Alert: Please note the poem contains mature themes. – Ed.]



The iconic and eclectic sounds of Dave Graney and Clare Moore made the jump from (computer) screen to stage and Greg Andrew went along for the ride.



Almanac Music – Matt (and Eve) Quartermaine on sharing music through Melbourne’s lockdownWe all deal with the lurches of this pandemic in different ways – for Matt Quartermaine part of the process has been through song, which he recently shared with The Shot.
Round 16 – Collingwood v St. Kilda: Saints’ three quarter effort enough to take out crumbling PiesBraham Dabscheck saw his Saints win somewhat of an arm wrestle with the Magpies, though St Kilda did enough over the past fortnight to convince him that they are back as finals beckon.



Round 16 – Sydney v West Coast: I’d like more of that, please!Jan Courtin was reminded of the days when Sydney were South Melbourne by the small but vocal crowd in red and white. A sea of Swans fans makes for a rare event nowadays outside of NSW!



Round 16 – Sydney v West Coast: An unfamiliar day at the footyCraig Dodson was champing at the bit to hit the highway down to Geelong. The days out don’t get much bigger for the generally more dour Swans, a source of real joy on a red and white family road trip.


Almanac Teams: Fifteen minutes of fame (1980- )Rodney Boyd’s team of more obscure Number 15s since 1980 contains an umpire and a federal court judge…be careful what you get up to around this side!


The Merger Trilogy: The Room Where It Happened

The ultimate fate of Fitzroy in the AFL was decided by a group of middle-aged men in suits at Punt Road Oval, as William Westerman recounts in this conclusion to his trilogy marking 25 years since the first (and hopefully only) merger in VFL/AFL history was confirmed.


Round 16 – Sydney v West Coast: A nice red and white rarityCaspar McLeod’s Swans took to an unfamiliar home ground this weekend – but true to form when in Geelong, Sydney showed they know how to use the ground well as they smashed the Eagles. What comes next is all up in the air in a topsy-turvy top eight!


Almanac Poetry: The Local Mayor Launches a Literary MagazineSome book and magazine launches can be ok; some excruciating. This week’s poem by Kevin Densley depicts an example of the latter. (Any resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidental. Contains minor strong language.)


Round 16 – Hawthorn v Port Adelaide: Shaun Burgoyne’s 400thIt was a huge night for Shaun Burgoyne and his legion of fans – whether Port or Hawks people. Nick Kossatch reports.


Almanac Footy: Eight things I like about Freo

Citrus Bob Utber casts his maritime eye over the Freo Dockers.


Almanac Soccer – Melbourne City v Sydney FC: So, I finally attended an A-League Grand Final… and left with a migraine

Luke Radziminski took in the A League Grand Final and compiled this report of words and photos. [Includes a link to LR’s gallery – Ed]


Paul Ahern finds his opportunity knocking at the Northern Bullants

Daniel Kelly talks with Northern Bullants emerging leader Paul Ahern to discover his people’s background and his experiences in both the AFL and the VFL.


Round 16 – Gold Coast v Richmond: Ninth again?

Dan Hoban was very confident going in to the Tiges game against the Suns but what he observed has made him think his Tiges are in danger of finishing ninth again.


Almanac (Country) Footy and World Records: Yeppoon Swans’ one hundred winning A Grade games in a row

This is a remarkable feat from a bush footy club in Queensland. [Well done to the mighty Yeppoon Swans – Ed]



Round 16 – Gold Coast v Richmond: The crashing of the seats

Tiger John Green was just recovering from his Tigers loss to St Kilda and thought an easy win against the Suns would be further tonic. That’s not how it turned out.


Almanac Footy: The Geelong Ruck Crisis

Deakin Uni student Chris Mangos considers the question that has frustrated Geelong supporters for years: who should play in the ruck?


Almanac Memoir (and Music): The Last Time

In this Friday’s piece, KD looks at ‘last times’, both personal and those more broadly historical in nature.


Almanac Music: Wantok Musik Newsletter

Check out the latest newsletter from Wantok Musik including details of Kutcha Edwards’ new album release, as well as information about other notable performers from the label.


Almanac (Footy) Art and History: 1904 VFL Grand Final: Fitzroy v Carlton

DJ Williams continues his series of articles combining art and football history. This time he covers the 1904 Grand Final between Fitzroy and Carlton.


Almanac Local Footy: Northern Bullants give ex-VFL affiliates the Blues

Daniel Kelly took great delight in watching the Northern Bullants record their first win of the 2021 season – all the more so because it came against Carlton!


The Demons – Steven and Billy Stretch – Part 1

Steven Stretch was a skinny kid who became a quality AFL player for the Melbourne Football Club during their strong late 80s era. Matt Watson provides this profile of a great career. (Epic! – Ed.)


Round 15 – Richmond v St Kilda: An upset as records rewritten

After their loss the previous week, Yoshi wasn’t confident as the Saints took on the Tigers at the G. By night’s end, our correspondent from Japan was counting a series of new records.


The Merger Trilogy: On the Frontier

William Westerman continues to chart the story that saw the Fitzroy Football Club merge with the then Brisbane Bears to become the Brisbane Lions.


Almanac History: Music, sport and the footy in July 1971

Glen! takes us back 50 years to remember the music, the tennis and the footy from July 1971.


Almanac Rugby League – NRL Round 16: Top of the pile battles

A couple of top of the table clashes highlight this weekend Round 16 of the NRL. We offer Ian Hauser’s prognosis.


‘Josh negotiates the obstacles on his footy journey…’ by KB Hill

KB Hill charts the setbacks endured by Josh Newton and his determination to fight back every time.


Almanac Footy Writing: The VFL is restored to its former glory!

Covid chaos? Not so, says Wippet, as he illustrates how the mass exodus of AFL teams to Victoria may actually be a blessing in disguise for the (rightful) resumption of the VFL competition.


Round 16 – Sal’s Preview: Going the early crow

Sal is back to rescue you from your tipping woes ahead of a crackerjack, Covid-affected Round 16.


Geelong’s Record Run – Round 2, 1953: Footscray v Geelong – a blue and white blizzard.

Geelong dominated an undermanned Footscray to consolidate a flying start to the 1953 season. Peter Clark continues his series on Geelong’s undefeated run.


Round 16 – AFL 2021 Footy Fixture: Who, where, and when

The AFL 2021 Footy Fixture for Round 16 is available and updated with changes made due to Covid 19. Find out where, when, and who your team plays this round.


Almanac (Local) Footy: Ainslie Women’s Division 2 – Round 2

At Kingston Oval, Canberra, Declan Kerlett was on hand to see Ainslie defeated by Eastlake.


Almanac Book Launch: ‘And Bring the Darkness Home: The Tony Dell Story’

The Governor-General of Australia, David Hurley AC, DSC, FTSE, will launch ‘And Bring the Darkness Home: The Tony Dell Story’ by Greg Milam on Friday 27 August 2021. Full details are in this post.


Almanac Life: Tony Dell – Soldier in a Baggy Green finds peace at last

Ron Reed discusses Tony Dell’s short Test career sadly thwarted by PTS, a consequence of his tour of duty as a conscript in the Vietnam War. Unknowingly Tony suffered from PTS for four decades until his recent recovery which is told in a forthcoming book, ‘And Bring The Darkness Home: The Tony Dell Story’ by Greg Milam.


Jake Lever Leaving

‘Jake Lever Leaving’, a poem from Damian Balassone, reflects the despair when a favourite footballer leaves the club.


Almanac (Country) Golf: Bridgewater on Loddon in the 1970s and today

Mark Poustie once roamed the greens of Bridgewater on Loddon (just outside Bendigo) with great frequency. He recalls a different time with pigs and semi-trailers as hazards…though the green fees remain a steal!


Almanac Music: Americana – Whitney Rose ‘Believe me, Angela’

Col Ritchie has been a huge fan of Americana music for many years. One of his new favourite artists of the genre is Whitney Rose. Check her out, she is fabulous!


Almanac Poetry: ‘The Irish Girl’ Part 1 – Tommy Mallet

Tommy Mallet has written an epic poem in three major parts telling the tale of a relationship and all its many vicissitudes. Enjoy Part 1 of ‘The Irish Girl’. [Editor’s warning: mature themes are contained in the poem]


Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life: Round 15 Review and Round 16 Preview

Cam Hooke is very disappointed with Collingwood’s loss against the Dockers but is confident they can atone for themselves in their Round 16 match against St Kilda.


The Merger Trilogy: A Man Walked Into a Bar

It was 25 years ago that one of the most significant and earth-shaking events in the VFL/AFL’s 124 year history took place. William Westerman (author of ‘Merger’) has a three-part series on the machinations around Fitzroy’s path from proud original club to subject of administration and economic rationalisation. This is the first part of the trilogy.


Round 15 – Collingwood v Fremantle: Late season reset almost works (Floreat Pica Society)

Despite the loss, Floreat Pica Society stalwart Dave Nadel sees positive signs in Collingwood’s first outing under interim coach Robert Harvey.


Almanac Poetry: Sea Horse

This week’s poem from Kevin Densley is about childhood, beauty and loss.


Almanac Teams: Fifteen love (1980- )

For the second number running, there is leadership in spades for Rodney Boyd’s side with a singular talent relied upon to control the forward line. Who would win a clash between the Number 14 and 15 sides?


Almanac Rugby League – State of Origin Game II: Speed kills, skills thrill!

Almanac editors Sean Mortell and Ian Hauser offer their thoughts on Game 2 of the 2021 rugby league State of Origin series. It’s a tough year for the Canetoads.


Round 15 – Port Adelaide v Sydney: A-Mayes-ing win in birthday twin wins

On his birthday weekend, Nick Kossatch didn’t get to see his local BITS Saints secure a top four spot, but he was able to witness the Power rally to produce a heart-stopping win over the valiant Sydney Swans.


Round 15 – Richmond v St. Kilda: Saints find their mojo against tired Tigers

Braham Dabscheck woke up on Friday feeling confident about a St Kilda upset win over the Tigers. But what he got even blew his lofty expectations away in a stunning MCG victory for the Saints.


Almanac Rugby League – Women’s State of Origin 2021: Gritty, not pretty

It was gritty, not pretty as the Queensland Maroons defended their women’s rugby league State of Origin title at Sunshine Coast Stadium.


Round 15 – Brisbane v Geelong: Cats could learn from the Black Caps

Citrus Bob Utber thought he was heading for a heart attack watching Geelong’s woeful performance in their Round 15 match against Brisbane.


Almanac Life: Riesling Trail Ramblings

Rambling The Riesling Trail on their e-bikes, Mickey Randall and Claire partake in the leisurely pleasures of wine tasting and pub meals along the way.


Almanac Netball: The 400 game netballing sisters from Kapunda

Two sisters, Tabatha MacKenzie and Penny Chappell (of the famous Ryan clan of Kapunda) have achieved an amazing milestone in their career, both playing 400 games for the Kapunda Netball Club.


Almanac Cricket: Black Caps can teach us a lot

Bob Utber was delighted to sit up half the night watching a great contest of cricket with a wonderful win by NZ over India in their ICC World Cricket Championship match in the UK.


Almanac Fashion: Colac ‘Ready-To-Wear’

This week, in his regular Friday column, KD discusses his idea for a new fashion line, mainly inspired by Colac and Picasso.


Almanac Life: Buses, Trains and Automobiles

It wasn’t quite as adventurous as the journey Steve Martin and John Candy took in the film ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’, but Smokie’s trip was memorable nonetheless.


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 (appeared?) on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three school-age kids - Theo, Anna, Evie. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst three. His ambition was to lunch for Australia but it clashed with his other ambition - to shoot his age.

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