Almanac Poetry: ‘Four Flags’ – Tommy Mallet




Four Flags


I adored Martin Pike,
all those tatts,
not the pretty boy kind,
the booze, and four flags.


Surely, he was us.


Martin’s a labourer now,
we spoke after work one day.


Four flags, he should have been in the HALL OF FAME,


but wasn’t tidy enough.

Their loss.


Martin pondered all those famous players,
Skilton, Flower, so on,
the trade built around
the fact they never won one;


They say they’d give it all up – Brownlows, fame –
for a premiership medal,
but I wonder, would they;

“Oh, so-and-so won one? Hmph. Did he?”


Martin Pike won four,
I’ll never forget.


Tough bastard.


More from Tommy Mallet HERE





The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020 will be published in the coming weeks. 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 right now HERE


More poetry from Almanac Poetry can be read HERE


If you would like to receive the Almanac Music and Poetry newsletter we will add you to the list. Please email us: [email protected]


To return to the  home page click HERE


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.


Do you enjoy the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over please consider making your own contribution.


Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE
One-off financial contribution – CLICK HERE
Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE







  1. Pikey was a ripper. He got ’em going in the 03 Prelim. And don’t forget 6 GFs in 7 years. And Fitzroy’s very last B&F.

  2. Pikey was a favourite of mine when he was at North

  3. Malby Dangles says

    Great poem, Tommy. Pike was an underrated player. Tough and skillful backman who I remember in several games that if the Lions were struggling to score he would go forward and kick multiple goals. Very valuable player who would’ve gotten a game in any team.

  4. Richard Griffiths says

    I remember visiting Pikeys home in Gepps Cross, an inner northern suburb of Adelaide to discuss our intention to draft him with our Number 1 pick. It was a Saturday morning around 11am in mid-October.I knocked on the door and his mum answered. She looked confused. Martin had not made it home from the night before….We eventually caught up that night. He was a very, very good player and played some handy games up forward and in down back. He had a terrific footy brain. He was a little wayward in his early years and departed the club. Good on him-four time premiership player!

  5. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    I played footy with his dad Jeff, coached his mum Chris at softball as well as watching a young Martin most Saturday mornings in the Ingle Farm juniors for a couple of years, but I never would have marked him down for four AFL flags.

Leave a Comment