Balcony Banter – 1972 Grand Final: Gatecrashing history

“It is every young boy’s dream to step onto the `G on Grand Final Day and be part of that famous lap of honour, with the iconic cup.”


In 1972, Paul Walsh got to live this dream. To find out how he did it, read his story at the MCC’s Balcony Banter blog.


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  1. Rulebook says

    Absolutely brilliant,Paul !

  2. george smith says

    Showponies at their peak. Pass the Enos. Was studying the HSC so came back from the National Library with a sense of foreboding – caught the last bit. Next year, even though my team was not in it, it was all worthwhile, to get revenge on the arrogant ones. Tended to avoid Showpony grand finals after that, except for the glorious failure of 1981.

    It’s well documented:
    Girlfriend dumped me, car broke down in Seymour, threw away a lobster from Queenscliff, Moore did his hammy against Fitzroy, Pies limped into Grand Final, were ahead at 3/4 time only to get over run in the last quarter. Instead of partying at Vic Park spent time in a cafe in Brunswick with a 100 year old ethnic gent going:
    “Collingwuud, ha, ha ha”…on loop tape.

    Fortunately the car made it back to Gundagai in one piece this time.

    Made 1990 so much sweeter.

  3. John Butler says

    George, I suppose now’s not the time to bring up 1970?

  4. george smith says

    I can’t watch 1970. Canberra, thanks to satellites (new technology tested out by a new wave group called The Beatles, I think) was the testing ground to beam VFL matches direct into the home. This was a privilege unavailable to Victorian viewers until 1977.

    The second year of this bounty saw my beloved Magpies as premiership favourites on teev versus the underdog Showponies. All was well until 3/4 time when it was obvious that us Magpies were in deep manure. I was confident of a fightback because we had done similar thing 2 weeks before – but the rest is history. For the first time I went for a walk in the middle of the last quarter and did not return until after it was all over. Little did I know at the time, that it would take 20 years from Collingwood’s blackest day to salute the judge. I went from an angry teenager to a much relieved middle aged man.

    But it is why 1990, 2010 and even the 2011 night premiership are so sweet to me now. And why 25 years of suffering for the folks in dark blue is not nearly enough…

  5. Stainless says

    George – I don’t often side with Collingwood fans but I’m with you totally about Carlton. 25 years of suffering…? Pah..! It needs to be at least double that!
    The 72 GF was my first ever game of VFL footy and I was probably sitting just above where Paul made his ground invasion…except we were well and truly in the car on the way home when the siren sounded.
    I’m still dealing with the trauma today.
    The 1982 GF didn’t help my attitude towards the ODNBs.

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