Collingwood: A sensational history


As a cathartic reaction to Collingwood’s disastrous display in the 2003 Grand Final loss to the Brisbane Lions I embarked on a project which I hoped might reaffirm my faith in football, and my tribe.

Most scribblers who compile lists of some sort have the brains to stop at 10 or perhaps 20.  However, once I began the task of sifting through 100 seasons and at that stage about 1350 wins, I soon realised 50 would be a bare minimum to do the exercise justice.

Of course many of the club’s finest hours occurred before I had experienced my first hour in this world.  After about three years of painstaking yet fascinating research trawling through microfiche reels at the State Library, old books, videos and my own recollections, an ‘almost book’ was born.

After a meeting with Collingwood I received a verbal agreement the club would publish my tome, but alas some weeks later the deal fell through owing to a realisation they’d over committed to a glut of unsold books through the early to mid 2000’s.

I bided my time hoping a flag might reignite interest in the product.  Unfortunately, by the time Nick Maxwell lifted the cup in 2010 the digital realm had taken hold and making coffee table football books was no longer a viable strategy for publishers who wanted to eat.  JTH could no doubt expand on this topic.

Having killed some of my babies and replaced them with new chapters which demanded inclusion, I self published Sensational Games as an e-book  in 2011.   An obvious limitation though was the lack of images and video footage to break up the slabs of text – suffice to say The Veronicas last album would have sold more than C50MSG.

Which brings us another 5 years down the track and another refresh.  I hope you might have the time and inclination to take a squiz at the latest incarnation: Collingwood’s 50 Most Sensational Games – the website.



About Jeff Dowsing

Washed up former Inside Sport and Sunday Age Sport freelancer. Now just giving my stuff away to good homes. Not to worry, still have my health and day job. Published & unpublished works fester on my blog Write Line Fever.


  1. Luke Reynolds says

    G’day Jeff, well done on the website. Have just had a look around, looks great, looking forward to reading the best 50 of our 1500 wins! What a pity it fell through as a book, am sure it would have looked fantastic on my coffee table. Well done. Go Pies!

  2. Thanks Luke – if only I thought of a coffee table book about coffee tables…

  3. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    So many wonderful memories and painstaking research here, JD. Collingwood missed out on a terrific opportunity with this book. Would have been a fan favourite. Congrats on a fantastic compilation.

  4. John Butler says

    JD, your dedication is admirable, if unrewarded.

    Are you adding yesterday to the list anytime soon?


  5. Thanks JB, Phil.

    A good win yesterday but probably not even in the top 100.

  6. DBalassone says

    Great stuff JD, look forward to surfing through the site. Having devoured the e-version of the book a few years ago, I can vouch that this is a highly satisfying and informative read.
    I still see quite a few footy books on the shelves at bookshops and this should be one of them. It would sit very nicely alongside Cosmo Kramer’s masterpiece on anyone’s coffee table.

  7. E.regnans says

    Congratulations JD.
    Mighty effort.

    What is a book for, anyway, if not to dip into from time to time?
    To inform, to promote ideas?
    Well played.


  8. Barry Nicholls says

    Well done .This is a terrific resource!

  9. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    JD, you’ve done all footy followers a huge favour here, much appreciated, but could you do something about the Jack Anthony game please?

  10. I thought you’d at least appreciate the Smiths reference in the title Swish!

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