Crio’s Question: How did you get through a mid-match wedding?

by Chris Riordan

Admit it. We’ve all found ourselves in circumstances where we need a score…I mean a footy score, but have had to institute a covert operation.

Whether overseas, at a meeting or even at a wedding (!!!), in what unusual situations have you managed to get your fix?


  1. Crio,

    Fine about the trannie. Just hold off until after Father Michael has made it all official.

  2. Daff, I thought you said there was gonna be a giant screen behind Father Michael…

  3. Since you, Paul, have specifically raised the topic of this weekend I must comment that the Dogs and Brissie don’t kick-off until the evening! Contingencies will be arranged.
    As amazing as it may seem, a much younger and more cherubic crio used to sometimes sing at weddings, occasionally spirited from Glenelg Oval mid-match to get this pocket money. I recall that weddings at the Port usually featured a score update from the pulpit back then when the SANFL had a good following.

  4. BTW, the hymn board is a good place to disguise race results (Doncaster Handicap remember!).

  5. hmm, maybe ill just get married on a Thursday?
    Although Collingwood doesn’t always have too many Sunday games so i should be safe. ;) you were a wedding singer? ;)lol

  6. Crio

    Was a groomsman at a mates wedding on Grand Final Day 1984…….the bride selected the date because it was only day the reception venue was available!My mate was a very keen hawthorn fan from a very keen Hawks family.Thats what love does!! I was standing in for the grooms brother who refused to attend because it may have been Leigh Matthews last game.My late father upset my mother by having the trannie earpiece in.We had organised a code.He would cough if the Hawks scored Major & my wife would cough if the Bombers scored one, she being a bombers fan.
    Unfortunately in the emotion of the nuptials my wife forgot about the code.It was early in the game but her coughing fit had me totally distracted until the end of the ceremony.
    Sadly the hawks were run over,sadly the grooms brother arrived late at the reception very much the worse for wear…….& sadly but not surprisingly the marriage didnt last

  7. Pamela Sherpa says

    Daff, you of all people should know better than to get married during the football season.
    But then again- with the way Richmond are going- maybe it’s a good idea after all.

  8. Actually, Tim, I remember how I learned of the result that year. I fell out of a mate’s bedsit in Earl’s Court that Saturday morn (probably looking for a greasy spoon to line us en route to Stamford Bridge) and I can still see the view I had in through an open door on the old, filthy, famous Prince of Teck, and a Number 32 Bombers guernsey facing the bar, arms aloft in drunken delirium. Its all i recall of the day.

  9. Pam, I hear that Cousins and co have made themselves available for social activities this weekend…those Tiges ain’t gonna let footy get in the road of a good time!

  10. I missed my brother’s wedding because I had to play cricket. But it was his fault. When he announced the date I said “that’s the day of our Grand Final”. But the season hadn’t started and he said “you won’t make the Grand Final”. My response was “fine, but if we do make it I won’t be at your wedding”, which he was OK about.

    We did make the GF. Ironically on the day, which was chosen by my brother based on weather history as a dry day (they’d organised a backyard reception), there was a huge downpour. It was the first significant rain in weeks, maybe months. We ended up not playing on the day but couldn’t leave until late because the umpires were allowing time to see if the pitch dried up. No play, no wedding.

    Most importantly, we won the Grand Final the next week.

  11. That’s kind of the opposite of what we are researching here, Gigs…more often we’d be at the function physically but yearning for a score from the game!

  12. Peter Flynn says


    One off the topic comment.

    I’ve had a few jars in the Prince of Teck over the journey. Nowhere near as good as the King’s Head on Hogarth Place (The adventures of Barry McKenzie).

    The pub meals upstairs (broiled rather than roast chicken).

    The pub is now an upmarket venue. Nothing like the halycon days.

    Daff, have a great day.

  13. Flynnie,
    It was just where I woke up! Awful dump.
    Saw the Mentals at The King’s Head.
    Back on topic, surely you’ve got sports results in extraordinary circumstances?

  14. Crio,

    You a wedding singer! A friend was just commenting today on your velvety voice, and how you should do voice-overs. (It’s true, it’s true.) This is worth a thread on its own. Were you like a bayside, croweating Adam Sandler? We need full details.

    I’ve just had a quick think and this will be only the third wedding to which I’ve ever been in footy season. The first was Paul McAllister’s, and that was on a Sunday arvo in 1992. The next was my brother Mark’s a decade ago. And now mine. My family is most disrespectful of footy conventions.

  15. PS. I’ll never mention Adam Sandler on this site again.

  16. Peter Flynn says


    Given the smoke, I can’t believe that you would be able to see the Mentals?

    The best I can offer was getting Test scores from expensive UK newspapers in inexpensive Prague and Budapest etc (pre-internet days).

    At weddings where I’ve acted as MC, all guests have been fully briefed with he important scores of the day.

  17. I must be a worse case than i feared…for example, if someone asked if I’d been in Italy in ’86 I’d be unsure, until…I vividly recall shuffling in to Vatican and seeing an English language newspaper banner heralding Sharkie’s British Open triumph. Again, that’s all I recall from that day but I bet I could track that news-stand (front/right of St Peter’s Sq!)

  18. Rob Clarkson says


    Adam Sandler news just to hand…

    Sandler begins shooting today with Jennifer Aniston for a new Happy Madison, Columbia Pictures romantic comedy: “JUST GO WITH IT”. Sandler’s character recruits Aniston to pose as his soon-to-be-divorced wife and her kids as his fake family; in order to woo his love interest, played by the current SI swimsuit cover model (Brooklyn Decker).

    Call me Nostradamus if you like, but do you think that maybe Sandler and Aniston’s characters gradually discover that the ‘one’ they’ve been looking for, all this time, is each other?

    How cool would that be if things worked out ok?

  19. Andrew Fithall says

    Helen (Geelong supporter)and I were at a wedding in Echuca on Grand Final day 1989. The groom and his best-man-brother were Hawthorn supporters. The brother of the bride had played several games for Richmond and Footscray so the family wasn’t football ignorant. Helen had the trannie (in the days when such description only applied to a radio)and kept the people in the near vicinity updated – especially during the last quarter. At the conclusion, we let the groom pass by as they headed for the exit but informed the best man of the result as he went past.

  20. Dave Nadel says

    I remember attending a wedding on Grand Final Day 1971. The reception was held at a private house somewhere in the Diamond Valley. As the afternoon festivities wore on, more and more of us gathered round a radio to see if Hudson was going to break Pratt’s record (and there were also a few St Kilda barrackers present).

    The couple are still together 39 years later although I haven’t seen them regularly since the late 70s. Pratt still shares the record and the way football is played today he and Hudson will share it forever.

    Congrats and good luck on Saturday Daff.

  21. Rob,

    That’d be very cool.

  22. Andrew,

    I’m trying to think of the former Footscray and Richmond defender from Echuca way.

    So far I’ve got Tim Gepp and David Thorpe.

    Neil Peart, but he also played for Collingwood.

    Is it David someone who had a beard? I can’t think of his name.

    Anyway, noble deed by yourself and Helen.

  23. Nostradamus, what the hell are you talking about?

  24. Rob Clarkson says


    I’m simply suggesting that Sandler’s character, though besotted enough by Decker’s character to establish a tricky-to-maintain (and, no doubt, hilarious) ruse with a compliant Anniston’s character may, in the process or enacting that ruse, be drawn to the-down-to-earth humility and good-natured wackiness that Jen brings to these roles.

    And then, you know, like, they hook-up.

    That’s all I’m saying.

  25. Slightly off topic but relevent. I was a corporate guest* at a Canberra Raiders match . Flash facilities, right on the cente line, that happened to include a TV inside. About half way through the game I though I might nip out he back and catch the Swans – Carlton score. Not wanting to be rude I returned to the outside seating area. However, having no interest in league and a lot of interst in Carlton the lure of the TV finally got to me. I spent the second half as the beer wench which basically allowed me to watch the Blues. Win Win. My hosts thought I was a great bloke for getting them the grog all arvo and I got to watch the footie. Eventually had half the other patrons watching it with me by three quater time as their loyality to League was somewhat swayed by the opportunity to drink the Corporate’s grog.

    * A no stage did I wear a tie or sports jacket which should be punishable by death if one does so when attending any sporting function including the Brownlow.

  26. Andrew Fithall says


    At the 1989 wedding, the brother of the bride was Michael Rolfe. The groom was Steve Barlow. I don’t know if his then 22-month old nephew (Michael) was in attendance.

  27. I cleaned out an old work bag the other day. Jammed within was a toilet pass from a school I previously worked at. Appreciatively scrawled on the back by the exited student was the placegetters of the Oaks run that afternoon!

  28. Peter Flynn says

    Moons ago, I had to sit (well I didn’t have to I suppose), a thermodynamics exam that clashed with the Melbourne Cup.

    About halfway through the alloted time, the Cup was run and the invigilator duly wrote the first three placegetters on the whiteboard.

  29. Andrew,

    That was him! I was thinking of David Palm.

    What do you mean you can’t remember him?

  30. Andrew Fithall says

    In 1984 Steve Barlow (see 26 above) and I were travelling together having co-purchased the obligatory combie. Grand Final Day we were in or around Munich for some festival which I believe has beer as a bit of a focus. We knew Hawthorn were playing but hadn’t been able to ascertain their opponents. It was nice to have been ignorant of and absent from a then record preliminary final defeat of Essendon over Collingwood. I am not sure how we eventually found out the results of either game. In fact I am a bit blurry about a few details from that period. There might have been one or two Australians around who had found out and passed on the news. Steve took Hawthorn’s loss reasonably well. He can’t have been too football focussed if he was to allow himself to be married on a Hawthorn Grand-final Day five years later.

  31. Nik Stace says

    My cousin, not a footy fan, got married on AFL Grand final day 1997 in Adelaide – the day the Crows won their first flag. A couple of us were sat in the back row of the church with earpieces in listenting to the call. Fortunately the ceremony was over early enough that we could get home to watch the second half on the TV before heading off to the reception. I felt sorry for my Dad who was one of the wedding car drivers that day – he had to make do with listening to the car radio on the way up to the reception – when it got tight towards the end he almost drove off the road!

    My cousin could never work out why it was so easy to get a booking for the church and the reception venue that day!

  32. ChalkDog, Have you time to relate our ’85 Beerfest Prelim score debacle?

  33. Andrew Fithall says

    At Flemington one Saturday afternoon without access to TV or radio, I sent a text to the course broadcaster who obliged by providing more frequent running scores over the PA. He has said that since the introduction of Flem TV (as it was first known – and I think mispelled!!)he does sometimes struggle to get a word in between races.

  34. Tony Roberts says

    I can cite three different wedding clashes with cricket and/or football finals.

    I warned a mate who planned to get married on the NSW South Coast in March 1981 that it was probably going to clash with my Reds cricket grand final. We made it, and he willingly gave me a leave pass to play, as long we won and as I performed like Keith Miller. Yes, we did, and I’m too modest to confirm the second part.

    Eighteen months later, he came to Melbourne for the wedding of another mate, annoyingly scheduled against the 1982 VFL qualifying final between Carlton and Hawthorn. We were quite the best-dressed patrons in the MCG’s grimy old Southern Stand as Wayne Harmes turned the match on its head, just before we were compelled to rush at three-quarter time to Richmond station for a train to mercifully nearby Caulfield.

    And then, in March 1992, my own wedding clashed with another successful Reds CC GF appearance (by then, though, I’d retired). This was also the Saturday of AFL round 1, but this still being the days of the Carrara Koalas, that seemed no more of a sacrifice for me than Paul would be making for the Paper Tigers this weekend coming.

    Look forward to a report in your ‘In The Sheds’ Age column, as well as on this site, Paul.

  35. Crio, thank your for the opportunity to relive a peice of Eurpoean autumn of ’85. Unlike Andrew Fithalls lack of memory of the 84 Finals series the Prelim of 85 is thoroughly burned into my memory.

    I hade been “living” in London for all of 85. I had followed the footy season religiously via Mondays TNT and the weekly Channel 7 Footy Replay we got on VHS every Tuesday morning. It was pot luck as to what 3 games we got, but the dulcet tones of Peter “28 each of two” Landy made the homesickness subside every time [ie it made me glad I was away not pleased with a touch from home]. I managed to escape London for the pleasures of Munich in Oktober by trading off a trip to the running of the Bulls with a colleague. By Oktober I was ready for it despite it being Prelim Final weekend and the Doggies were playing Hathorn at the Park. It was a very eventful trip down by bus. I arrived Thursday afternoon into a swirling mass of bier, pork knuckles, bier, bier and a motley crew of bulldog supporters led by a not so famous ex Bulldog of german extraction that we used to call the tallest wingman ever to play the game [no 13 in the early 80s]. Before we knew it it was late Friday night and we were seriuosly engaged in trying to work out the actual time difference between Melb and Munich. All I recall is that we agreed to meet at 8ish Saturday morning out the front of the shop that sold everything and work it out from there. We all arrived early, or truth be known stayed there all night as the vending machine dispensed beers and there was nowhere to sleep in Camping Thallkirchen anyway. So the crew assembled and someone actually worked out what time it was in Melb. The not so famous German wingman was proudly wearing his no 13 and I was wearing the jumper that had been around europe 3 times and never worn{ it was the one that carried the ICI logo except mine didnt as I bought it on the cheap from Forges], and a variety of other footy jumpers. We got the time right and a few of the boys from Maldon were arranged to call the Kangaroo Pub to get the scores from their GF so we asked them to get a VFL score as well. The Maldon Bombers got rolled some obscure team from around Maryborough way and the barman at the Kangaroo pronounced the Bullies into the GF by 3 points. Well at around 10am that Munich Saturday morning the party really started. The whole crew were standing on a table singing the song for the eighth or ninth time when some bloke walked past and questioned why we so happy considering we had been beaten by 10 points.
    The German & I were betwixt & between at that point. We were in the midst of working out just how we would get back within a week. And now we were confused. After what seemend like an eternity it dawned on me that I would have to take charge. I demanded all the coin that was around which was not to hard too extract as the shop was open and we no longer relying on the vending machine for sustenance. So after not speaking to home for a while [say about 4 months] I dialled the international code for Australia followed by my mums phone number. I then blurted out:
    “Hi Im in Munich for the beerfest. Doing ok! Dont have much money for the phone so who won the footy?” My rather startled mum said the usual “Oh its good to hear from you at last…” So again I interjected “The footy! Who won the footy?” She again tried to change the subject and tell me some family news. Again I said “The footy! Who won?” She replied “Hawthorn by about 6 points”. I asked if she was sure [she was a mad Collingwood fan who took little interest if they werent involved] She said yes and the last coin fell through. The line went dead.
    As I walked back to the boys I still wasnt sure of the result, but felt it was a stranger and my mum versus the drunk barman from the Kangaroo Pub in Maldon who we later found out was gay and had no interest in Football [hence the reason he was working when the local team was in the GF].
    So history shows that Hawthorn won. The boys took it well as it was about opening time in the Hofbrauhaus and there were things to be done.
    The German, Crio [who was known by another name at the time] and the crew reconvened a couple of days later to toast the Brownlow hanging around a redhead from Freos neck. But thats another story…

  36. PS Good luck Daff!!!

  37. I can laugh at it and that’s only 25 years ago.
    What a rollercoaster morning that was and it preceded the infamous “don’t laugh” episode.

  38. Another tough sport result experience was in my final year of school. We always ran a Cup book but when I was in Year 12 I was finally the leading bookie in the yard (Budge had graduated!) and so this was my time. We ran the normal scams…sweeps for idiots where you’d sell multiple times the roughies and keep showing pundits that the favs were still in the bag (then secreted in a pouch at the bottom). I recruited some agents to help provide the service and we gathered unusually early as I explained the odds to be bet and the need to reconvene later…this was in Adelaide so it was a normal school day. Having left home so early I’d missed the news of a deluge sweeping Flemington and at lunchtime realised we’d overlaid two horses, especially Van Der Hum. The oldest looking chap was dispensed to the track to try to back it back and several of us took leave from class to watch the Cup at a nearby house (it was always broadcast across the school but I needed my own space). Van Der Hum’s slogging win coincided with the news that we’d had nothing “back” as he was nowhere near the 7/1 we’d offered. I remember slouching back in to class and the teacher quietly calling me to his desk…”Better pay me first young fella, I guess you’ve done your dough!” Most of my so-called partners bailed but I settled through gritted teeth.

  39. In 1977, my Dad’s mate was getting married, and Dad was one of the groosman. The couple getting married decided on the date of the wedding: The Saturday after the Grand Final that year. As we know, a draw resulted and it was replayed the following Saturday, the day of the wedding.

  40. Josh, He’s not North too I hope?

  41. Sure is.

  42. That is sad. How did everyone manage?

  43. Dad was wanting to wear his North Melbourne guernsey underneath his suit but he wasn’t allowed, and many radio checks were made. At least they won in the end. And at least it was Collingwood.

  44. I’m imagining some disgruntled guests.
    It can mean a lot to some people.
    I know a bloke who, today, was offered a trip to Italy that overlaps this year’s GF…a Bulldogs boy, he said he just can’t risk it! That drove home to me how much some people care.

  45. Some people just wouldn’t miss a Grand Final for the world, and I don’t blame the bloke. I would be kicking myself if I went for the Bulldogs and was away when they finally made the last day in September.

  46. Daff,
    Can we safely assume Jo will be “traditionally late”?…the Doncaster is at 330! Or should we post the placings on the hymn board?

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