Peter Daicos played for Collingwood. You can’t help bad luck.

He kicked amazing goals, and torps on the run, but did something the likes of which I’ve never seen since, early on, when he played on-ball.

Footy was, mostly, on Saturdays. I was young, we had the bye. I kicked down to see Collingwood versus West Coast at Victoria Park, for no other reason than the game was there. It was weird, not barracking for either side. Not a bit. Like I was watching old newsreels.

I stood in the outer to belong.

Collingwood were given the first three frees of the game. When the Eagles finally got one, a toothless Pie supporter behind me shouted, face red, veins popping: “Jesus Christ, Ump! Yer robbin’ us blind!” The spit of it covered me.

He’d slot into my club nicely, I thought. Back pocket in the twos.

Daicos was ruck-roving. Copping a fair chunk of the same shit Wells does now. “He’s good, but should be more.”

Tony Morwood was running off half-back with the pill, and hand-balled, for some stupid reason, to Daicos, who was flat-footed, surrounded by three opponents on the wing. Daics had a funny shape. All torso, with stumpy little legs. A centre of gravity in his arse.

He leant forward, faking a handball, then, defying momentum, pulled back, sending one of the Eagles players to ground. He sold a dummy. Another Eagles player dove but found only air. He baulked as if to take off to the left, but as the last West Coast player leapt, he straightened, and let the Eagle fall. He had sent three opponents to the ground without touching them, or moving his feet. Not an inch.

Surrounded by three floundering men, he then hand-balled back to Tony Morwood, who had kept running as if he was the only bloke in the world who knew, who then kicked it to a forward for a goal.

Which was nice,

but not my point at all.



  1. One of a kind that man. A very unique player and a true joy to watch. One of the few players I associate with VFL Park. I’ve no doubt he would’ve made a very successful international footballer (soccer).

    You’re right about all torso. He’s one of those footballers who you could recognise from just their moving shadow. Robbie Flower is another one.

  2. haiku bob says

    thanks matt

    unmistakably Daics.

    you reminded me of when i saw him do a similar thing in the same spot against the tiges.

    his evasive skills were his greatest strength when he played on the ball and don’t get the same wraps as his goalkicking trickery.

    he was a dancer on the footy field. and he turned and spun and weaved his way around the place as if to touch him would have killed him. rarely got caught with the pill and never wasted it.



  3. Damo Balassone says

    Great stuff Matt. Having been a Daicos worshipper for most of my life I love this piece. The ultimate honour for Daicos is that unlike other Collingwood stars, he is also appreciated by opposition supporters.

    Daics was the master of the baulk and the dummy, and Haiku Bob is right, he once sold the dummy to two Richmond’s defenders who took the bait and collided into one another, while Daics snapped truly. Victoria park in ’81 (the Grand Final replay in fact).

    You (and Haiku Bob) have emphasised here what many have forgotten over the years – the Macedonian Marvel was also a great midfielder (not just a freakish goal kicker). He won 2 Copelands playing in the middle.

    PS I know I’m being a nit-picker here but it would have been Shane Morwood, not Tony.



  4. Andrew Starkie says

    Daics kicked the greatest goal of all time against the Eagles at Waverley, the drawn final, 1990.

    Last quarter, deep in the forward pocket, running towards the boundary line, twenty metres from goal, opponent up his bum. Daics squirted the ball from the outside of his boot at almost a right angle. It carried the distance about a metre or so off the ground before landing on the goal line.

    Daics wobbled back to his position.

    This goal has been lost in history somehow. It shouldn’t have been.

  5. Not lost for us Pie fans, Starkman. It won us the 1990 Premiership (with a little help from Peter Sumich).

    One moment of brilliant, bare-arsed audacity – and the campaign was back on track.

    Nice pea-souper in Melbourne tonight. Brings to mind Rex’s line: “He ran through the fog and missed.”

  6. Matt Zurbo says

    Damo, you are right. And I am a boofhead.

  7. Andrew Starkie says

    Yep, I love Daics and don’t support the Pies.

    Have just youtubed Daics and have seen a handfull of goals that could receive the ‘greatest ever’ tag. The above mentioned snap from the boundary when he was cleaned up by, I think, Terry Keays. He was perfect on both left and right side.

  8. Ramon Dobb says

    My favourite subject – thanks Matt for the opportunity twice in two weeks to relive the glory of Daics. And so eloquently described – perfect. The 1981 Vic Park v Richmond goal was where he made four Tiges defenders look like Keystone Cops as he virtually stood still then pirouetted out of the carnage to goal. The Terry Keays one was better live than on the TV, you don’t see the other close Tiger traffic that he avoided on the TV coverage. THE 1990 QF Drawn game was the greatest goal in the history of the game – ever. The 1981 Prelim at VFL Park versus Geelong where marked 60 out, played on, handballed over Nankervis head, ran around him on onto the bouncing ball, straightened up and slammed home the sealer is a close second to the 1990 QF one. 549 goals and as said above, many could qualify for goal of the century. The greatest entertainer I’ll ever have the good fortune to see. God bless the great man, god bless video recordings of him and god bless threads like this that help us relive it.

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