I spotted Dizzy “running the lake” in Ballarat on Monday. Well, not like the gazelle he once was, but running with a purpose nevertheless. Like “Monners”, I suspect he does it (and some) every day. Allan “Dizzy” Lynch; a legend of pro Aths and the mighty Geelong West Roosters.

“You’re Dizzy Lynch aren’t you”?……I could see the cogs moving in his mind until satisfied that the recognition was not mutual, but born of my teenage admiration of his deeds. I think my interest sparked a flicker of pride; the recognition that was once lauded upon him but which had faded with the years rekindled in those wide-eyes, as we settled into a yarn.

We’d come from The Gift at Stawell, where Dizzy enjoys hero status. He doesn’t feature amongst the list of winners in the legendary 120m but is ingrained in the fabric of the place as the only man to win the 3200 m thrice, as well as the Herb Hedemann Invitational mile in 1987. That equates with real credibility in the hardened Pro ranks. No flash in the pan or weeks of running “dead” for one moment of glory for Allan Lynch.A mate of mine recalls backing him in the mid-70’s when he started from scratch in the Mile and reeled them in only to miss out on victory by inches. For 20 years Dizzy graced the grass of Central Park. Longevity epitomizes Pro running.

Dizzy ran the in The Otway Classic (as did Monners). I think he was one of John Tolemans stable, who would encourage his boys through the window from the back seat of his Mercedes as they sweated on the tortuous terrain. The lunch-break at Winchelsea on the last day was a highlight for a local lad and sometimes we joined the line of cars that snaked behind the runners over the Otways to the finish at Lorne. Dizzy always looked vulnerable in my eyes…sinewy and with a strained facial expression. How wrong I was.

We talked of that Geelong West Premiership side of ’75. A time when the concrete bike track around the Western Oval in Geelong was deemed “home ground advantage”!  Radojevic, Bright, Manson, Gilmore.  Billy Goggin in the coaches box. My VFA team, in the days of 16 plus reserves. No wingmen suited players with a turn of speed like Dizzy. “28 000 at the Junction Oval that Grand Final day” said Dizzy. I was there and it was packed but ground capacity makes me wonder whether Dizzy had exaggerated just a little; perhaps caught up in reminiscence of a wonderful time now passed.

We spoke of life post “Red West”.Of Footscray with Goggin and then a brief stint with the Tiges.A year coaching in the Bellarine League when the Drysdale Hawks just fell short of Torquay in the big one. Dizzy knew the Chapmans from North Shore days when his junior club provided a solid nucleus of talent for the VFA Roosters.  Young Wade Chapman was one of Dizzy’s coaching successors at Drysdale.

I asked him if he remembered young bloke’s most famous moment for my Sydney Swans? That moment when he scrubbed a pass to Plugger in the ’96 Prelim who went on to kick THAT point after the siren. Dizzy reminded me that not only did he know of this fact but that for four years at North Ballarat he coached the bloke that kicked that point! The Lockett’s and the Lynch’s remain close I believe.

Allan  Lynch links me to my schooldays in Geelong. He is one of those blokes who spawn admiration that spans club and code. Thanks for stopping to chat Dizzy.

About chris bracher

Known to stare longingly down Clarendon St still wondering how his red and white heroes ever left him, Chris Bracher's pining for his relocated team has been somewhat appeased by recent Bloods glory....but the pain never truly goes away!


  1. Chris – Dizzy’s runs at Stawell were always a highlight. Some of his feats from the back mark in the 2 mile races were incredible. Glad to hear he is still steaming along.

  2. Peter Fuller says

    Good story, Chris; and who better to recount a runner’s tale than the namesake (with the minor spelling variation) of the Melbourne Olympics steeplechase champion. As well Brasher was one of the pacemakers for Roger Bannister’s breaching of the 4 minute mile barrier. Later he was instrumental in the establishment of the London Marathon.
    Chris, do you pronounce your name as bray-cher or brash-er?

  3. Bob Utber says

    I think he pronounces it BRASHER as in “I’m brasher than you are”. CB was an incospicious batsman at South Melbourne and did not follow in the footsteps of his grandfather who played for Victoria XI.
    CB now spends his time chortling “I’ll Tippett Sydney against Adelaide any week”.Weird sense of humour has the blood stained angel.

  4. Chris Bracher says

    Harsh but true. Rose to the dizzy heights of SMCC 3rds. Grandad Harry was a stalwart opening bat for North for many years and played for the Vics both before and after the war.
    However, surely running around for the Mighty Melbourne Over-47 football team carries some sporting credibility Bob?!

  5. Dizzy also won The Truth footy marathon while at Richmond in 1976.

    And his memory of the crowd for the 1975 VFA Grand Final at the Junction oval was was good, it was 27, 582.

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