General Footy Writing: A lament for great old footy jumpers

By Chris Riordan

While the AFL clubs’ marketing departments are developing gross jumpers, originality is losing out to functionality in the bush and burns. Buy in bulk. Cheaper and ready by order.
Our fantastic footy culture was clarified to me one afternoon about 20 years ago when I was handed a jumper by the barman at Tooradin. I thought the Tooradin-Dalmore geursney — green with red  “V”—was unique, only to be amazed when Flags, a Goulbourn Valley boy, said, “Hey, Tallygaroopna”. Then Gracey said, “Nah, St Peter’s”.

Economic rationalism has meant the demise of so many wonderful jumpers. Only the Ammos seem to have resisted.
What great jumper combos can you recall?


  1. Pamela Sherpa says

    Chris , nothing bugs me more than the alternative jumper schemozzle we have in the AFL at the moment. Some teams are becoming almost unrecgonisable from one week to the next -quite ironic when the AFL talks about ‘branding’ so much . I love the old recognizable jumpers.

  2. I was mostly interested in some of the jumpers worn in other comps before they adopted AFL lookalikes.
    But I agree with you.
    I even prefer my team’s old Footscray jumper style but it is fair to say newer clubs, West Coast and Port, are still finding their pattern
    Like many others, I was really taken by Port’s new strip from the first glance. They looked like footballers. I’d seen them the week before at the MCG in their whites and they looked insipid and played accordingly.
    My only unease with this newer style came with an awful revelation last week.
    “Why does it work?”, I asked myself (as I do).
    To my horror I realised that, basically, it has the style and charm of the big “V”. Dark colour and simple front.
    Has it been used as the model? Would Port want to keep it if that was the case?

  3. Same concept worked for North Adelaide in the early 70’s under the old Swamp Fox (Mike Patterson)

  4. That was an admitted and obvious ploy, but a red jumper meant it was just a crap copy.
    This is a wonderful black and looks really good…as does the Big “V”.

  5. pauldaffey says

    I love North Adelaide’s red and white stripes. Airport West wear green and white stripes in the Essendon District league but it just doesn’t look as good.

    The only green and red team I’ve heard about apart from those mentioned above is Woodsdale, a club based at the bottom of a gully about an hour north of Hobart. If people want county footy, this is the most “rural” ground I’ve ever seen. You could take tours there.

  6. pauldaffey says

    Actually there’s a team called the Toffee Apples that wears green and red. I think they’re in the Eastern league in Melbourne.

  7. Is that the Roosters’ strip now? I think when I was growing up North adelaide wore red with a white yoke. As Budge commented, Mike Patterson introduced the red version of the “Big V”, but I can see the verticals looking good and surprisingly not common in the SANFL.

  8. pauldaffey says

    I thought the Roosters had always worn the stripes. I just remember them wearing the stripes in the mid-80s, when the Jarmans were still at North Adelaide and their half-back flanker (No.1) was a nuclear physicist or an astronaut or some such.

    Points against for using some such.

  9. I don’t recall that jumper when I followed SANFL.

  10. Mark Schwerdt says

    Yep, the Rooster stripes were definitely there in the 80s, part of the Mick Nunan purge if I remember correctly. Paul Daffey is referring to John Riley, greyest hair in the history of the SANFL

  11. pauldaffey says


    That’s him. John Riley. Smart cookie. Definitely wore the stripes.

    Last night I had occasion to recall grey-haired footballers and I could think of only Billy O’Brien, centre half-back with Greta (near Wangaratta in Victoria), whom I saw play when I was a kid.

    Wish I’d remembered John Riley.

    It was good during the recent Test at Headingley to have various recollections on this site of former England batsman David Steele. He had silvery hair.

  12. Mark, You are absolutely correct. The stripes feature in their 1987 Flag photos, so must have appeared in early 80s.

    Daff, I had nightmares of Steele looking so out of place and then flicking the ball fine off the front foot. It infuriated me as a kid.

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