Incidents That Stick

What could Helen D’Amico, Trevor Chappell and John Kerr possibly have in common? Maybe that the mention of their name is likely to have anyone under the age of about thirty-five scratching their head. But for those of us ever-so-slightly older, these names will bring an incident immediately to mind; an incident that is intrinsically linked to that person. A moment or series of moments that becomes very easily replayed in the mind’s eye. Helen D’Amico streaking in the 1982 VFL Grand Final – pursuing the profoundly introverted Bruce Doull. Trevor Chappell being instructed by his older brother to bowl the underarm delivery, with Brian McKechnie flinging his bat in disgust. And John Kerr inexplicably sacking the Whitlam Government in 1975, and the steps of parliament speech from Gough that followed.

There are a number of VFL/AFL footballers that the mere mention of their name will spring to mind a specific incident. Some have had very illustrious careers – perhaps managing to clock up more than 10 years in the game and a couple of hundred appearances. Yet they will predominantly be remembered for one incident. The lead up to 2010 Grand Final highlighted again that whilst Barry Breen is a former captain of the Saints and pulled on their jumper 300 times, he will always be personally connected to “that point” in the ’66 Grand Final that sunk the Pies.

Grand Finals have had a habit of producing these sorts of moments. The ones, which for better or worse, live with the player for the years to come. Leo Barry will always be remembered for his mark in the dying stages of 2005. As will Wayne Harmes for sliding across the muddy turf in ’79 and whacking the ball from the boundary (or just outside it) to the waiting Kenny Sheldon. And the second half heroics of Teddy Hopkins in 1970 have made him arguably the most famous 29 game player in footy history. Like many others of his ilk, Neil Balme is often linked to a less positive incident courtesy of his crude hit on Geoff Southby in 1973.

On occasions the player is an unwitting accomplice to the event that he becomes most famously remembered for. Graeme “Jerker” Jenkins just happened to be perfectly positioned for that so often replayed hanger of Alex Jesaulenko’s. Although very happy at the time, Robert Klomp certainly didn’t ask for the Thorn colour television. And Graham Teasedale is still looking for someone to blame for that much-maligned brown velvet Brownlow suit.

Some are not as much the accomplice as the victim in the incident that they carry with them. The young Collingwood star of the time, John Greening, is generally linked to being knocked out by Jim O’Dea (suspended for 10 weeks). And one-time Swan Peter Caven will long be remembered for receiving one across the proboscis from Plugger Lockett (8 weeks). Perhaps another for this category will be Brent Staker when he too is etched into the collective footy memory bank.

The challenge for some of those mentioned is to try and get on with “an ordinary life” after they have finished with footy. John Bourke has reflected on the personal torment that he continued to suffer over being constantly reminded of Slug Jordan’s call, “You’ve gotta get the boy off…… Whoa, he’ll whack the runner next.” And it would be reasonable to expect that every footy tragic who meets former boundary umpire Graeme Carberry in everyday life would want to discuss the Phil Carman head butt with him. It must get wearing.

Carl Jung contended that associations are formed in the unconscious by the way that people connect ideas, feelings, experiences and information – an intuitive link between one thing and another. For instance, if I say “black”, you might say “dark”, or perhaps “white”. Or as a reader of this, you are possibly more likely to say “Simon”. Along the lines of Jung’s theory, there are players’ names that seem to be intuitively linked; with the mention of them together instantly rekindling a vision in the mind’s eye. Here’s a few for starters. Leigh Matthews and Neville Bruns. Dermott Brereton and Graeme Yeats. Gary Buckenara and Jimmy Stynes. Graeme Allan and Jimmy Edmond. Tony Lockett and the SCG Pig (with Sandy’s commentary in the “mind’s ear”………“There is a pig at full forward.”).

As is now customary, I have compiled a list of players (and in one case a coach); one from each club that is linked to a particular event or characteristic – avoiding those already mentioned above. Perhaps some will spark a Jung-moment for you.

Adelaide:  David Pittman – being labelled as “pathetic” by coach Malcolm Blight
Brisbane:  Alastair Lynch – questions surrounding chronic fatigue syndrome
Carlton:  Brendan Fevola – Brownlow night
Collingwood: Phil Manassa – long running goal in ’77 Grand Final Replay
Essendon:  Adam Ramanauskas – playing much of his career under the cloud of cancer
Fitzroy: Tony Ongarello – the last player to kick a goal using the place kick
Fremantle: Aaron Sandilands – being equal tallest player in the history of VFL/AFL
Geelong: Gary Sidebottom – missing the bus for ’81 Preliminary Final
Hawthorn: Peter Hudson – not getting past 150 goals for the season
Melbourne: Mark Jackson – handstand in the goal square versus Hawthorn
North Melbourne: Jason McCartney – Bali bombings and subsequent comeback
Port Adelaide: Mark Williams – the hanging tie chokers gesture
Richmond: Justin Charles – first player to test positive to an anabolic steroid
StKilda: Nicky Winmar – raising the jumper
Sydney: Rod Carter – the tilt of the head to the side
West Coast: Chris Lewis – suspended for biting Todd Viney
Western Bulldogs:  Ted Whitten – the lap of honour

That is all

About Arma

Much-maligned footy banterer


  1. I have a slightly different view of the consequences of the under arm incident than perhaps the populace does.

    The rule to bowl under arm was archaic. If any one questioned the cricket powers that be about it they would have been poo hooed by the ludites.

    Greg Chappel exposed it for what it was; rediculous and the Board got rid of it ‘sans’ guilt as that was focused on the Chappells.

  2. No question that the rule was archaic Phanto. I guess that the point is that (rightly or wrongly) it is certainly something that Trevor Chappell has had to live with.

    That is all

  3. David Downer says


    Kudos for including Carl Jung and Robert Klomp in such close proximity of each other – a world first.

    A few I came up with, and I acknowledge the diversity here, both football and non-football…

    Jeff Fehring – torpedo goal from the centre circle at Moorabbin

    Robert Groenewegan – exposing his unmentionables in a team photo. Or maybe “This is Captain Groenwegan” on the end-of-season flight. Oops, that’s two incidents!

    Lance Cairns – blasting it to all corners in that ODI at the MCG

    Steven Bradbury – the last man standing on the ice

    Silvio Foschini – the Stk/Syd legal dispute

    Bob Beamon – Long Jump world record Mexico City 1968

    Nadia Comaneci – the perfect 10.

    Jon Aloisi – that penalty v Uruguay

    Craig Johnston – FA Cup goal for Liverpool

    Umpire Darrel Hair – No balling Murali for chucking at the MCG. Ian Meckiff for similar reason.

    Jane Saville – disqualified just as entering arena to claim Gold in the Walk at Sydney Olympics

    This is becoming too McAvaney-like, I’m outta here!

  4. Thanks for the plethora of additions DD.

    Personally, I thought that mentioning Helen D’Amico and Carl Jung in the same piece was likely to be a more notable “world first” – now there’s a meeting of minds.

    If you’re going beyond footy, I think you’re right; there are plenty more.

    * John Landy – going back to the fallen Ron Clarke
    * Dawn Fraser – pinching the flag

    That is all

  5. John Butler says

    Bernard Tomic’s bed time?

    Or is that premature.

  6. DD – fabulous list.

    But surely the mother of them all was Hitler going into Russia.

  7. Anthony from Chippendale says


    Should it be Dermott & Mark Yeates rather than Graeme Yeats?

    And Jimmy Edmond probably has two partners. I’d pair him with Russell Morris as well – Cop That!


  8. Anthony Formerly From Chippendale – well done.

    I have committed “A Webster” with the Graeme Yeates reference – good pick up.

    Russell Morris – nice one!

    That is all

  9. Arma,

    Peter Hudson’s nemesis with the shot for goal 151 in the ’71 grand final was another Tasmanian, Barry Lawrence who was a gun at the Longford Football Club.

    Longford was also known for the second tier GP where Lex Davidson died in a practice session.

    I picked up on the Graeme Yeats glitch,but Phantoms are very polite.

  10. Phil Dimitriadis says


    really enjoyed that piece. Loved the Jungian connection as footy is filled with mythological symbolism. I do however, think that the Helen D’Amico image has its roots in more Freudian ideas!

  11. Phil #10,

    without the slip.

  12. Very nice work Phil & Phanto.

    A bit of Ugly Dave Gray and Graham Kennedy work between the two of you there.

    That is all

  13. Peter Flynn says

    This tale from the legendary Col Hutchinson who was standing in the outer at Kardinia Park in 1970.

    Geelong was hosting South Melbourne, with the winner virtually assured of a finals berth, and when scores were tight in the final minutes, the tension was at fever pitch.

    “Doug Wade took a mark about 25m out on a 45-degree angle,” Hutchinson said.

    “He ran in to kick, and we just thought ‘This is a formality, it’ll go straight through and we’ll win the match’.

    “To our dismay, the ball just dribbled off his boot and went about two metres and rolled away from him.”

    Hutchinson recalled South Melbourne pouncing on Wade’s errant “kick”, racing down the other end of Kardinia Park and kicking the winning goal.

    A South Melbourne supporter, frustrated that Wade had taken the mark, had thrown an apple at the Geelong full-forward as he was about to kick for goal.

    His accurate throw did enough to move the football from its intended path – the middle of Wade’s boot – to merely brush the instep of the Geelong champ’s foot.

    “Wade complained to the umpire and said ‘Hey, give me another kick!’,” Hutchinson said.

    “The umpire apparently said, ‘There’s nothing in the rule book about apples’.”

  14. David Downer says

    A few more…

    Aaron Fiora – selected before Pavlich in the National draft

    Justin Murphy – holding ball aloft at siren in PF 1999

    Mark McGough – Anzac Day medallist on a bog track

    Brodie Holland, Brad Miller – for their girlfriends (now wives)

    Craig Devonport – copping a physical spray from Ken Sheldon on the boundary line …then kicking the winning goal v Coll

    David Strooper, Michael Frost – errant St Kilda recruiting choices

    Clint Bizzell – “the next Gary Ablett” according to Buddha Hocking

    Token left-field last response…
    Ursula Andress – appearing from the surf in Bond flick Dr.No

  15. Terrific anecdote PF (#13).

    I have just read Jim Robb’s review of the game in the Age on Monday (Aug 17, 1970). And whilst he notes that Wade missed two shots in the last quarter, he hasn’t mentioned the errant kick producing the match winning goal for South. And certainly no mention of the apple, which in all likelihood was a story that came out much later.

    Probably no need to say it, but footy journalism has changed immeasurably in 40 years – you could imagine the Spanish Inquisition that would go into a match winning turnover like that these days.

    As a PS, Geelong kicked 1.6 in the last quarter to lose. Bad kicking is bad football.

    That is all
    Arma [MTP]

  16. Peter Flynn says


    It was an apple turnover that rocked Geelong to the core.

    You are correct re the specifics of the match.


  17. Ah, yes. Very nice PF.

    And to DD, it’s a very good supplementary list of “not so memorable players” attached to more memorable events.

    That is all

  18. Phil Dimitriadis says

    Millane with the ball at the end of the 1990 GF. Alan Didak with it on the siren in 2010. Dids, please don’t drink and drive in 2011.

  19. Damian Watson says

    Geelong’s Bill Ryan 1967 at Kardinia Park, converting a second shot after the siren amongst thousands of spectators against the Magpies.

    While we are on the same theme, Footscray coach Don McKenzie and a couple of thousands spectators enetring the arena at the Western Oval in 1978 before the siren sounded to witness Kelvin Templeton’s shot for goal number 15.

  20. Peter Flynn says


    The Bill Ryan incident features in this year’s book.

    A most famous incident.

  21. John Butler says

    #14 DD

    To go with Murph’s celebration, Fraser Brown’s tackle.

  22. Doug Cox – Kicked a dog
    Craig Barbary- Got knocked out against StKilda
    John Georgiades – Kicked 8 on debut against Carlton
    Mark Dwyer – 8 Brownlow votes in 3 games

  23. Dave Nadel says

    Mero – you have libelled Doug Cox. The famous dog kicker is another St Kilda player, Doug Booth. Doug Booth is now Professor and Dean of the School of Physical Education at the University of Otago in New Zealand. (Where they have probably never heard of St Kilda, Waverley Park or the dog)

  24. Mero,

    Doug Cox, on the other hand is more remembered for “the permit saga” with StKilda. And perhaps to a lesser degree for winning the Grand Final sprint in 1984.

    That is all

  25. Can anyone tell me more details of the Doug Booth dog kicking incident (are there any photos)?

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