Michael Tuck in short sleeves?

Michael Tuck in short sleeves? It happened on the last Saturday in September of 30 years ago, as PETER SWEENEY reports.


Bearded, bloodied – and bloody hot – Michael Tuck amazed the football world when he led the Hawks out for the third quarter of the 1987 grand final against Carlton.


Acting on “medical advice”, the evergreen ruckrover stripped into a short sleeved jumper at the main break – his sinewy white-coloured arms the talk of the town in the last half.


Tuck, now in his 65th year, said he started the premiership playoff with “a dainty nose.”


Carlton ruckman Justin Madden made “it a lot bigger” in the first five minutes. (Reported for striking Tuck, Madden later copped two weeks).

“He should have got more,” Tuck joked this week.

“The swap into short sleeves was a mental and medical decision. It was nearly 31 degrees and it was so hot and windy. The medical men told me the body would cool quicker with the skin exposed, so I got into short sleeves. I should have started the game in it.”


But it wasn’t the first time Tuck – the VFL/AFL games record-holder with 426 pre Brett ‘Boomer’ Harvey bettering this number – had worn a short-sleeved brown and gold guernsey.


“I started in short sleeves with the Hawks, as they only had short sleeves then (1970s). I wore short sleeves for a couple of years. It took some getting used to, as I had always worn jumpers with long sleeves at Berwick.”


For the record, the Blues won in 1987 by 33 points – 15.14 to 9.17 – turning the the tables on the Hawks who had beaten them a year earlier in the flag playoff.


The game was played before 92,754 and was umpired by Ian Robinson and Rohan Sawers.


The official temperature was 30.7 degrees, the hottest grand final day on record.


Daryl Somers sang the national anthem, and tennis great Pat Cash, a Hawk supporter who win the Wimbledon championship months earlier, tossed the coin. David Rhys-Jones won the Norm Smith medal.


  1. A belated change room interview!

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