Peter Daicos: The Top 35 (in chronological order)


1. 1981 Round 10 vs. Richmond, Victoria Park

After showing promise as a centreman, Tom Hafey swung Daicos forward in 1981.  The results were phenomenal: 76 goals, including a bag of 9 against the reigning premiers on this occasion at Victoria Park.  In this memorable passage of play, he utterly embarrasses two charging Richmond defenders by presenting them the ball – comically, they take the bait and crash into each other, while Daicos spins around and kicks truly.


2. 1981 1st Semi Final vs. Fitzroy, MCG

Pure poetry in motion, Daicos gathers the ball, evades a tackle, bounces while running in the opposite direction of the goal, perhaps pretending to get back onto his right, before swinging around towards the big sticks onto his left foot and kicking a goal.


3. 1981 1st Semi Final vs. Fitzroy, MCG

Daicos gathers the ball from Rene Kink about 30 metres out and wheels around on to his right foot.  He seems to levitate in midair as he drops it on to his right boot, snapping a wonderful across-the-body goal.  Later on, with the Pies 10 points down late in the final quarter (after surrendering a 40 point half-time lead) a set shot from Daicos closes the gap to 4 points.  A minute later Ross Brewer goals.  The Pies win by a point.


4. 1981 Preliminary Final vs. Geelong, VFL Park

Late in the final term Geelong lead by 5 points.  Daicos takes a mark on the lead about 65 metres out, marginally in front of Ian Nankervis.  What can he do? He handballs the ball over the head of Nankervis, outsprints him to the ball, gathers it back, and, as a desperate Nankervis trips over, Daicos straightens up and kicks the goal that sends the Pies into the Grand Final.


5. 1981 Grand Final vs. Carlton, MCG

A bullet like handball from Tony Shaw is tapped, almost caressed by Daicos’ right hand, with Ken Hunter very close by, before Daicos curls it around on his left foot for a goal.


6. 1982 Round 5 vs. North Melbourne, Arden Street

Daicos booted 6 goals in the third quarter of this game, the first of which was most unusual.  With the ball in Collingwood’s forward line, team mate Mark Weideman’s stray handball bounced off the field umpire straight into the hands of the ultimate opportunist Daicos who screwed it around on his left foot for goal.  Later on in the season, after the great Tom Hafey is sacked, Daicos is moved back into the centre by caretaker coach Mick Irwin.  Daicos wins the Copeland and spends the best part of the 80s as a brilliant centreman, dodging and weaving, belly-dancing through packs, pinpointing teammates with precise passes.


7. 1984 Round 1 vs. Melbourne, Victoria Park

With the Woods 27 points down midway through the final term, Daicos unleashes a 65 metre torp from the boundary in front of the Rush Stand.  It splits the sticks and triggers off 7 unanswered goals.


8. 1984 1st Semi Final vs. Carlton, VFL Park

A rare finals win for the Pies against the Blues and on this occasion Daicos booted 7 goals, none better than his first.  The ball is bouncing in the forward line – in between a pack of 4 or 5 players – when Daicos gathers it one-handed facing goal, somehow managing to evade Wayne Harmes and Wayne Blackwell.   The ball then slips behind his back, and his mouthguard almost pops out, before Daicos steadies, straightens and kicks a left foot goal.


9. 1984 1st Semi Final vs. Carlton, VFL Park

Daicos receives a short pass from Neville Shaw and proceeds to dance in front of his opponent Bruce Reid (father of Ben) before curling the ball around his body for a goal.


10. 1990 Round 2 vs. Carlton, VFL Park

After overcoming a serious knee injury (1985) and severe stress fractures of the feet (1987) Daicos wins a second Copeland Trophy as a centreman in 1988.  Leigh Matthews moves him forward again in 1990.  This time the move delivers Collingwood a premiership with Daicos booting 97 goals – a record number of goals by a non full-forward (ironically eclipsing Lethal’s record).  On this particular occasion Daicos paddles the ball to the boundary line with the long-haired Tom Alvin half a yard behind him.  Just before the ball crosses the line, Daicos gathers it and throws it on to his left boot, dribbling it through for his 7th goal of the afternoon.


11. 1990 Round 8 vs. Fitzroy, Princes Park

Daicos launches a monster torpedo from close to the centre circle of Prince Park.  Yes, there was a breeze but still the ball must have travelled 75-80 metres.  The Pies come from behind to win and begin a 9-game winning streak.


12. 1990 Round 9 vs. North Melbourne, Victoria Park

Just before he is tackled, Daicos executes a lazy low-trajectory banana kick from the right pocket, in front of the Bob Rose Stand.


13. 1990 Round 10 vs. Melbourne, VFL Park

A dismal day at Waverly, Daicos shrugs off nemesis Steve Newport and drags in a one hander, before launching a 55 metre torpedo at the main scoreboard end.


14. 1990 Round 12 vs. Geelong, VFL Park

A rushed kick by Doug Barwick is paddled by Daicos towards the left boundary, in much the same way as the ‘Tom Alvin’ goal above, but this time Daicos changes direction and kicks around the corner on his right foot a split second before the hapless Steve Hocking can smother.


15. 1990 Round 14 vs. West Coast Eagles, Victoria Park

Under pressure from an Eagles defender, Daicos handballs the ball to his right, regathers and snaps around the corner for a goal at the Yarra Falls end.


16. 1990 Round 15 vs. Carlton, VFL Park

A dismal day at Waverly, Daicos marks in front of Wayne Blackwell before launching a 55 metre torpedo at the small scoreboard end.


17. 1990 Round 18 vs. St Kilda, Victoria Park

Daicos launches a 65 metre torpedo from just inside the boundary at the Yarra Falls end.  The ball sails through at post height.


18. 1990 Qualifying Final vs. West Coast Eagles, VFL Park

A low trajectory torpedo from 53 metres.  His 400th career goal.


19. 1990 Qualifying Final vs. West Coast Eagles, VFL Park

His most celebrated goal.  Late in the final term the Pies lead by 2 points.  A bone-crunching Millane bump on Worsfold allows Gavin Brown to gather the ball on the boundary and outfox Chris Mainwaring before handballing to Millane who has made some space on the boundary but is not facing goal.  Millane is under pressure and has no choice but to handball (with a broken thumb) over his head to Daicos who is hard up against the left boundary with little time to act.  Daicos elects to kick a reverse banana kick which bounces over the goal line almost hitting the goal umpire as it rockets through.


20. 1990 Qualifying Final Replay vs. West Coast Eagles, VFL Park

John Worsfold lands a bump on a Collingwood player, thereby allowing his direct opponent Daicos the half-second he needs to gather the loose ball and snap truly.


21. 1990 2nd Semi Final vs. Essendon, MCG

Daicos plucks the ball out from a pack and screws it over his shoulder with his left foot.


22. 1990 Grand Final vs. Essendon, MCG

The goal that sparks the Pies.  A great knock on by Craig Starcevich allows Daicos to gather the ball close to the right boundary with his left hand, with Peter Cransberg hot in pursuit.  Daicos then veers right and executes the straightest of drop punts which splits the sticks like a bullet.


23. 1990 Grand Final vs. Essendon, MCG

A cruel bounce over Bomber Thompson’s head allows Daicos to gather and execute a banana kick from the right point post.


24. 1991 Round 9 vs. Geelong, Victoria Park

Steve Hocking does everything right here.  He works the ball to the left boundary with Daicos half a yard behind him.  A little shove by Daicos causes Hocking to fall to ground and suddenly Daicos has the ball hard up against the left boundary line. He produces a flat hard kick that bounces once in front of the left goal post before going through for a goal.


25. 1991 Round 20 vs. Brisbane Bears, Carrara

This is the night when Daicos kicks 13 goals.  On one occasion he is well tackled by Johnny Gastev beside the right point post.  While being slung by Gastev, Daicos somehow gets boot to ball and executes a banana kick in mid air.  Gastev watches in horror as the ball squeezes through the sticks.  Daicos later apologises to Gastev.


26. 1991 Round 21 vs. Melbourne, MCG

The ball is kicked towards Daicos on the half-forward line, where Melbourne’s Andrew Obst does well to get a fist to the ball to prevent a Daicos mark, but the ball loops up in the air and Daicos manages to keep his feet just for long enough to gather the ball on its way down, he then slam it on his right foot for another one of those famous dribbling goals.


27. 1991 Round 23 vs. Richmond, Victoria Park

The Terry Keys special.  Daicos turns former teammate Keys inside out on the right boundary at the Sherrin Stand end before splitting the sticks with a drop punt, despite being flattened by Keys just as he kicks.  Keys did everything he possibly could to prevent the goal.  James Manson and Shane Morwood shake their heads with disbelief.


28. 1991 Round 24 vs. Geelong, Kardinia Park

Another one to break the heart of Steve Hocking.  The ball is kicked to Daicos and Hocking about 15 metres out from goal.  Both go to ground.  With both men lying on the turf, Daicos manages to steady the ball with left hand, before soccering it through with his right foot for a goal.


29. 1992 Round 5 vs. Melbourne, MCG

Daicos streams down the half-forward line boundary, receives a handball from Shane Watson and kicks a customary left-footer from just inside the 50 metre arc.


30. 1992 Round 6, 1992 vs Hawthorn, VFL Park

Daicos unloads arguably his biggest torpedo ever from 75-80 metres out.  What a way to bring up his 500th career goal.  Gary Ayres claims to touch the ball on the line.


31. 1992 Round 8, vs Carlton, MCG

The centenary game.  A lovely goal from a set shot on the left boundary where the Southern and Ponsford Stands meet.


32. 1992 Round 10 vs. Geelong, VFL Park

The ball spills towards the right boundary line, about 10 metres out.  Daicos does not have time to gather the ball and is under immediate pressure from a charging Tim McGrath.  Thus Daicos elects to soccer the bouncing ball of the ground in mid air.  It travels through the big sticks on the full, somehow managing to miss all 4 posts in the process.


33. 1992 Round 19 vs. Essendon, MCG

The ball is bouncing towards an Essendon player in the goal square, but Daicos running with the flight of the ball, steals it from his midst, swerving to the left before stepping back towards the goal line and kicking what is seemingly the easiest of goals


34. 1992 Round 23 vs. Carlton, VFL Park

The ball is kicked to the leading Sav Rocca who can’t quite reach it, despite being at full stretch.  The ball then slips through the legs of Peter Daicos, which seems to surprise his tight-checking opponent, Steve Silvagni.  Daicos, being in front, is first to react and turns around and hopefully soccers the ball from about 15 metres out from a tight angle.  Goal.


35. 1993 Round 2 vs. Geelong, Victoria Park

This was the last great performance by Daicos.  It is also remembered as the shoot out between Daicos and Gary Ablett Senior.  Ablett booted 7 goals, while Daicos booted 8, the best of these coming in the last quarter when he had 2 bounces along the boundary next to the Rush Stand before slotting a left foot goal.


About Damian Balassone

Damian Balassone is a failed half-forward flanker who writes poetry. He is the author of 'Strange Game in a Strange Land'.


  1. Damian,
    This research subject is worthy of a Government Grant – I’ll be seeing my local MP shortly to apply for one and hope to spend the next 12 months researching all his goals to come up with a rating from 1 – 549.

    If that fails, I’ll apply to Visy as an Envorinmental Ambassador – I hear you get paid plenty and have plenty of time on your hands to do what you want!!

  2. haiku bob says

    warm afternoon –
    whiff of a Daicos special
    on the breeze

    swirling breeze —
    Daicos caresses
    a torp

    full moon —
    a Daicos tagger
    runs in circles

    Sherrin Stand end —
    the stoop and paddle
    of Daicos

    a Daicos bag –
    pie wrappers and beer cups
    piled in the stands

    wind-licked clouds –
    Daicos’ tongue
    points the way to goal

    boundary throw-in
    forward pocket —
    Daicos spits in his hands

    restless night —
    another Daicos goal
    rocks me to sleep

    not believing it
    til the goal ump’s salute —
    Daicos miracle

    skipping stones –
    the implausibility
    of a Daicos dribbler

    ball back in the middle
    the marvel’s latest feat
    hangs in mid-air

  3. Phil Dimitriadis says

    Enjoy the Magic show. Brilliant stuff Damo. Daics would be champ in any era.

  4. HB what about serving up the snake bite haiku – that was a classic.

  5. forwardpocket says

    Hoping to see Daisy pay homage up at Metricon in a couple of weeks.

  6. Damo Balassone says

    Great link Phil. That first goal is the one from ’81 First Semi. Sheer beauty. Almost in tears watching that.

    Ramon, I hear you regarding that govt. grant project. I reckon too much footage from the golden age of the early 80s has been lost in the vaults. We need to get it back out there.

    Haiku Bob, as usual, absolutely love your work. Such clarity. You are the Australian Basho, and Peter Daicos is your frog.

  7. John Sandy says

    Loved it, brought back many happy memories

  8. #35
    top 35 Presti spoils?

  9. John Butler says

    Crio, you’re onto something.

    Top 35 Tony Shaw niggles.

    Top 35 Malthouse manglings of eastern philosophy.

    Top 35 times Eddie mentions the 5 Gold Logies he’s sacrificed.

    This could become a serialisation. :)

  10. has to relate to their number JB…Shawy’s top 22 snipes, KB’s 29 handballs err…..
    I might stick to the crio’s racing…

  11. John Butler says

    (slaps forehead) Doh!

    Of course. :)

  12. I like the ‘Top 35 Malthouse Manglings of Eastern Philospohy’…

  13. Skip of Skipton says

    The best 36 glimpses of Rene Kink’s talent?
    The best 25 mongrel punts of Billy Picken (or speccies for that matter!)?
    The 5 best whacks to Ronnie Wearmouth’s scone?
    The five disposals of Bill Valli?

  14. Phil Dimitriadis says

    The 35 hit outs in Josh Fraser’s Collingwood career.

  15. Heath “Hitchcock” Shaw’s 39 Steps through Gamblers Anonymous

    Actually, there’s a thought, Heater. Anonymous! Try it out next time!

    Furious of Fornbury

  16. Steve Fahey says

    I reckon his best goal was in the same game as the monster torp round 8, 1990 versus the Roys, 4 wins three losses at the time. Deep in the third quarter , Pies trail by three or four goals, but to come home with a strong wind, Daics feigns right, breaks left (towards the boundary) and kicks truly with a 40-45 metre drop punt across his body into the teeth of the gale. Pies ruin riot in the last quarter with Brown at full-forward for the first time (or close to it) and Daics’ monster torp. Central to the season and the premiership that goal, and a very high degree of difficulty, but not as spectacular as many others

  17. Damo Balassone says

    Steve, you are spot on. That was an important goal, reducing the deficit from 23 points to 17 points just before 3 quarter time and thus keeping us in the game. I remember watching the ball defying the wind and somehow going through. Considering Fitzroy and Princes Park were our bogey teams and ground at the time, I can’t disagree with your thoughts here – we had also lost 2 in a row prior to this game, so it was a turning point. The other thing I recall about that game was a slam tackle by John Ironmonger on Graham Wright. It could have killed him. The umpire paid holding the ball! Later Ironmonger was suspended for 2 weeks via trial by video.

  18. Waverley
    Police Road
    One traffic sign
    One word graffiti

  19. DBalassone says

    Love it Mick! It seems Daics has inspired a generation of opportunist forwards and graffiti artists.

    Maybe Dips was the graffiti culprit; inspired after his encounter with the great man last week.

  20. Luke Reynolds says

    Met the great man at a sportsmans night at the Colac Football Club last night. He is a cracking bloke. Really good to talk to. Had lots of time and a genuine interest in everyone he talked to. Wonderfully entertaining speaker. Hardly swore, didn’t revert to smut like many do, yet kept 200 people entertained and laughing. I got my copy of his book signed and he signed my 7 year old son’s Pies jumper. I’m still on a high. The great man in person was even greater than I thought he’d be.

  21. Luke Reynolds says

    Love this article by the way Damian. Lost count of the number of times I’ve read it. What a player.

  22. DBalassone says

    Cheers Luke. A tad envious that you got to greet the great man, but happy for you just the same.

    Watching the Marvel at close range from the Vic Park outer was pure joy – the highlight of my footy-watching life.

  23. DBalassone says

    For the hardcore fans, here’s a few more snaps that didn’t quite make the cut:

    1980 Rd 22 vs Melbourne, MCG. Carl Ditterach’s farewell bloodbath. Daicos under close attention paddles the ball the opposite direction of goal, falls to the ground, picks up the loose ball, recovers to his feet, turns around and snaps truly.
    1980 Prelim vs Geelong, VFL Park. An important goal in a tight encounter after some great work from Tony Shaw. Not a hard kick by any stretch, but cool as a cucumber under pressure.
    1981 Rd 6 vs Carlton, Princes Park. A match-winning 7 goal haul, the best of which involved a lovely piece of crumbing from the pack.
    1981 Rd 16 vs Carlton, Victoria Park. 3 goals in 4 minutes to get the Pies back in the game, the best of which came after a delightful sidestep before snapping truly at the Yarra Falls end.
    1981 Prelim vs Geelong, VFL Park. In addition to his match winning goal in the last minute, there was also a lovely piece of crumbing in the 2nd quarter from just outside the goal square.
    1983 Rd 22 vs St Kilda, Victoria Park. 7 goal haul (along with Mike Richardson), goals from all corners as per usual.
    1984 Rd 2 vs St Kilda, Victoria Park. A perfectly balanced left foot snap from the left boundary pocket at the Yarra Falls end.
    1984 Rd 7 vs Geelong, Kardinia Park. Two memorable goals at the outer end. Firstly from a baulk, and secondly a rove from the pack and snap.
    1985 Rd 3 vs Melbourne, Victoria Park. A left foot snap from the left boundary, Yarra Falls end.
    1985 Rd 5 vs Swans, Victoria Park. A 6 goal hall, the best of which sees Daicos dodge through the hapless Swans defence in the goal square.
    1985 Rd 6 vs Richmond, VFL Park. Several bounces, followed by a baulk and goal at the scoreboard end.
    1985 Rd 2 vs Geelong, Kardina Park. A plethora of left foot snaps at the outer end. Take your pick. Daics loved this ground.
    1986 Rd 6 vs Melbourne, MCG. The comeback game after the knee reconstruction. In the first term, Daicos sells the candy, swerves to the right and then kicks truly from about 45 metres. He is back!
    1986 Rd 15 vs Geelong, Kardinia Park. Another left foot goal on the run from the boundary – up the other end this time.
    1986 Rd 13 vs Swans, Victoria Park. Two beauties at the Sherrin Stand end. Firstly over the shoulder from about 15 metres out, and secondly, Daicos gathers the ball about 60 metres out, sells the dummy, bounces once and then kicks truly from about 48 metres out.
    1987 Rd 14 vs Swans, SCG. The comeback game after the foot stress fractures. Typical left foot snap over the shoulder.
    1988 Rd 14 vs Carlton, MCG. A beautiful piece of crumbing at the Punt Rd end.
    1989 Rd 13 vs Nth Melbourne, Victoria Park. A torpedo at the Yarra Falls end (a taste of things to come for 1990-92?).
    1992 Rd 20 vs Melbourne, Victoria Park, a disallowed goal late in the game from the tight in the pocket in front of the Bob Rose Stand, that would have put Collingwood back in front.

  24. DBalassone says

    And finally, 1983 Round 7 vs Footscray at the Western Oval. A set shot from the right boundary about 55 metres out at the Gubby Allen end. Daicos plays on, baulks the man on the mark, bounces once, baulks another Dogs defender, then sets sail from about 40 metres to get the Pies home by 6 points on a windy afternoon at the Western Oval.

    Many thanks to Jeff Dowsing, for this treasure-trove of links, pictures and wonderful words here in this brilliant series looking at the history of the VFL/AFL.

  25. Barry McAdam says

    Great list Damien!! What a superstar the Macedonian Marvel was.

  26. Barry McAdam says

    Time for a Daicos statue at the Lexus Centre or at Vic Park!!!

  27. Thanks Damo for the cross promotion! This is clearly a labour of love, and as someone else mentioned, worthy of a government grant.

    It’s a travesty that so much footage of early Daics was criminally discarded by Channel 7. He was something else when he actually had some pace, before he was struck down by groin, ACL and stress fractures in his feet. You have a great memory Damian and you’ve revived some of my own.

    I find it hard to go past the banana from the wrong pocket. I was perched up high behind the goals with a clear view of the tiny gap he threaded, with the ball spinning away from goals. I still don’t know how he tricked the laws of trigonometry.

    I like how you’ve included the context in which a lot of goals were kicked, he would do the impossible when the Pies needed a lift and in big games. Daics was and always will be my all time favourite player.

    All power to the likes of Gezza1967 and Aussie80’s who’ve rescued old VHS recordings and uploaded to Youtube for our enjoyment.

  28. Very glad this thread popped up again – fantastic stuff all round, the actual piece, the yuotube video and the comments. Haiku Bob’s effort a masterpiece.

  29. Luke Reynolds says

    Some great extra additions Damian. I’d pay very good money for a DVD of all 549 goals….

  30. DBalassone says

    Cheers, Luke, DJL, JD and Barry. Jeff, it’s disgraceful if Channel 7 destroyed all that old VFL footage. I find that hard to fathom. Surely it must be around somewhere? The Daicos period of 81-82 would be as good, if not better than the 90-92 stuff, not to mention the snippets from the interrupted years of 83-87. A definitive Daicos career highlights package would be the ultimate footy DVD. I know there are others players who had speed, brute power and athleticism, but for sheer skill and poetry in motion, you can’t go past the Marvel.

  31. Jake Left says

    Amazing feats. Wonderful memories.

  32. What I’ve heard or read Damian is that match tapes were taking up too much space for Seven to archive. They were either taped over or binned.

    So most of the footage remaining of a good part of the 70’s and 80’s would be finals, that which made it to Seven’s EOY highlights programs and what has been recorded / salvaged by viewers.

    I guess sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. They taped over paradise and dumped it in a parking lot.

  33. Luke Reynolds says

    Just saw that too Jeff, well done Damian!

    No such problem with the archives now. All of Jesse White’s goals will be preserved forever…

  34. ramondobb says

    What great joy there was at lunchtime today when my twitter feed from @CollingwoodFC alerted me to this brilliant article being bought back to life on the CFC website. Simple words cannot do justice to the pleasure of reliving these moments of the greatest entertainer I’ve ever witnessed (not just sport, across all genres).

    After seeing some brilliant cross promotion above (with a link to further opportunities to indulge in the glory of the Pies), I cannot help but put forward a piece of self promotion with a link below to my story of his most celebrated goal

    Apologies for what might look like self indulgence, but it’s not about me, it’s about The Great Man and the impact he had on his faithful followers which I hope shares the luuuuurrrrrvvvvvv!

    In regards to Daics footage, I’ve got a great catalogue of old VHS footage from 1985 onwards (sorry, “alledgedly have footage” just in case Ch7 want to prosecute me for ignoring their “don’t tape this” messages) and also a number of Daics interviews, highlights packages which show older stuff. I’ve converted this to digital and one day if I ever get time might try to go through it and string together all the Daics goals and highlights. I’m an old ludite so if anyone has good editing skills and/or time on their hands I’d be happy to collaborate to try to get this project going and share with the world.

    PS. How’s a bloke supposed to concentrate and do work on a Friday afternoon, when all this jumps in your lap at lunch time.

Leave a Comment