SANFL 1987 Grand Final – North Adelaide v Glenelg: Amayzing

The 1987 Grand Final was the first of the Football Park era that I missed. I was nearing the end of 9 1/2 weeks of Contiki-ing in Europe and Britain with Mrs Swish. It was the time of The Housemartins, Hoodoo Gurus, Husker Du and, er, Kylie.


I played footy for the Blacks until Round 14, knowing that I wouldn’t be around for finals, meandering aimlessly between Bob Neil’s Legendaires and Tammy Fraser’s Razor Gang, contributing a bit on the scoreboard but nowhere else. They’d survive without me.


The players had wearied of Cowboy Neale’s message, so I wasn’t going to miss any late season Centrals action either.


ETSA’s financial systems replacement would have to go on without me. It did.


Fortunately Sandy Roberts was no longer at ADS7 for the third GF clash in as many years between the Dick Cock of the North and the Tigers of the Bay. My absence meant that it has never staked out much of a place in my well of footy memories. There was no YouTube of course, the internet was still something that only university boffins knew about, so once you missed it, you missed it (unless someone had taped it for you).


Of course, Roosters fans will think otherwise, this match marking the apex of North’s 80’s resurgence under Michael Nunan, after they had failed dismally at the final hurdle to Glenelg in both 85 and 86. (More of that later).


It was only recently that I augmented my SANFL stash with the Budget from this match. Let’s see what we can glean about footy in the Grand Prix city back then and the match itself.





It was only fitting that the rather orgasmic cover shot was followed by a cigarette ad on the back page. At least WD&HO used a Ross Faulkner. It was good of Escort to include life-expectancy as part of their product branding.




John Cahill’s quote summed up the prevailing attitude. Train hard during the week, play hard on Saturday and unwind for the rest of the weekend. Some players needed a bit longer to unwind apparently. Grenville Dietrich on the other hand was a disgrace – fancy getting around with a tattoo like that.




No expense was spared with the pre-game entertainment. Although, as this video shows, Ricky May may have been one of the lucky winners of an Esky full of West End Export before the game. If only he’d tucked this page into his skyrocket before he went out.







This article speaks for itself. That it’s in here at all says something about South Australian footy.


The best feature of this Budget was these photos, team or otherwise.



North Adelaide – some of these jumpers sported the logo from SA’s 150th celebrations from 1986, some had the time-honoured SANFL logo, some had SES Cranes sponsorship, others the Adelaide Pest Control branding. David Wildy even had the older APC patch to go with his candy-striped sleeves. Can someone wake up Robbo? Darren Jarman looks about twelve. And no sign of Craig Burton’s lace up (which he wore in the big one).




Glenelg – Ultra Tune was highly regarded back then. Who was the poor beggar alongside Scott Salisbury’s well used left elbow. Did he come a cropper?




South Adelaide – Adelaide Uni 1986 A1 premiership hero Keg Foster is the standout Panther here, although Darryl Hewitt was by then missing his brother Glynn.



Woodville – No mention was made earlier of Daryl Schimmelbusch’s lace up preference. And who forgot Colin Ferme’s name?




West Torrens – Grenville had a collar. I didn’t remember that.




Norwood – What a mountain of a man Neil Balme was. How good was Sean Disbury’s barnet? That AGC logo was schmick, even if some of their lending practices may not have been.




Sturt – That wallpaper at the Blues has taken a pictorial hammering over the years. The Eastern Suburbs dedication to questionable financiers continues here.




Port Adelaide – Not all of the lace ups were laced up, but what was Mark Tylor’s excuse for the white shorts?




Centrals – Dear, dear, dear. Not only was this the best the Budget could come up with for the Dogs, they’ve passed off a shot of Russell Shields as the far more venerable ex-Hawk Scott Lee and haven’t even bothered to show the Pye Audio logo.



West Adelaide – Think Westies, think dud Victorians. And your local Banner Hardware store.




The Grand Final




Nunan took the lessons from 1985 and 1986 and made appropriate changes to both personnel and game plan. Effectively swapping out Grenville Dietrich for Torrens’ John Roberts, the grabbing of Westies’ Craig Burton, Stephen Trigg from Centrals plus Panther Wayne Slattery were some of these changes. But a more ruthless and ferocious attitude in finals was evident and at last North Adelaide was able to convert its Minor Round dominance into a flag.


Having the Jarmans at the peak of their powers (Andrew was the 87 Magarey winner, Darren a mere 20 yo but already sublime with ball in hand) and Roberts as the Ken Farmer Medallist, everything fell into place.


Darel Hart won the toss and kicked to the Golf Course right-of-screen with-the-wind end and it was on for both young and old early. An astonishing left foot D Jarman snap from the scoreboard pocket was the portent of a very dirty day for Glenelg. Not too many teams lose Grand Finals when they are up 11.4 to 1.5 at half-time and as noted by Nunan in the post match presentations, the monkey was off North’s back.


Here’s how the victors have recorded this win:


North    5.2(32)  11.4(70) 18.5(113) 23.7(145)
Glenelg  0.1(1)       1.5(11)   4.7(31)     9.9(63)


Goals: Parsons 6.1 (Jack Oatey Medallist), Roberts 5.0, Sims 4.1, D. Jarman 3.1, Burton 3.0, A. Jarman 2.1, Hart 0.1, Klomp 0.1, rushed 0.1


For highlights of the game, go to the 1:19:00 mark of this. Better still, start at the beginning and watch the season unfold, including SA’s “ball-tearing” four-point thumping of the Vics in late May.



If this has stirred any memories, let the world know, in the comments below.


About Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt

Saw my first SANFL game in 1967 - Dogs v Peckers. Have only ever seen the Dogs win 1 final in the flesh (1972 1st Semi) Mediocre forward pocket for the AUFC Blacks (1982-89) Life member - Ormond Netball Club -That's me on the right


  1. Some good names in this one too Swish. Robin Kidney who was a handy rover. The superbly alliterative Kim Klomp and of course, the esteemed Dr John Riley.

    It’s going to be a grim day when one of these is posted without pictorial reference to Studley.

    I enjoyed the “Grenville is reported to enjoy a quiet ale” line by the reporter.

    Thanks Swish, another ripper.

  2. george smith says

    1990 Port v Glenelg grand final featured the lovely Kate Ceberano singing the national anthem unaccompanied. It still sends chills up my spine, especially remembering some of the more ordinary attempts during VFL/AFL grand finals.

    Sadly I have lost the official tape so Kate’s performance is a sweet memory only. I do have the Channel 9 highlights of the match, because I left the VCR running that Sunday to get the last drops of the best weekend ever. Collingwood, Port and Swan Districts saluted the judge, a top weekend for Magpies/black and white teams.

  3. Great blast from the past. Thanks Swish. I’d left SA for Canberra by then so I only remember the really old players or the ones who made it to AFL. Looking through the Torrens names I was reminded of stalwart Bob Enright. Sad to read that he died last year. Ever reliable in an era when few Eagles were.
    Ricky May and Artie Beetson – separated at birth? They never should have drawn the raffle for the slab before proceedings. At least Meatloaf gave value for money. Personally I preferred Jackie Love.

  4. Hi Mark. You have an old Adelaide Crows hat I would love to buy off you, I seen you post it in another article you had written. Is there any chance you would sell that piece of history to me :)

  5. Kevin Hankin says

    How was Ricky May so unprofessional? He didn’t even know the words of the National Anthem!
    Mind you, back then plenty of people didn’t either but still you should learn the words to any song you are going to sing and maybe get changed out of the clothes you wore the night before!

  6. george smith says

    Michael Parsons turned up at Sydney in 1988, and did a good impression of a behind post. Sadly he could not get into the play. Later he was replaced by Shane Fell from Tasmania, and Glenelg’s Jim West.

  7. george smith says

    Oh dear, Jackie Love at the 1983 Snaffle GF! Who WAS that strange little man making slightly improper suggestions about Ms Love getting kissed by the umpires??

    Us poor Victorians were about to find out, as the South Australians wreaked a terrible revenge for all the defeats, all the piracy of champions, all the slights to the memory of Farmer, Quinn, Robran and co.

    Sadly Channel 7 wanted him to call the Olympics

    As they said in the movie: “They call me Bruce!”

  8. Not my most enjoyable day at the footy. For some reason i ditched the budget on the way home.

    3 indelible moments – Darren Jarman demonstrating what sublime means, the liquored up loudmouth behind me, and Parsons and Kruse having a ding-dong scrap “right in front of me” when play was 100m downfield.The moral of the story is don’t try to headbutt your opponent when (a) he’s 6 inches taller and (b) you are in the goalsquare and the umpire already has a pencil and paper handy

  9. A perfect day Swish – after the game I swiftly cancelled a party (that I was hosting at my house ) and headed to Prospect Oval to join in the celebrations with Fred Chocka Bloch. Chocka introduced me to all North greats – including Don Lindner – and Dennis Jarman “the man whose sperm created the Jarman brothers”

  10. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Yet another Swish piece where the comments outdo the article. Thanks one and all.

    “Up there Rick Davies” – I don’t think that he needed any guidance.

    The SANFL marketing dept should have stuck with the Pal Superdogs.

  11. To George Smith above, I have dug out my old DVD of the 1990 GF and mercifully it has the Kate Ceberano unaccompanied version of the national anthem on it. Was recorded on my VHS and dubbed onto DVD, so picture only fair, but sound good. Let me know if you want a look.

    Not so unaccompanied was old mate Jack Oatey who tossed the coin and was escorted off by the 2 lady cheer leaders from the 2 teams, with grin from ear to ear !!!

  12. Rulebook says

    Great article,Swish love the Keg Foster line,Plug I thought that was the day we gate crashed that wedding
    ( well we were invited from the hens night at 4 am ) BD and Basket need to confirm

  13. Luke Reynolds says

    Oh Ricky. I was disappointed by the lack of laughter in the crowd during his “rendition’ of the national anthem.

    “Grenville is reported to enjoy a quiet ale”. Superb.

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