State of Origin 1982 (a reality check for today’s footballers)

Look what Pamela Sherpa found in her old scrap book:

The Big V in a ‘crook’ state

By Tom Prior the Sun Thursday July 8, 1982

Victoria will have to find at least two, possibly as many as four or five, new players for its team to play Western Australia in the state –of- origin match in Perth next Tuesday.

Collingwood’s Peter Daicos has a persistent, painful groin injury and Jim jess, of Richmond, strained a ligament in his left shoulder in the Tigers’ disastrous escort Cup match against South Melbourne on Tuesday night.

Neither player is likely to be seriously considered for selection. Jess trained with the state squad at VFL park last night but Victorian coach David Parkin was careful to see that no physical contact was involved.

Daicos was on the sidelines with David O’Halloran, of Hawthorn who has a knee injury, David Ackerly, of the Swans(ankle) Gerard Healy, of Melbourne ( thigh), Garry Wilson, of Fitzroy, (groin and calf) and Barry Rowlings, of Richmond,(influenza)

Healy,Wilson and Rowlings were confident of playing in Perth and said so but that wasn’t much consolation to coach David Parkin, a stern discip0linarian, who admitted to having other things on his mind.

It was “disgraceful” that Essendon’s Paul Van Der Haar had arrived late for training without his football boots and that his fellow Bomber, Justin Madden  had not arrived at all. A disappointed  Parkin said after training.

“At least Michael turner, of Geelong let us know he had to attend a parent teacher meeting and wouldn’t be here.”Parkin said.

“Even if I couldn’t imagine a parent teacher meeting ever keeping me away from state practice when I was a player…”

Parkin said he was much more impressed by the attitude of South Melbourne’s representatives than that of Geelong’s or Essendon’s.

“Mark browning, Barry Round, and Greg Smith played in Sydney on Sunday and here last night,” Parkin said. “But they are still here today and trained as hard as anyone.

“Browning gave me a smile and said ‘ l’ll be a long time retired.’ That’s the attitude we want.

“It is not good players missing training. We may have to re think the whole situation.

Parkin said state selectors would have “two or three players in the wings” to replace those who could not pass fitness tests at final training on at the MCG on Sunday morning.

Or those who did not attend training?

“I am very pleased with the blokes who worked here to-night,” Parkin said. “The injured players who attended for examination and treatment couldn’t have done any more.

“But you can’t get past the fact that only two thirds of the 24 players selected were available to-night.

“We are facing a hard game in pert. There is no doubt that it will be a fair dinkum game- we want the same kind of team.”

Paul Van Der Haar who trained in runners until a pair of football boots arrived by taxi from Essendon, said he had asked Justin Madden to bring his boots to VFL park for him.

Madden a first year teacher at St. Peter’s Primary School, in Sunshine said he had to attend a staff meeting after classes yesterday afternoon.

“I telephoned Alan Schwab (the assistant general manager of the VFL) to tell him I had to attend the meeting and would be late,” Madden said.

“I didn’t have a chance. Training was to start at 4.15p.m and I didn’t get out of the staff meeting until 4.30p.m

“The traffic was murder and I didn’t get to VFL park until about 6 p.m

“I’m sorry and I said so- but there wasn’t much I could do about it. I have to do the right thing by my school.

“After all, I am being given three days off next week to play in Perth..”


  1. We’ve never embraced State of Origin apart from a few Victoria/S.A. games then. Out of curiosity, who won in the end and who was in the Sandgropers line up?

  2. Dave Nadel says

    Since he worked as a teacher Justin Madden has had several careers. Architect, Union Leader, Politician, Planning Minister, Irrelevant Backbencher (my local member). But it is good to see that he developed the art of making excuses early. It served him well as Planning Minister!

  3. Rick Kane says

    Thanks Pamela for a wonderful reminder of life in the past lane. Like Barry Dicken’s recent pieces it makes me feel good inside. I enjoy reading about players forgetting their boots and being stuck in traffic and having to attend parent teacher interviews rather than training to wear the big V. The separation between the game and the fans over the last 30 years would make for an interesting graph. Over time, the separation has become more noticeably wider, in regard to the grounds, the media stories or the player’s income.

    As for the Sate of Origin concept, as I recall, it was dreamt up by dissatisfied Sandgropers who believed Victoria ‘stole’ all its best players. WA has long had a chip on its shoulder about the Eastern states, well Victoria, and primarily to do with footy. State of origin was WA’s way of sticking it up the Vics. As a Victorian, growing up in Perth in the 70s, I copped a lot of shit about Vic footy. When State of Origin came in, I copped ten times more. So, on a personal note, it’s good to read this article and be reminded that one team was taking the game a lot less seriously than the other!


  4. Jeff Dowsing says

    Turning up late and forgetting his boots – that is so Vander!

    I remember he was doing my family pool in ’84 and nearly missed the finals because he strained his guts trying to rip out our filter. As a kid it was an awesome experience helping him shovel sand. He even offered to drive me to VFL Park if my Little League team (Richmond) made it through to the final. Alas we lost and I instead got to see Vander rip the Pies a new one on their way to the flag.

  5. pamela sherpa says

    What a classic Jeff- Vander straining his guts at work. Amazing to think how they worked full time and trained and played back then. Played such darn good footy too.

  6. Jeff Dowsing says

    He was a big loveable larrikan Pamela, probably responsible for sending Sheeds half way round the twist.

    I also remember him enhaling 3 hamburgers one day just as a small snack to tide him over till dinner!

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