The Footy Almanac/Odd Friday Lunch – March 13: Tony Wilson with Darren Flanigan and Dean Anderson

The Footy Almanac/Odd Friday Lunch




Celebrate Tony Wilson’s new book 1989: The Great Grand Final with the author himself along with 1989 combatants Dean Anderson and Darren Flanigan.


Friday 13 March, 12.30 for a 1pm start

at the North Fitzroy Arms Hotel,  296 Rae St, North Fitzroy
$45 (for three courses) plus drinks at pub prices

Bookings essential: [email protected]
or phone the pub on 94864501



Entree: Potato & Leek Soup with Truffle Oil & Pancetta

Mains: Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks with Red Wine Sauce & Soft Polenta
BBQed Chicken Maryland & Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Salsa Verde

Dessert: Lime & Coconut Semifreddo


There will also be opportunity to enter the time-honoured pre-season Footy Almanac Tip the Top 8 Competition.


After winning the second season of the ABC travel documentary show Race Around the World in 1998, Tony has since been a lawyer, a radio broadcaster and a TV presenter, as well as an acclaimed author. He won the Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Young Australian Novelist in 2005 for his book Players, and went on to write Australia United based off his experiences at the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

We also welcome Geelong player Darren Flanigan, who came off the bench to play in Geelong’s heartbreaking loss to Hawthorn in the 1989 decider. {Should have won the Norm Smith Medal – JTH] The former ruckman will bring with him plenty of stories and an insight into the brilliant 1989 Grand Final.

Former Hawthorn (and St Kilda) player Dean Anderson will also be a special guest at the lunch. Having kicked four goals in the 1989 Grand Final, as well as playing a starring role in Hawthorn’s 1991 Premiership, Dean has many memories of the happy team at Hawthorn.

Pair these two former footballers with Tinsel Tony Wilson, and we are set for another wonderful afternoon down at The North Fitzroy Arms Hotel.



About 1989: The Great Grand Final:


Hardie Grant Books | 1 March 2020 | Paperback | RRP: $32.99


In 1989: The Great Grand Final, Tony Wilson takes a look back at one of the most spectacular and exhilarating games in AFL history. The Grand Final between Hawthorn and Geelong that year is considered one of the greatest of them all. Hawthorn, seeking to go back-to-back for the first time was against a Geelong team that had not been in a Grand Final since 1967.


The match had everything: unbridled violence, high scoring, Gary Ablett’s nine goals, and a Geelong fightback that saw it claw back a six-goal deficit at the last change to lose by a goal. It was an afternoon of wild momentum swings and immortal feats.


At the end of the match, had it been a draw, a dozen players could not have turned out for the rematch. Injuries included broken ribs, multiple concussions, ripped muscles. Bones were smashed. Heads were rattled. Lungs were punctured. Legends were made.





Tony Wilson is a versatile writer, best known for his children’s books, and his novel Players (2005) that satirised The Footy Show. He wrote the story of Australia’s World Cup in Germany (Australia United, 2006) for Slattery Media. In 1989, he was a player in the Hawthorn Under 19s, and has been a life-long Hawthorn supporter. He has great relationships with the players in both sides of the 1989 classic. His father, Ray, is a Hawthorn best and fairest winner, and played in the 1971 Hawthorn Premiership team.









Phone 03 9486 4501

296 Rae Street, North Fitzroy


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


  1. Colin Ritchie says

    This should be a ripper, count me in!

  2. Daniel Flesch says

    I see no reason to laud the “unbridled violence” in that match. Nothing smart or heroic in Mark Yeats’s cowardly attack on Brereton at the first bounce, nor in Gary Hocking’s punching John Platten out of the game in the first quarter. Both of those instances would attract serious penalties these days. Gary Ablett’s knee into Dipper’s back which punctured his lung no joke either. Dipper’s retaliation on Hocking while not right was payback Hocking had coming.Otherwise an admirer of Malcolm Blight , his failure to stop his players’ over the top aggression (or was it his encouragement of it ?) is a blot on his legacy. Apart from that , should be a great lunch with Anderson and Flanagan two of the best (and fairest) on the day.

  3. Interesting Daniel.

    I felt really awkward about the match at the time – as I wrote in Loose Men Everywhere, which has a long section describing the day and the game (I watched from Toowong in Queensland). I did not like the Geelong approach. It was, for me, un-Geelong. I was criticised by many for my portrayal of the game and the fact that, had Geelong won, I may have had mixed feelings. Although the euphoria would have been enormous.

    I have since heard the back story. And I have come to know Mark Yeates. He has spoken to us about it all at an Almanac lunch – which was riveting.

    I am looking forward to reading Tony’s book – to see how the players reflect on it 30 years on. Tony spoke to many of them. I have also spoken to about 15 of the 40.

  4. I am no proponent of unbridled violence.
    And I laud the manner in which football authorities have cleaned up the game in recent years.
    But I just cannot look back at a game which is three decades old, and dislike it because it is unacceptable to contemporary mores. Everything in sport, especially, is of its time.

  5. roger lowrey says

    Spot on Smokie. Couldn’t have put it better myself.

  6. Chris Carr says

    Daniel Flesch way of the mark and entirely without any context of the times……31 years ago. Eg Gary Ablett’s knee is no where near his shoulder which is what he contacted Dipper with. You understand “payback that was coming” sometimes and not others, strange. Your comments have a bit of the sookly la la’s about them.

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