What has happened to the long sleeve jumper?

While shopping recently I tried to track down a long sleeve jumper but alas it appears they have dissapeared much in the same vein as black footy boots and 1/2 time oranges. It seems that all you can buy now are the sleeveless variety (at least via most retail outlets and the swans website).

I love the longsleeve jumper, my more cynical friends would suggest i do so because it covers my dustin fletcher like cannons, but to me it is a reminder of the thrill of your first jumper as a kid or runnning around in the under 8s kicking the dew off the grass.

As a tribute to the long sleeve jumper i’ve come up with my 10 best deveotees of the long sleeve.

1) James Hird
2) Stephen Silvangi
3) Michael Tuck
4) Brad Hardie
5) Mark Bayes
6) Andrew Jarman
7) Mark Roberts
8) Brad Seymour
9) Darryl White
10) Clarke keating

About craig dodson

Born in the sporting mecca that is Wagga Wagga and now reside in Melbourne with my lovelly wife Sophie and son's Jack and Harry. Passionate Swans supporter and formally played cricket at a decent level and Aussie Rules at a not so decent level! Spend my days now perfecting my slice on the golf course and the owner of the worlds worst second serve on the tennis course.


  1. My favourite thing about Jimmy Bartel in wet conditions (and there’s a lot to love) is that fact he wears the long sleeves.

  2. Andrew Starkie says

    Brett Allison?

  3. Andrew Fithall says

    Twiggy Dunne would be my favourite.

  4. Jeff Dowsing says

    Ray Shaw

    Maybe another worthy category:
    ‘Shoulda worn long sleeves more often’

    1. Twiggy Dunne
    2. Robert Flower
    3. Nathan Fyfe (though his guns are improving)

  5. Jeff Dowsing says

    Andrew, that was spooky!

  6. Steven “36” Icke.

  7. Dennis Gedling says

    Brett Allison definately. Even wore it at Subi in August when the sun was out.
    Also I think John Gastev used to done the long sleeve even when playing in Queensland. He definately wore one when he was a cardy back in Perth.

  8. I seem to recall Peter Hudson in the long sleeves
    Bradley Plain from Essendon – anyone remember him?

  9. Mably Dangles says

    Matty Lappin often donned the long sleeves for the Blues.

  10. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    Love the long sleeves too, Craig.
    Daniel Wells wears them well.
    Malceski and Jetta dabble.

  11. Skip of Skipton says

    Twiggy Dunne was sleeveless when he took the famous pack mark and slotted his flat punt to tie the ’77 GF. It was a warm day, like the grand final ten years later when Tuck also got to tan his arms.

  12. Paul Daffey says

    Hi Craig,

    This is something I wrote nearly 10 years ago for The Sunday Age. Forgive the recycling.

    The ten best purveyors of the long-sleeved guernsey

    1. Michael Tuck

    For almost every match in his record career of 426 games, Michael Tuck wore a jumper with enough wool to reach his wrists. The sight of brown and gold stripes encircling his skinny arms was familiar whenever the Hawks linked the ball through the middle of the field. Just how much Tuck was linked with the full guernsey became apparent in the one match in his later career in which he ran around without sleeves. It was the 1987 grand final, played on a day that topped 30 degrees. While the day might have been hot, the sight of Tuck’s pallid arms dangling from naked shoulder joints was still alarming. Parachutists were just beginning their annual habit of landing on the centre circle before the first bounce (big deal; I still believe a parachutist would be far more entertaining if he were made to compete in the half-time sprint), but nothing could have gained more gasps than the spectacle of Tuck, our most respected bearded footballer, playing with only half his clothes on. His Hawthorn teammates must have felt a little put off as well. Carlton won with ease.

    2. Richard Loveridge

    The 1987 grand final was played in such scorching conditions that Richard Loveridge, one of Tuck’s midfield cohorts, also felt compelled to change the habit of a football lifetime. While Tuck played sans sleeves, Loveridge spared us the sight of us his pale biceps by cutting off his sleeves at the elbow. It looked silly, but don’t tell Adem Yze.

    3. Steve Silvagni

    Carlton defender Steve Silvagni also conceded to the heat during the 1987 grand final, wearing a sleeveless guernsey that was put away for much of his remaining career. Silvagni’s father Serge also wore a long-sleeved guernsey for the larger part of his career with the Blues. Both players wore No.1 on their backs. The links between father and son were further heightened when Steve was dubbed SOS, an acronym that was mistakenly believed to stand for Son of Serge. Really, it was Son of Sleeves.

    4. Gary Dempsey

    In January 1969, Gary Dempsey received burns to 50 per cent of his body while fighting bushfires on his property at Lara, north of Geelong. He also lost 25 kilograms and spent six weeks in hospital. His football career was seemingly over. However, Dempsey fought back to return to Footscray’s senior team in round 19, with long sleeves covering the burn marks on his arms. In subsequent years, his long sleeves reached above packs to take mark after mark. By the time he joined North Melbourne in 1979, he was largely in the habit of baring his arms, but he would always be remembered for his earlier years in the sleeves.

    5. Brad Hardie

    Here’s another Footscray player who wore long sleeves to cover burn marks. In 1985, his first season at the Western Oval, Brad Hardie’s sleeves were part of the package that were so effective in catching the eye that he won the Brownlow Medal. The next year, his long sleeves provided extra material to wave above his head in protest at coach Mick Malthouse’s decision to drag him.

    6. Leigh Carlson

    In my mind, long-sleeved guernseys are most often the preserve of left-foot flankers and wingmen (just as they never seem to be worn by ruckmen, apart from burns victims). Think long sleeves and I think of Mark Bayes sending his left foot through a majestic arc for Sydney, or Mark Dwyer scrubbing the ball forward for Fitzroy. Mostly, though, I recall television replays from Victoria Park where Collingwood wingman Leigh Carlson weaved back into play in the style so peculiar to left-footers. Carlson also played on the wing for Fitzroy, but it’s the stripes on the Collingwood sleeves that stick in the mind.

    7. Stephen Icke

    Like Carlson, Stephen Icke played in long sleeves for two clubs, in his case North Melbourne and Melbourne. Also like Carlson, his long-sleeved guernsey was far more effective with the stripes. If in doubt about the effect of stripes on Arden Street arms, have a look at North Melbourne great John Dugdale taking a screamer against St Kilda at the Junction Oval in the days when most players wore long sleeves. The picture would be far less effective without the bands on Dugdale’s arms.

    8. Peter Hudson

    As a footballer, Peter Hudson looked atrocious. He had a big bum and an unprepossessing torso, and every match he pushed his long sleeves up to his elbows. Invariably, however, Huddo would use his bum to nudge out his opponent and his sleeves to cradle the ball towards his chest. The result was often a Hawthorn goal. One thing, though: Huddo’s long-sleeved guernsey looked far better with No.26 on his back. In 1977, when he wore No.1, the perpendicular digit looked lost in a vertical forest.

    9. Jack Hawkins

    Speaking of No.26, Jack Hawkins wore it with distinction on a long-sleeved guernsey for Geelong. But unlike Hudson, who stayed close to the ground, Hawkins regularly leapt on to opponents’ shoulders, giving him a three-part title that remains one of the catchiest in football: Jumping Jack Hawkins.

    10. Matthew Lappin

    A decade or two ago, when jumpers were woollen, sleeves were used to gain traction on a wet ball. Now, in the era of lycra guernseys, sleeves offer no cushioning against a sodden ball, nor do they offer a buffer against the wind. The only possible reason for wearing a long-sleeved guernsey is for the time-honoured reason of hiding matchstick arms. And in looking for a current player who maintains this practice, there’s no better example than Matthew Lappin. Every time he runs out for Carlton, Lappin looks like an under-16 lad who’s strayed on to the wrong arena. Then he gets a hundred kicks. Must have a few tricks up his sleeve.

  13. Paul Daffey says

    This is the feedback I received on the article.

    No list of players who wore long sleeves is complete without former St Kilda defender Eric Guy, who was one of the toughest and fairest players in the late 1950s and early ‘’60s. A
    rugged half-back flanker, he helped keep Richmond to no goals and eight behinds in 1961. I recall a game at the Junction Oval, also in 1961, when my brother was given a ten shilling note—a fortune to a kid in those days—by a total stranger because he had Guy’s No.19 on his back. The stranger said: “Great game Eric”. My grandfather told me that Guy wore long sleeves to “show off his muscles”.
    Gerry Carlin

    You missed James Hird. He has taken to wearing short sleeves a little bit lately, but there haven’t been too many games in his career when you’ve been able to see his shoulders!
    Sarah Moule
    East Malvern

    A lasting memory of mine is long-sleeved Hawthorn full-back Kelvin Moore looking on with his hands on his hips as Mark Jackson, then playing for Melbourne, did his stupid handstands at Princes Park in the early 1980s. While mentioning long-sleeved Hawks from this era, let’s not forget Ken Judge.

    Lawrie Colliver

  14. Rocket Nguyen says

    You’re right Daff – Ïron Man” Eric Guy was a terrific player for the Sains in the early 60s”. Like so many players of that period they left the VFL too early. He went off to coach Carrum. Pretty sure he was the Saints Reserves coach in 66 when the St Kilda won the flag.

  15. The Axe…Simon Atkins has to be on these lists!

  16. Budge,
    We’d better have something on MR2 No1 Bay Flyer.
    It races in the Glenelg colours, is trained by Bay supporter John Hawkwes and is owned by some Tiger luminaries, including David Holst, Bryce Gibbs and Scott Salisbury.

  17. Great to see you included S Icke, Daff !!

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