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Whispering_Jack

Robert Flower - Demon Legend

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Continuing the memory lane posts of 1973, I don’t remember the match in question but I remember that year I played winter Pennant tennis on Sundays for Grace Park and played against Ross Brewer who might have represented MCC in tennis I think. I remember he had kicked a bag the day before we played.  Amazing in those days he would play VFL on Saturday and tennis Sunday. I played local footy on Saturdays myself but was often stiff and stuffed when I played tennis the next day. In those days rehab for me after footy was a shower and a dozen pots at the club bar! 

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I was in utero that day.

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I missed out on the Robbie era as I got in board in 1988 when we made the GF.

One thing that always struck me when he was interviewed was how humble he was. Never blew his own horn. Never bagged anyone (even Jacko after he snotted him for no reason). And by their own accounts, he helped both Bernie Quinlan and Mike Sheehan through some pretty dark times in their lives.

Many say he was a great player but an even better human being.

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Players like Flower would have been umpired out of the game in the modern era. Players are routinely impeded before and after they take possession of the ball, and ball-carriers are routinely 'tackled' by the player grasping the player's hand or falling into his back with one or both hands over the shoulder or across the face. 

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There were times when you watched Robbie play his sublime brand of football, it was almost as if time stopped dead in its tracks whether he was flying high for a mark, baulking and weaving around opponents, changing direction while bouncing the ball on either side and effortlessly kicking long goals. He mesmerized his opponents and did likewise to fans of every club, not just ours, and I only wish that he could be there in the stands tomorrow proudly watching the team of 2018 that is so much better than it was in 2014 when he passed.

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15 minutes ago, Whispering_Jack said:

There were times when you watched Robbie play his sublime brand of football, it was almost as if time stopped dead in its tracks whether he was flying high for a mark, baulking and weaving around opponents, changing direction while bouncing the ball on either side and effortlessly kicking long goals. He mesmerized his opponents and did likewise to fans of every club, not just ours, and I only wish that he could be there in the stands tomorrow proudly watching the team of 2018 that is so much better than it was in 2014 when he passed.

A beautiful post. Time stood still.

Watching those highlights makes me regret more than ever how much we've allowed the game to become so cluttered. 

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Whenever I have a shower I always say that im going for a Robbie Flower, because cleanliness is next to Godliness and he was the closest thing to God that I knew.

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1 hour ago, Whispering_Jack said:

There were times when you watched Robbie play his sublime brand of football, it was almost as if time stopped dead in its tracks whether he was flying high for a mark, baulking and weaving around opponents, changing direction while bouncing the ball on either side and effortlessly kicking long goals. He mesmerized his opponents and did likewise to fans of every club, not just ours, and I only wish that he could be there in the stands tomorrow proudly watching the team of 2018 that is so much better than it was in 2014 when he passed.

Great post, in the late 70’s and early 80’s watching Robbie weave his magic was almost the only reason for going to watch the Demons. I still recall him kicking five against the Pies and he really did almost mesmerise his opponents, an absolute joy to watch.

It was a pity we didn’t have better teams, as when you got to see him playing state football for the big V his sublime skills would really shine!

I had the pleasure to meet him at a private function for eight demon supporters at a mates place 7-8 years back, he was incredibly humble, good bloke, he explained the joy of being a one club player, the 87 prelim loss and his love of the Demons, it was a memorable night.

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, chook fowler said:

I remember seeing him play in a reserves game wearing glasses, against Footscray I think.

I remember him playing in the reserves also. Mum took us kids to every game and I remember her saying: he is so skinny and is wearing glasses, he will never make it. I very proudly said to her he will make a great player for Melbourne. (I went to school with Robbie.) My mother laughed at this.

Mum always said that going to the footy in the late 70s and 80s was only make bearable because she could watch Robbie play.

Little did we know that day that he would become a Legend.

Edited by Deevout
Typo
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Thirty odd years ago we staged a memorable comeback at Kardinia Park. 

Generally known as the “Templeton Game”  stomped all over the Cats in the final term after trailing by 6 goals at quarter time. 

Lived near one R Flower sports shop and ventured in on the Monday. The little champ was asking me about the atmosphere among the few Melbourne supporters at the ground - so humble. 

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Comments section is good reading. https://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/afl/teams/melbourne/robbie-flower-melbourne-legend-and-afl-hall-of-famer-passes-away-aged-59/news-story/45c40f6c1cdaec869aad059965197419

One of my favourite memories of Robbie was in the state team surrounded by class. When state footy really meant something! SA was giving us the run around and we were well behind at half time. Robbie played the second half at centre half forward! and sparked the Vics to a stirring win.

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Impeccable skills, very quick, stupidly courageous  (often overlooked), team first, goal kicker, wonderful mark and absolute clubman. He was a beautiful footballer. Strange word for football, I know, but he made the game beautiful.

I spent hours in the paddock kicking goals between trees, baulking invisible opponents, and commentating to myself "and Flower kicks another miraculous goal". 

And in the 87 finals series against the Swans, when he ran onto the ground off the bench to the cry of "Robbieeeee", remains my highest football experience. 

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I have a mate who is active with the starlight foundation. They have a fundraiser once a year on a Friday night.

Quite a few years back on one of these nights I see my mate’s number in my phone. Didn’t pick up, didn’t need drunk talk when I was sober.

Played the message in the morning.

Hi ….., This is Robert Flower. I hear you re a passionate Melbourne fan. Ringing to talk about the Demons.

My mate told me Robbie did not have the slightest hesitation when asked to make the call to a passionate Melbourne fan.

I was there on his debut and still have the record

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I was there for that game...remember Diamond Jim kicking a bag and vague memories of Robbie running out there....fantastic to see that footy record...can almost smell it!

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In Ken Piesse's The Complete Guide to Australian Football, Flower's player summary quotes Brent Crosswell "...beat Flower and you could just about retire from League Football because anything else smacked of anti-climax." Wayne Schimmelbusch in the same publication said: "I paid more attention to Robert Flower than any other opponent."

 

Enough said

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3 hours ago, Deevout said:

I remember him playing in the reserves also. Mum took us kids to every game and I remember her saying: he is so skinny and is wearing glasses, he will never make it. I very proudly said to her he will make a great player for Melbourne. (I went to school with Robbie.) My mother laughed at this.

Mum always said that going to the footy in the late 70s and 80s was only make bearable because she could watch Robbie play.

Little did we know that day that he would become a Legend.

I remember him being laughed at as well - that changed very quickly. A great man, sorely missed.

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On 6/9/2018 at 11:42 AM, Whispering_Jack said:

On this day in 1973 Robert Flower made his debut for the Melbourne Football Club against Geelong 

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Our 2 greatest players. Still sadly miss Robbie.

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Had dinner with Robbie about 6 months before he left us. 

I told him his debut game was my 10th Birthday and that i was in the crowd at The Western Oval in ‘87

His eyes lit up like a kid in a toy shop...

Humble Absolute Champion

We talked for about 2 hours. 

So glad i got to do that. 

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6 hours ago, Whispering_Jack said:

There were times when you watched Robbie play his sublime brand of football, it was almost as if time stopped dead in its tracks whether he was flying high for a mark, baulking and weaving around opponents, changing direction while bouncing the ball on either side and effortlessly kicking long goals. He mesmerized his opponents and did likewise to fans of every club, not just ours, and I only wish that he could be there in the stands tomorrow proudly watching the team of 2018 that is so much better than it was in 2014 when he passed.

I can never understand how he never won a 'Brownlow' medal.  He was the epitome of that medal.

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On 6/9/2018 at 11:43 AM, Demonland said:

 

Why do people always seem to think highlights are better with rubbish music?

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7 minutes ago, Tony Tea said:

Why do people always seem to think highlights are better with rubbish music?

Agreed. To lower the Commentary is a crime. They were real commentators back then. Just called the action

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2 hours ago, DV8 said:

I can never understand how he never won a 'Brownlow' medal.  He was the epitome of that medal.

I have asked ex players from different clubs the same thing. Nobody has a clue why. Robbie always played well....

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11 minutes ago, Tony Tea said:

Why do people always seem to think highlights are better with rubbish music?

I liked the presentation with the music, as the words were apt.

I'm not really a Phil Collins fan necessarily, the lyrics were right.

 

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4 hours ago, Hardatit said:

I was there for that game...remember Diamond Jim kicking a bag and vague memories of Robbie running out there....fantastic to see that footy record...can almost smell it!

 

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