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spirit of norm smith

Greatest wins (best 50 in the last 50 years)

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No 50.  1986. Round 14 V Fitzroy.  
Waverley/VFL Park. 

1986 was the start of life after Ron Barassi’s messiah coaching return didn’t bring success. John Northey was appointed ahead of a number of senior experienced candidates.  He was not high profile so he’d been dismissed by the Swans. 
The Dees were 3-10 after 13 rounds and not looking very promising. The winless Saints had easily beaten the Dees in round 12.  It was a dark mood around the club.  The season was turning downwards and the rumours of merger talks had started to be raised between the Dees & the Lions.   Fitzroy were a top 3-4 club and still had several stars in their line up. 
But Dees started like the top team , belting the Lions kicking 7 goals to nil.   The crowd was in awe.  The Star was a young strong forward John Fidge, younger brother of Ted Fidge, who kicked 5 goals.  The emergence of young Garry Lyon, Steven Stretch and Steve Newport showed the promise of better times. A young Hawthorn reject named Brett Lovett was on debut.   Greg Healy stepped up afer his brother Gerard had “desserted” the Dees for Sydney’s $$$$.  Brian Wilson “Willo” returned the Brownlow level form and fitness, showing why his prior injuries had hurt the Dees. On a cold June day, it brought some hope to my Demon heart.  It was the first talk of mergers and the Dees had stood up to say No Thanks.  The team copped some real beltings by over 100 points on several occasions in 1986 but this day was remembered as a plus sign. 

Melbourne 17.13.115 defeated Fitzroy 11.5.71

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20 minutes ago, spirit of norm smith said:

Gerard had “desserted” the Dees for Sydney’s $$$$.

He was chasing that sweet, sweet money.

In the 1987 semi-final vs The Swans with Melbourne miles in front, Healy won the ball from the centre bounce, ran forward taking two or three bounces and kicked a lovely goal.  A voice in the crowd was heard to call out "Come back Gerard, all is forgiven".

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Yes he left us as a 24 year old star.  The irony was that Healy left the Dees and could have played in the GF in 88. In fact he won the Brownlow in 88.  He was an elite footballer and was sorely missed.  

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1 hour ago, spirit of norm smith said:

Yes he left us as a 24 year old star.  The irony was that Healy left the Dees and could have played in the GF in 88. In fact he won the Brownlow in 88.  He was an elite footballer and was sorely missed.  

Not only '88.   Had he stayed,  he would have been another of the troop playing with Robbie in '87,  in that Preliminary Final.  And most likely, in the Granny following.

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No.49. 1982 Round 20 v Pies at Victoria Park. 
 

I still remember this game.  I was only 15 years old and knew Victoria Park mainly only for horrible losses. The Dees were having a down year still but some promising signs.   Brian Wilson had added a lot to the side and Robbie was still our champion. Gerard Healy was spotted into the forward line as a goalkicker alongside Mark “Jacko” Jackson to kick goals.  The team was young but still had captain Robbie Flower, Steven Smith, Stephen Icke and Peter Giles. Great players.  The Pies we’re heading down after making grand finals for the prior 3 years without success. Still formidable at Victoria Park. 

The game was a high scoring see saw game until the 3rd quarter. I remember being with my late father who was very excited. He hated the Pies and any win over them was celebrated. 8 goal third quarter had us 5 goals in front. We overran the Pies 16 goals to 6 after half time. Jackson kicked 7 including his amazing battle with Billy Picken. An absolute showman. Tony Elshaug kicked 4 goals and was as smooth and skilled a young rover in the league.  Flower, Johnson and Wilson led the midfield.
 

Getting the train to Victoria Park to see the footy was always very scary. But on this day, I was able to celebrate and sing the song on the filthy enemy turf. 
 

Melbourne 25.18.168 defeated Collingwood 17.12.114

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My recollections of that particular game, which I posted on this forum a couple of years ago ...

In round 20 of 1982, me and my Demon mate went to Victoria Park for the first (and last) time to watch Melbourne play Collingwood.  We found standing room in a packed outer but soon realised we were surrounded by a seething mob of dirty, ugly, loud, abusive, obscene, smelly and toothless black and white supporters.  Almost without exception, they were drunk, smoking like chimneys, swearing like wharfies and even at this early stage of the day fighting amongst themselves.  Some of the men were just as bad.

We started well with the wind but the Pies had regained the lead by half-time.  The third quarter was all ours with eight goals and in the last, we kicked another eight to finish all over them by nine goals.  Having kept very, very quiet all day for fear of attracting the wrong sort of attention, the beers (ice-cold cans!) finally got the better of me and this is when I did the craziest thing in my life.

As Mark 'Jacko' Jackson kicked his seventh to seal victory, I let rip with a loud "Go Demons!!".  Things then went eerily quiet in the outer as hundreds of pairs of beady eyes bored into us.  I looked at my mate, he nodded and we turned and ran as fast as we could towards the exit and kept going all the way to Johnstone Street where we jumped on the first bus we found.  It didn't matter that it was heading in the wrong direction, we just wanted to get away from that horrible joint.  Only my drycleaner will know just how frightened I was that day.

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Posted (edited)

I also remember that Glenn McLean was magnificent for the Demons that day, marking everything in sight and being pretty close to best on ground.  He may have even scored the three Brownlow votes that day, so dominant was he.

Collingwood clearly hadn't forgotten how impressive he looked and they traded for him a couple of years later.   Glenn subsequently went on to forge a brilliant two game career with the PIes.

Edited by demonstone
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No.48 2016 Round 20 v Hawks at MCG

The Hawks we’re reigning premiers but Roos’ Demons were a rapidly improving side. Roos was to step aside at the end of 2016 but the Dees had a very small sniff of possible finals actions. They only had to win their last 4 games. 
 

The Hawks were tested by the Demons earlier in 2016 and had won a tight encounter. So despite the Hawks being a top 3 team again, we felt we were a big chance of an upset. 
Unfortunately Jesse Hogan was out and Sam Weideman came in for his first game. 
 

Another tight affair was evenly balanced at 3/4 qtr time with the Dees in front by a goal. With the demon faithful supporting, the Dees lifted to win by 6 goals. Dom Tyson kicked the sealer and the Dees celebrated. We’d finally beaten the Hawks after years of embarrassing losses. Watts, Gawn and Jack Viney were our stars but backed up by many young players coming through.  Hope was rising that very soon the finals drought would end. 
 

Melbourne 17.8.110 defeated Hawthorn 11.15.81

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Sorry, didn’t know where to post this.. I am watching some wins on the AFL app from 2018, but can only watch the first quarter. Anyone had similar issues? Anyone know how to watch the whole game?

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 No.47 1973 Round 10 v Geelong at MCG 

The debut of Robbie Flower.  Robbie was only 17 yo when picked as a skinny teenager.  The Dees were desperate for a win (were 4 wins 5 losses) and smashed the Cats by 9 goals.  Greg Swan kicked 8 goals and John Tilbrook kicked 6 goals.  I did not see this game (my first year of going to games was a 6 year old in 1975) but my late father reckoned John Tilbrook was one of the best players that he saw in the red and blue.  He must have been very good. Greats like Wells and Alves starred. Robbie’s debut was victorious and he played every game for the rest of the year. It was the start of a very special career for a very special Demon.

Melbourne 20.19.139 defeated Geelong 11.15.81

 

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23 hours ago, spirit of norm smith said:

No.48 2016 Round 20 v Hawks at MCG

The Hawks we’re reigning premiers but Roos’ Demons were a rapidly improving side. Roos was to step aside at the end of 2016 but the Dees had a very small sniff of possible finals actions. They only had to win their last 4 games. 
 

The Hawks were tested by the Demons earlier in 2016 and had won a tight encounter. So despite the Hawks being a top 3 team again, we felt we were a big chance of an upset. 
Unfortunately Jesse Hogan was out and Sam Weideman came in for his first game. 
 

Another tight affair was evenly balanced at 3/4 qtr time with the Dees in front by a goal. With the demon faithful supporting, the Dees lifted to win by 6 goals. Dom Tyson kicked the sealer and the Dees celebrated. We’d finally beaten the Hawks after years of embarrassing losses. Watts, Gawn and Jack Viney were our stars but backed up by many young players coming through.  Hope was rising that very soon the finals drought would end. 
 

Melbourne 17.8.110 defeated Hawthorn 11.15.81

This was very satisfying victory.

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2 hours ago, spirit of norm smith said:

 No.47 1973 Round 10 v Geelong at MCG 

The debut of Robbie Flower.  Robbie was only 17 yo when picked as a skinny teenager.  The Dees were desperate for a win (were 4 wins 5 losses) and smashed the Cats by 9 goals.  Greg Swan kicked 8 goals and John Tilbrook kicked 6 goals.  I did not see this game (my first year of going to games was a 6 year old in 1975) but my late father reckoned John Tilbrook was one of the best players that he saw in the red and blue.  He must have been very good. Greats like Wells and Alves starred. Robbie’s debut was victorious and he played every game for the rest of the year. It was the start of a very special career for a very special Demon.

Melbourne 20.19.139 defeated Geelong 11.15.81

 

Your late father was right about Tilbrook.

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While I agree Tilbrook  had ability it was Not on display very often or fir very long.

Nothing  like say Gerard Healey who we got about 4/5 years of almost elite footy consistently.

Tilly was great to watch on song but was missing generally vs top teams far too often.9

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No.46 2001 Round 2 v Crows at Football Park

The Dees had had a shocker in round 1 against the Tigers and were keen to respond.  The Crows at Football Park was a tough assignment. The team had a great first half leading by 6 goals. Whilst the Crows were always likely to make a comeback, the lead had be reduced to a few points when Simon Goodwin kicked a goal to put the Crows in front.  30 seconds to play.  
The Dees got take ball forward to a stoppage. From the umps bounce, Schwarz knocked it 10 metres forward to Leoncelli who ran and kicked from 40 metres and it sailed through for a goal.  We had managed to snatch victory after giving away the lead. A rare victory in South Australia for the Dees. Relief yes but celebrating also followed. 

Melbourne 12.11.83 defeated Adelaide 11.14.80

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On 4/22/2020 at 7:29 PM, MyFavouriteMartian said:

Not only '88.   Had he stayed,  he would have been another of the troop playing with Robbie in '87,  in that Preliminary Final.  And most likely, in the Granny following.

I have absolutely no respect for this basket of a person since he left. No loyalty, just after the dosh.  The dees were just getting (I thought) a decent side together and he follows the dollar signs. Basket ! 

His brother seemed quite a bit more loyal, cannot remember his leaving causing anywhere near the ill will.

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No 45 . 1991 Round 5 v Kangas at MCG

The Demons still had a strong team around Stynes, Spalding, Lyon, Viney, B.Lovett, Lovell, G.Lovett.  But the prior match in 1990 had seen the Roos destroy the Demons by 127 points. The Roos were establishing an arrogance.  
 

This match was a scoring bonanza with 9 goals each to quarter time. Amazing 18 goals in a quarter.  I got RSI noting down all the goalkickers in the record. The Dees got on top and asserted a 3 goals half time lead.
Whilst the Roos had Longmire and Carey as strong young key forwards, the Dees had  relied on Darren Bennett and little Ricky Jackson. Yet the Dees found goals through a rampant forward setup.  The Dees smashed the Roos in the 2nd half to win by 70 points. Excitement had returned. We felt like we now had the firepower in the forwards to translate our form to success. I recall commenting over a few beers that we were now a serious contender. In the backdrop of the Southern Stand rebuild, the Dees found Darren Cuthbertson 7 goals and Rod Owen 5 goals as new scoring options. 21yo Cuthbertson was as exciting as any young player in the game.  A mid sized opportunist high flyer. Owen was a teenage sensation who had left the Saints to join the Dees after years of injuries and a few misdemeanours.  Owen was fantastic, agile and strong across half forward.  Aggressive but skilled. Could he be a player to propel us to the premiership?  (Alas 5 games later, a Knee injury ended his year and his Demon career). Whilst undersized, Peter Rohde had controlled Carey and Dees had overturned the prior 20 goal defeat. Jimmy Stynes was huge and in excellent form. Newcomer Kevin Dyson was probably BOG. Dyson had destroyed the Blues in round 4 and this win over the Roos was only his 3rd game. A new 23yo midfielder who was strong and could kick the footy 70 metres was a big plus.  Hope and excitement filled the G once again. 
 

Melbourne 28.14.182 defeated Kangaroos 17.10.112. 

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No.44 1986 Round 21 v Kangas at MCG 

1986 was John Northeys first year. The team had promise but lacked ability to win at crucial times. The year was over for us but the Kangas were desperate to win as they were on the edge of the final five.   A big win over us would see them into the Five. But this day Dees had other ideas. 

Lead magnificently by Robbie Flower and Peter Moore dominating, the Dees lifted to a great 85 point win. 17 goals to 6 after half time.  It was a mix of the retiring veterans Zantuck, and Jarrott plus Flower and Moore, skill of Wilson and Connolly plus with the youth of Healy, Newport, and Lyon.   David Williams kicked 9 goals. Amazing. He was a talent.  I’d like to think that this game laid the foundation for the confidence starting in 1987 and Robbie decision to go around again. 

Melbourne 28.14.282 defeated Kangas 14.13.97 

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On 4/26/2020 at 1:20 PM, spirit of norm smith said:

No.49. 1982 Round 20 v Pies at Victoria Park. 
 

I still remember this game.  I was only 15 years old and knew Victoria Park mainly only for horrible losses. The Dees were having a down year still but some promising signs.   Brian Wilson had added a lot to the side and Robbie was still our champion. Gerard Healy was spotted into the forward line as a goalkicker alongside Mark “Jacko” Jackson to kick goals.  The team was young but still had captain Robbie Flower, Steven Smith, Stephen Icke and Peter Giles. Great players.  The Pies we’re heading down after making grand finals for the prior 3 years without success. Still formidable at Victoria Park. 

The game was a high scoring see saw game until the 3rd quarter. I remember being with my late father who was very excited. He hated the Pies and any win over them was celebrated. 8 goal third quarter had us 5 goals in front. We overran the Pies 16 goals to 6 after half time. Jackson kicked 7 including his amazing battle with Billy Picken. An absolute showman. Tony Elshaug kicked 4 goals and was as smooth and skilled a young rover in the league.  Flower, Johnson and Wilson led the midfield.
 

Getting the train to Victoria Park to see the footy was always very scary. But on this day, I was able to celebrate and sing the song on the filthy enemy turf. 
 

Melbourne 25.18.168 defeated Collingwood 17.12.114

I went to this game with my brother, a strong Collingwood fan. We stood on the terrace in front of the Collingwood social club amidst all the magpie fans who had poured out of the social club, 4 sheets to the wind, every one. The only game I ever went to without a Melbourne scarf around my neck. I stood impassive and utterly unable to open my mouth as  much as I desperately wanted to all through the second half. Never enjoyed a win more than that one. Jackson flopping on the ground and mimicking a a prostrate Billy Picken after one of his goals was absolute gold though the Collingwood social club folk weren't that keen on it. 

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On 4/30/2020 at 12:40 PM, spirit of norm smith said:

 No.47 1973 Round 10 v Geelong at MCG 

The debut of Robbie Flower.  Robbie was only 17 yo when picked as a skinny teenager.  The Dees were desperate for a win (were 4 wins 5 losses) and smashed the Cats by 9 goals.  Greg Swan kicked 8 goals and John Tilbrook kicked 6 goals.  I did not see this game (my first year of going to games was a 6 year old in 1975) but my late father reckoned John Tilbrook was one of the best players that he saw in the red and blue.  He must have been very good. Greats like Wells and Alves starred. Robbie’s debut was victorious and he played every game for the rest of the year. It was the start of a very special career for a very special Demon.

Melbourne 20.19.139 defeated Geelong 11.15.81

 

Cold wet day at the MCG. Twenty years later, met G Swann through work - absolutely staggered when I reminded him about his haul

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3 hours ago, pineapple dee said:

I went to this game with my brother, a strong Collingwood fan. We stood on the terrace in front of the Collingwood social club amidst all the magpie fans who had poured out of the social club, 4 sheets to the wind, every one. The only game I ever went to without a Melbourne scarf around my neck. I stood impassive and utterly unable to open my mouth as  much as I desperately wanted to all through the second half. Never enjoyed a win more than that one. Jackson flopping on the ground and mimicking a a prostrate Billy Picken after one of his goals was absolute gold though the Collingwood social club folk weren't that keen on it. 

I went to Vic Park once as a 10 year old in 1992 and stood in the outer with my dad and uncle (both Melbourne) another uncle (Collingwood) and his friend (Melbourne) when another Jako (Jakovich) kicked 7 goals after being dragged early and we ran over the Pies in the last quarter. I was too young or stupid to care about the Pies supporters and was cheering the Demons home and singing the song on the walk back to Hoddle Street.

Don't remember getting any dirty looks or worse, but my dad was keen to get out of there in a hurry. Shame to see grounds like that lost to history, one of the best hamburgers I've ever had was there too on the grill just inside the entry gate. Collingwood supporters have the reputation but the team who I have had the most issues with at the footy is Saints supporters.

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Posted (edited)

No. 43 1984 Round 13 v Hawks at Princes Park

I remember this day clearly. A gusty Melbourne afternoon but good conditions for footy. My dad and I, met my uncle at Flinders Street station. We got the tram up Elizabeth Street and up Royal Parade. We were anxious. The Hawks were the reigning premiers.  A mighty side. Stars on every line. Playing at home. A tough assignment.  
 

The Dees were the mix of youngsters and veterans. We had lost the first 5 games of 1984 but bounced back to win 5 straight from round 8 to 12. We had smashed good teams like the Cats, Lions and Dogs. This team was bonding.  Kelvin Templeton was having a good year and we had some wildcards like Rhino Richards and David Williams complimenting half forward. Healy, Johnson and Flower in the midfield. Peter Moore was in outstanding form, controlling the ruck. Stephen Smith was the leader of the backline and today was on Leigh Matthews. Senior players Icke, Giles and Jarrott across half back.  
 

The Dees matched the Hawks in the first quarter. and took advantage of the breeze in the 2nd quarter kicking 8 goals to 3.  Could the impossible happen? 

Matthews was getting frustrated and whilst he was a champion, he was not the fairest and lost his cool.  The Demon faithful could smell an upset as we held onto the lead at 3/4 time by 3 goals.  Templeton kicked his 4th and we felt home. The Hawks tried to claw back but the Dees held on to a famous 17 point win.  The song was sung with heart. A massive upset.  The Dees were in the five by percentage and we celebrated. 

Melbourne 15.17.107 defeated Hawthorn 13.12.90 

Edited by spirit of norm smith
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Have to say I'm really enjoying this trip down memory lane.  It was a magnificent win - I was 14 at the time and remember getting very carried away.  Unfortunately it was the end of what was a great run from memory.  Did we get belted by Essendon the next game or very soon after?

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Yes my family and I ventured out to Waverley to see if the Demon revival would continue.  In a fairly even first half, the Dees had chances but went in one goal down. The 2nd half rain suited the Bombers who won by about 6-7 goals. We were disappointed but knew the bombers were a very good team (eventually being premiers in 1984).  

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