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History Lesson

Thirty years on, an anniversary they’d rather not remember

A seemingly innocuous overseas exhibition game 30 years ago produced one of the most violent afternoons league football has seen.

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High five: My greatest of the great on the grand final stage

Saturday will be the 47th grand final I’ve been lucky enough to attend. That’s a lot of great grand finals and memorable moments. Here’s my pick of them.

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Game changer: Finals classic delivers more than just drama

The 1987 preliminary final was not only a classic contest, it changed the perception of the two competing clubs and the lives of some of those involved.

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History Lesson – Blues’ finest finally get the credit they deserve

Carlton dominated VFL football between 1979 and 1982 but for some reason the Blues’ off-field antics of that era have always seemed to overshadow their considerable achievements on the field. A new book, however, is helping restore some balance to the legend.

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History Lesson – Walls coaching legacy beyond wins and losses

Robert Walls is the perfect example of a man whose AFL coaching legacy isn’t reflected merely in statistics.

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History Lesson – 2015: The legend of Leon Baker

Only two players have played fewer than 100 games for Essendon yet left an indelible mark on the history of the club. One, John Coleman, needs no introduction. The other remains a cult figure, much loved by his peers and Bomber fans, yet little-known to most beyond a much-replayed moment of magic.

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History Lesson – 2010: Lyon opens up about real loss

St Kilda coach Ross Lyon had to deal with grand final defeat in 2010, his Saints losing a grand final replay to Collingwood after drawing their first clash. But even that was loss on a smaller scale to the real tragedies that occurred in his life that same year.

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History Lesson – 2016: Dogs end the longest drought

An amazing result. Amazing scenes which followed it. But, appropriate to a moment of such historical magnitude, an amazing grand final in its own right. The Western Bulldogs’ breaking of a 62-year premiership drought is like some sort of fantasy.

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History Lesson – 2009: Toe-poke gets Cats over the line

There was always a chance this grand final was going to come down to one moment, one act that would finally separate two magnificent teams. And so it ended up being the case in Geelong’s gripping, dramatic premiership win.

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History Lesson – 2010: “We could be back here next week”

We did say it would be close. Funnily enough, despite that, no one had considered the possibility that, as commentator Mike Williamson said during a succession of nail-biting grand finals in the 1960s and ’70s, ”we could be back here next week”. This time, we actually will.

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