Cheryl Critchley

Let loose the dags on Grand Final Day

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NO GRAND FINAL is complete without Up There Cazaly, writes CHERYL CRITCHLEY:

WHEN RICHMOND last played in a Grand Final against Carlton in 1982, Rolf Harris provided the pre-match entertainment, followed by streaker Helen D’Amico.

Both are possibly best forgotten…

But in 1980, when the Tigers last tasted Grand Final glory against Collingwood, we were treated to the late and great Peter Allen singing “I still call the MCG home”.

It was literally spine tingling. All 113,461 fans sang along and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

Back then, the Grand Final pre-match entertainment was traditionally cheesy – and literally a shocker in 1977 (Barry Crocker). But that’s what we love about it.

The daggier the better.

Who can forget Slim Dusty in 1984, Daryl Somers in 1987 (well probably most of us), or

Angry Anderson singing Bound for Glory at the 1991 Grand Final at Waverley.


I can’t even remember that game, but the sight of Angry in that Batmobile is etched in my mind forever…

Why pay big bucks to watch Meatloaf slaughter his 1970s American anthems when you can have guaranteed local crowd pleasers for a fraction of the price?

If my team ever makes it again, I don’t need Ed Sheeran or Ellie Goulding.

All genuine footy fans want is to sing along to Mike Brady’s Up there Cazaly and their team’s theme song. In 2013, they went one better with Up There Cazaly and the Hunters and Collectors’ Holy Grail. Perfect.

Sure, Mike Brady is a dag, but so what? Nothing gets the emotions running on Grand Final Day more his famous anthem, regardless of whether your team’s playing.

It reminds anyone under the age of 55 of their footy childhood, and everything that is good about our game … and the days when Richmond made the Grand Final!

What more could you ask for?

Sadly, Grand Final entertainment is now largely designed for corporate types who haven’t seen a match all year but wangle a free ticket to soak up the atmosphere, which their presence duly ruins.

This year the AFL has reportedly locked in Las Vegas rockers The Killers. Yep I’m getting old, but I’ve never heard of them. Let’s hope they’re teamed with a great local act.

Real fans don’t give a stuff whether Chris Isaac or Tom Jones is singing. You can have your Michael Bubles, your Lionel Richies and your Bryan Adams. We’ll take Mike Brady and Barry Crocker any day.

If the AFL is looking for the perfect local act, you can’t go past The Painters and Dockers. Paulie Stewart is a big Doggies fan and would bring the house down with Die Yuppie Die and Nude School.

And he’d probably do it for a couple of free tickets and a beer.


Author: Cheryl Critchley

Cheryl Critchley is a freelance journalist, AFL Fans Association vice-president and Richmond member who attends games with her husband and three kids – if she can drag them along. She also wrote Our Footy: Real Fans vs Big Bucks (Wilkinson Publishing).



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