“Glendinning was our superstar, he was phenomenal and I remember Ablett just making him look like a schoolboy that day. I was thinking ‘I’m glad I am not on him’,” Passmore said.
Passmore was occupied enough watching Jackson, who never stopped talking throughout, the complete opposite to the quiet Ablett.
Passmore, an electrician for the past 30 years, said he reached his 42-game tally through having a crack and having good coaches.
But it’s as a stepladder that people other than Kangaroos supporters remember him, his good nature making him a popular teammate.
The Swans’ Warwick Capper climbed all over him to take a brilliant mark in 1987.
“They didn’t take a photo of that one,” Passmore chuckled.
When he bumped into Capper years later ‘The Wiz’ didn’t miss the opportunity on realising who he was talking to, whipping out his phone to replay the mark with Capper as commentary.
Under 19s, more than 25 years later
Stuart Edwards is not one to live on past glories so when his spot as the last winner of the under-19s goalkicking is raised he is quick to respond in a manner dripping in self-deprecation.
“There’s a claim to fame, isn’t it?” Edwards said.
In his first year out of school he lined up in the Tigers jumper alongside soon to be famous teammates such as Duncan Kellaway, Ash Prescott and Matthew Clarke and led out of the square. In round two against the Sydney Swans he kicked eight in the first half on his way to kicking 10.
By season’s end he had seen off Collingwood’s Saverio Rocca to win the award with 76 goals to his name and was in the team for the first of his 46 senior games when Richmond started their season in round two, 1992.
“Success in the under 19s was in a good thing in some ways but in other ways it raised questions as to why weren’t you playing at a higher level,” Edwards said.
A look at the list of leading goalkickers in the competition that North Melbourne dominated in the 1980s bears that out with the Tigers leading goalkickers other than Edwards from 1980-1991 including Peter Lane (1980), Brian Winton (1982), Stephen James (1984) and Simon Goosey (1987).
The debate as to whether it was better than what the system is now has been sparked as football looks to adjust post-coronavirus. Edwards is not a romantic but he admits there were some positive aspects to the competition.
“I think we lost something. I do think the opportunity to be in the gym and out on the field and around the club with blokes like Dale Weightman was brilliant,” Edwards said.
Fitzroy Football Club
In these uncertain times with a pall hanging over the future of many within football clubs and questions being asked about the right structure of the AFL, the release of The Death of Fitzroy Football Club is well-timed.
Its author, Russell Holmesby, a football historian and passionate St Kilda man, says it could act as a manual for how not to treat an AFL club battling for survival.
“They got corralled into the way the AFL wanted them to go … anything Fitzroy put up or tried to do got thwarted along the way. You just feel sorry for them,” Holmesby said.
Thankfully there has not been another merger since the Brisbane Lions took over Fitzroy at the end of 1996.
Peter Ryan is a sports reporter with The Age covering AFL, horse racing and other sports.