It may have been a cold wintry Sunday afternoon at Princes Park, the traditional home of the “old dark navy blues”, but it came alive when traditional rivals, Collingwood stepped onto the park at 2pm. That didn’t stop about 2,000 die hard footy nuts from turning out for the game.
A footy purist was heard to say “bruise free footy had returned to Princes Park but that would be a little harsh on the greats who never shirked a contest in their hey day. The game was extremely good natured.
Carlton great Ange Christou, was heard to say when he jogged past Mark Prince in the second quarter, “you are looking well, apart from an few extra kilos!” So even in a legends game umpires were sledged!
Gavin Dore must have read the weather report on Saturday evening and pulled the “old calf trick” and was replaced in the selected team by stalwart, Wayne “Chuck” Hinton. Mark Prince rallied the troops and Peter McDonald provided most of the uniforms from his collection of E.J. Whitten legends games. Marty Jackson stepped up to the plate when a few old timers were unavailable. Marty was on the AFL panel out of Sydney many years ago and still umpires schoolboys games. Paul Miesen, Alan Hammond and Peter McDonald looked like they are as fit now as they were in their hey day. Matty Vitiritti the fourth boundary has started his pre-season. Allan Grant and Colin Hood in the goals had to move around to keep warm in the conditions with not a lot of scoring taking place.
“It was good to catch up with many old players and some good friends among the umpires who I haven’t seen for a while. All in all it was a good afternoon and enjoyable to be involved,” reflected Mark after the game.
Pictured (left to right) Allan Grant, Paul Miesen, Peter McDonald, Wayne Hinton, Mark Prince, Marty Jackson, Alan Hammond, Matthew Vitiritti and Colin Hood.