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PROTRACK » GENERAL » VFA Grand Final & the Dandy Dollar Dash

VFA Grand Final & the Dandy Dollar Dash

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1 VFA Grand Final & the Dandy Dollar Dash on Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:18 pm


This weekend is the VFL Grand Final at Etihad Stadium. Should be a cracking game between two of the old VFA powerhouses - Port Melbourne & Williamstown.

Port Melbourne was the biggest club in the VFA in its halcyon days of the 70's and 80's, with Fred Cook kicking a thousand goals during a stellar career. I remember those three flags in a row - 1980 to 1982 with guys like Buster Harland, David 'Sammy' Holt, Billy Swan, Vic Aanensen, Steven Allender, Graham Anderson and coach Gary Brice.

Willy went to 2nd division for a while before they returned to the top flight in the mid 1980's and won the 1986 premiership, then came from 40 points down to win the 1990 flag (after Billy Swan with his stumpy legs kicking a goal from 50m to win the game).

Interestingly this will be the first time Willy and Port have played off for a grand final since 1964. Between 1954 and 1956, Willy beat Port in three consecutive grand finals. In the five grand finals they've played - Willy has won 4 and Port one.

Of course in the late 70's and through the 1980's we use to have the half time 400m race run by the VAL, initially known as the Dandy Dollar Dash and then the Wards Express 400m, and the Nike 400m.

John Gibney and Peter Bothe won big money when they won it in the late 70's. Graham West won it in 1984, in controversial circumstances, having run inside the flag and knocking Daryl Henderson over. I remember Glen Chapman won it in 1986 after winning the Stawell Gift. Jamie Cartwright won in the late 80's.

Pity a list of winners was not recorded, it was a great series. Running in the stinking mud at Brunswick wouldn't have been much fun. I remember lining up at Williamstown and my hands were freezing in the surface water that was up to my wrists as I got down on the start. It was about 8 degrees and the Willy sea breeze was bloody freezing! Still it was great times at those VFA grounds running the 400m. Pity it never continued....

"Let's Go While We're Young"

2 Re: VFA Grand Final & the Dandy Dollar Dash on Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:36 pm


Should be a great Grand Final and good to have some old traditional VFA rivals doing battle. You bought up the name 'Buster' Harland which sent shivers up my spine. I played on him at the Western Oval one day for Yarraville in 1983 when he was playing for Northcote. I was a cheeky 17 y.o in my first senior season and was telling the umpire how bad I thought he was going when 'Buster' Harland piped up 'Shut up kid, or I'll shut it for you'. 'Yes, Mr Harland', I responded and shut my trap for the rest of the game! The 1970s & early 80s were good times for the VFA.
Darren Arthur

3 Re: VFA Grand Final & the Dandy Dollar Dash on Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:52 pm


Buster Harland broke Alan Harper's jaw in the 1976 grand Final as a payback for Harper king hitting Norm Brown. In one of the most violent grand finals in VFA history, Fred Cook also copped a king hit from Harper.

In the Norm Brown 'video' at about the 1-24 mark see Harper hit Brown and then cop it from Harland (PM No. 9).

There were fights all over the ground. One of the best ones was when Lance Taylor was shaping up to Greg Durward and Durward looked at him for a moment before whacking a jab to Taylor's cheek that put him out of business.

(MAY need to see it on Youtube, it appears Phil Cleary has disabled the capacity to embed a video on the forum.)

4 Re: VFA Grand Final & the Dandy Dollar Dash on Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:26 pm


Classic VFA footage although the commentators are a bit slow on picking up what's going on and somewhat understated. Harper's hit on Brown was straight out of the VFA textbook. I think that was the attraction for VFA followers, the fights, the pandemonium and the great goalkickers that spanned those era's. Jimmy Christou also ended up at Northcote and played alongside Harland.
I notice they didn't have the send off rule in those days. One day at the Western Oval after an all-in brawl we (Yarraville) were left with 6 on the bench and 12 on the field!
The Dandy Dollar Dash was also a big part of the half-time entertainment during that era and I think the 'Sullivans' actor, Norman Yemm, won one year.

5 Re: VFA Grand Final & the Dandy Dollar Dash on Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:14 am


I think the last winner of the Dandy Dollar Dash in the early 90's was Wayne James.
He was/is a very versatile runner who won the Stawell 550 around the same era as well as a couple of gifts in the late 90's.
Interestingly his last win was only 2 weeks ago in the Victorian Cross Country League where he won the Westgate 5km handicap.

6 Re: VFA Grand Final & the Dandy Dollar Dash on Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:48 am


In the early 80's, when I was involved with the Brunswick Football Club, the term "Dandy Dollar Dash" became rhyming slang, a euphemism, for something else. Fortunately it was an in joke that only a few of us could get away with.

Nearly 30 years on and I was at a funeral earlier this year in Melbourne for a relative of one of my old Brunswick team mates. He delivered one of the best eulogies I've ever heard and I'm not sure if it was for my benefit (I turned up unexpectedly so he could have not known I'd be there at the time of writing the eulogy) but in the eulogy he used the term "Dandy Dollar Dash" the context of the story, it was very funny to the few of us who knew what he was talking about......I guess you had to be there.....

So to the Brunswick lads of that era, the "Dandy Dollar Dash" will never be forgotten. Twisted Evil

"Let's Go While We're Young"

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