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One moment from the history of Australian Football 150 Years will appear each day in the Herald Sun, the Advertiser and the Mercury, for 150 days.

Voting is open for one week on each round of moments, starting every Monday.

Don't forget to cast your weekly vote and have your say on the most memorable moment from Australian Football 150 Years.

the Moments

Moment #53: Ablett’s 1984 Victorian debut

AFTER a brief and uneventful stint with Hawthorn in 1981, Gary Ablett found himself at Geelong for the 1984 season and playing on a wing. He proved to be a revelation, but many were still shocked when he was selected for the Victorian side to play Western Australia in a State of Origin clash after only nine games with the Cats.

Victorian selector and State of Origin stalwart Ted Whitten championed the erratic star’s cause, and Ablett lined up on a half-forward flank. The Big V was defeated (by just four points in a game still remembered as one of the great interstate clashes), but Ablett kicked eight goals and won the E. J. Whitten Medal for Victoria’s best.

It was part of an extraordinary season for the young man from Drouin, who went on to win the Cats’ best-and-fairest award, All-Australian selection and a host of media awards, despite playing just 15 games.

As a result, he signed a new three-year contract with Geelong, extending a career that by its end had many arguing he was the best ever to play the game. Among his accolades were selection in the AFL Team of the Century, three Coleman medals, seven All-Australian selections and induction into the AFL Hall of Fame.

Moment #54: Angry's Batmobile an Arctic Park fizzer

SEASON 1991 was a significant one for the AFL. The Adelaide Crows entered the competition, and with the Melbourne Cricket Ground unavailable because of the construction of the Great Southern Stand, it was decided to hold the grand final at Waverley Park.

Waverley was a largely unloved stadium, christened Arctic Park for its frequently icy and wet conditions, but this was its day in the sun. Hawthorn prevailed over West Coast, playing in its first grand final and the first interstate team to play in the season-decider, but the match was overshadowed by the extraordinary pre-game entertainment.

A host of sporting identities were predictably driven around the boundary line in sports cars, but then came the immortal sight of Rose Tattoo’s ‘Angry’ Anderson in a bizarre baby blue vehicle that appeared to be made of cardboard. With its pointed nose and extravagant tailfins, the car was quickly dubbed the Batmobile.

Anderson sang an off-key version of Bound for Glory, at one point during which he apparently backed uncomfortably into the car's sharply pointed nose. Sportspeople including Robert De Castella, Olympians and world champion boxers Lionel Rose and Fighting Harada watched on in bemusement as an underwhelming day-time fireworks display exploded. Everyone, it must be said, was relieved when the MCG was ready for the 1992 season.

Moment #55: Bill James – one and out

THERE is little doubt that Bill James holds a unique place in VFL history.

James made his debut and played his final game for Richmond on the same day in 1920 – in the grand final at the MCG.

That the Tigers won their first ever premiership made it even more memorable, as did the fact that James booted the ‘sealer’ in the tight tussle. And the win was against arch enemy Collingwood. In all ways, it was a remarkable day.

James was plucked from obscurity with country club Kyabram for the big match, starting in a forward pocket alongside former Magpie ruckman Dan Minogue, who was captain-coach of the Tigers.

The imposing Minogue had been forced to sit out of football in 1919 when Collingwood refused to clear him to Richmond. It set the scene for a bitter battle on grand final day, particularly with the Pies having defeated Richmond in the grand final the previous year.

The game remained in the balance until midway through the final term when James’ goal decided the issue for the 53,908 at the MCG.

Sadly, Bill James never played again after he was shot in the foot while rabbit shooting the following summer. But his place in football history is assured.

Moment #56: Billy the king of Geelong

IT SEEMED pre-ordained that it should be Billy Brownless with the ball in his hands with the chance to win the 1994 qualifying final after the siren had sounded.

The popular Geelong full-forward had been through plenty that season. His confidence appeared shattered, his form had evaporated and his fitness was questionable.

So low was Billy's mojo by mid-season that Cats' coach Malcolm Blight told him to forget about footy and sent him to a health farm in Pottsville, NSW.

"I was out of form and a bit heavy," Brownless recalls. "I spent five days up there and it ended up OK."

His moment of truth came a few months later in front of 61,182 at the MCG when he marked seconds before the siren with the Cats down by a point. The siren rang as he lined up from 40m.

"I'd had an ordinary night but when I took that kick I didn't take too long over it and I was pretty focused – although I still remember Tony Liberatore saying things about my family that I didn't know had happened, right in my ear," Brownless said.

"It was a great feeling watching it sail through. Then for some reason I just ran for 50m, until John Barnes caught me and kissed me.

"You don't want to be kissed by John Barnes. It was the first time I'd run 50m on the MCG."

Moment #57: Bluebirds set the trend

IT WAS the late 1970s, and big hair and skin-tight lycra were fashionable. Someone at the Carlton Football Club had the bright idea that a cheerleading squad was needed. And so the Bluebirds troupe was formed.

A gaggle of pom-pom waving dancers in navy blue and white, the Bluebirds were a fixture at Princes Park for several years, entertaining the crowd before the game and at half-time. They eventually flew away, but not before briefly spawning some imitators, including a couple of rather motley groups of cheerleaders at Essendon and Richmond, and later the infinitely more professional Swanettes, who emerged in Sydney under the reign of colourful medical entrepreneur Dr Geoffrey Edelsten.

Although Adelaide introduced the Crowettes when they entered the AFL in 1991, squads of leggy, scantily-clad cheerleaders rarely seemed at home in the Australian football environment, where a male/female spectator mix approaching 50/50 is the norm. There was also the feeling that the cheerleaders were "too American".

And none of the VFL/AFL dancing groups past or present have managed to achieve the status of NRL cheerleading troupes, who can number a Miss Universe among their ranks, Jennifer Hawkins having once been a cheerleader for the Newcastle Knights.

Moment #58: “He just whacked the umpire!”

THE ARMY Reserve Cup was a staple of VFL footy in the 1980s, with reserves matches at the old Lake Oval in South Melbourne telecast on Channel Seven with commentary from luminaries including Sandy Roberts, Peter McKenna and Ray “Slug” Jordan.

But TV viewers and the few hundred spectators at the ground for a Collingwood-Swans clash in 1985 got more than they bargained for.

When Collingwood’s John Bourke tripped a Swans player and was booked by field umpire Phil Waight it was dramatic enough.

But Bourke followed this up by throwing Waight to the ground and then as he was being escorted from the field by the Magpies’ runner leaping the fence to assault an abusive spectator.

Jordan’s commentary – a mixture of disbelief and admiration – has gone down in football folklore: “Aww, he just whacked the umpire! Hey! That’s unbelievable!” And then as Bourke attacked the spectator: "Yeahhh – he's done well."

As for Bourke, he was hit with a 10-year ban from football and fined for his attack on the spectator. The suspension was later reduced to six years and Bourke eventually resumed playing in the Diamond Valley League. In 2005, Bourke and Waight came face to face in an orchestrated meeting at which the former Collingwood forward apologised for the incident.

Moment #59: Umpire Carey’s big mark

FREMANTLE is playing St Kilda in Perth in round 15, 1999. It’s the first quarter and Freo’s Adrian Fletcher kicks the ball from the wing towards the centre of Subiaco Oval.

The man wearing number eight leaps a little and takes a solid chest mark. The only trouble is that the man wearing number eight is the man in white – field umpire, Peter Carey.

It was Carey’s 299th AFL game, and some called for it to be his last after his odd intervention. Asked by the AFL Commission for a “please explain”, Carey said he had been unable to get out of the way of Fletcher’s bullet pass. Rather than disrupt the play by allowing the ball to hit him and then continue on an unpredictable path, he chose to take a fine grab, blow his whistle and call for a ball-up.

Bemused players from both sides questioned Carey’s actions, which also stunned television and radio commentators, but a ball-up it was. Freo won the game, and Carey went on to finish his career having umpired 307 matches.

Just as memorably, he even managed to star in an advertisement for an online jobs network, with his stunning intervention shown and the question posed, “Considering a career change?”