I’m extremely late to the proverbial party, but on the first day of Autumn, ‘Lethal Leigh’ Matthews, the VFL/AFL Player of the 20th Century with Hawthorn, turned 4-time premiership coach with Collingwood & Brisbane, turns 70, and I don’t fancy it’ll be a milestone celebrated by Neville Bruns, Barry Cable or the several hundred players that were felled by Matthews during his days at the Hawks…
So to mark the day, here’s the time future AFL CEO (And future Crown director) named Andrew Demetriou, soon to be dubbed ‘Vlad’ by Kevin Sheedy, copped a fair hip & shoulder from the barrel chested Barney Rubble during the 1982 First Semi-Final between Hawthorn and North Melbourne….
If you ever wanted to know why the AFL, while Demetriou was at the helm, made Leigh’s Threepeat Brisbane team play that 2004 Preliminary Final at the MCG instead of The Gabba, and potentially cost the Lions a Fourpeat, this was probably the reason:
In fact, there’s another story that after the Brisbane Lions completed the Threepeat in 2003, Justin Leppitsch was in the lift at Crown Casino with Matthews.
Leppa turned to his coach and asked:
“What would you be without us, Leigh?”
Lethal smiled and responded:
“All I’d be is the Player of the Century.”