SUNDAY'S clash between Carlton and Collingwood evokes special memories for former Blues footballer Bill Redmond.
This weekend marks 65 years since Redmond played his last senior game for Carlton – against their black-and-white arch rival.
All the half-forward remembers about the match is that his team lost by two points.
Redmond only played a handful of games for the Blues.
“I was very close to playing in the 1947 Carlton premiership,” he recalled. “They beat Essendon by a point. I had played a couple of games and I was the emergency in the grand final.”
Redmond said that during the 1948 season, after he’d played five games with Carlton, his playing permit was revoked by the Victorian Football League when North Melbourne discovered he was residentially zoned to them as he lived in West Brunswick.
“If you lived on one side of the road, you played for Carlton and if you lived on the other side of the road, you were North Melbourne,” he said.
Redmond said North Melbourne refused to clear him to continue playing for Carlton, so he decided to go to Williamstown in the Victorian Football Association.
“We got £3 a game back in those days and Williamstown offered me £5, so I went with them,” he said.
Looking back, he is thankful for the decision North Melbourne made.
“When I went down to play for Williamstown, there was a Bendigo girl who worked for the president of the football club.
“We got romantically involved and when she came back to Bendigo, so did I.”
Redmond ended up marrying the Bendigo girl, Mavis Doxford, and they had one child and two grandchildren. Mavis died in 1997.
After moving to Bendigo in 1950, Redmond became involved in Bendigo footy and cricket.
“I was a member of the A- grade Golden Square cricket team, Sandhurst A-grade cricket team and the South Bendigo premiers football,” the 85-year-old said.
“I was the captain and coach of North Bendigo and I was the captain and coach of Inglewood when they won their premiership in 1958.”
Redmond joined the police force and was a sergeant in Bendigo from 1956, then a law instructor in St Kilda, teaching cadets.
Redmond rated playing for Carlton as one of the highlights of his football career.
“I was a 19-year-old boy and I made my way up into the seconds and then the firsts,” he said.
“I am the first winner of the Carlton under-19 best-and- fairest in 1946 – that was the first year after the war.”
A lot has changed since Redmond’s footballing days.
“The players are a lot fitter and a lot more skilful but as far as watching the game, I don’t think it is enjoyable to watch,” he said. “I don’t agree with the way they man up, it is all open play.
“Also, we rode our bikes to training and we only trained for an hour or an hour half, two times a week, and now they are full time.”
The former big leaguer said he wasn’t sure who would win Sunday’s blockbuster, but it would likely come down to who worked harder, and a bit of luck.