Carlton V Richmond / Heroes of '72

Thirteen of the 18 surviving team members – Barry Armstrong, Neil Chandler, David Dickson, Adrian Gallagher, Kevin Hall, Paul Hurst, Syd Jackson, Peter 'Percy' Jones, Trevor Keogh, Andy Lukas, David McKay, Geoff Southby and Robert Walls – gathered in the Harrison Room for the 50-year premiership reunion, as special guests of The Carltonians coterie.

Peter 'Percy' Jones, Jarrad Waite, David McKay and Geoff Southby gather on a great night for the Carlton Football Club.

John O’Connell and Vin Waite – members of the feted team who died in 1989 and 2003 respectively – were represented at the gathering by their sons Luke O’Connell and the 184-game Carlton player Jarrad Waite. Said Waite in a Facebook post: “Great night . . . celebrating the #1972flag. It was really good to see some great fellas that I haven’t seen in a bit. Thanks for @thecarltonians and @carlton_fc for inviting @jacwaite and I to represent the old man. #baggers #lovebeatingthetigsrd1”.

McKay, who was also part of the Club’s 1970, ’79 and ’81 premierships, and who somehow got through the second half of the ’72 Grand Final with a broken jaw, said reunions of this type are special “and the 1972 Grand Final was a special game”.

“The team posted the highest Grand Final score in history, in a shoot-out involving both teams,” McKay said.

The backline “O’Connell, Southby, Waite” was a constant at Carlton through the 1970s – and flanking Geoff Southby at Thursday night’s 1972 Premiership reunion are Jarrad Waite (son of Vin) and Luke O’Connell (son of John).

“This was THE game of Perc’s (Jones’) career – a masterstroke of John Nicholls to play Perc first ruck. Perc took on Craig McKellar who was athletic, but Perc completely nullified him and played well in his own right. ‘Nick’ kicked six up forward too, so that was a win-win.”

McKay spoke for all of his former teammates when he said of Carlton’s stirring 25-point victory over the Tigers on Thursday evening: “To see the team take the first round for the first time in 10 years and be there to celebrate the ’72 premiership made it all the more sweeter”.