Collingwood win by 58 points
Last Game as Player/Coach
Having announced his resignation as coach, and retirement from football, Carl Ditterich was the focus of an otherwise meaningless end of season match. Before the match he was presented with a silver goblet by chief executive Dick Seddon and ran a lap of the ground alongside Ray Shaw and Robbie Flower. There had been some doubt about him playing due to a troublesome knee injury, but he was never going to miss in a match that meant nothing in the long run.
Ditterich played a great first quarter, but after he was reported for the 18th time in 18 seasons for striking Magpie Kevin Morris he started to lose influence on the game. A dislocated right elbow in the third quarter caused him to miss most of the term, but he returned for one last stanza.
Big Carl's teammates took their leader's philosophy to heart one last time as they set about beating their opponents into submission. Unfortunately for the Demons even with Ray Shaw, Peter Moore and Bill Picken all felled the Magpies kept playing a superior brand of football.
Highlights of a non-physical nature were few and far between for Melbourne, but Stephen Downes writing in the Age found beauty in a passage of play involving Robbie Flower,
He pirouetted past a Magpie defender at a speed that would have dizzied Nureyev and goaled. He took a great climbing mark - the best all day - and squeezed the hearts of a members' wives as he dodged a million traps on the toff's flank
Best were Flower, Nettlefold and Clayton.
And thus the Ditterich era ended, with a bang on the field and a dislocated elbow but with a whimper on the scoreboard. He was cleared at the tribunal. Jim Durnan was also reported for striking Peter Moore with both fists to the head and suspended for four matches.
The committee would then turn to landing the one man who they believed could return to Melbourne and deliver a return of the glory days of the 1950's. Just over a month later they sealed the deal.
Ditterich attended the tribunal on Tuesday night with nothing to lose. The media took more interest in the proceedings than the man himself, who made no plea to the charge against him and was unmoved when footage of the alleged hit was played. He successfully argued that the blow had been struck while trying to aggressively struggle out of a tackle. His advocate described it as: “One of those tangles of big men. A test of strength”.
After he was cleared Tribunal chairman Alf Foley said: “we’re sorry you’re going, boy”, to which Ditterich replied “I’m not so sure of that”. On his way out of the hearing a journalist asked: “Would you like to say something Carl?” He replied “Next time…” and exited the VFL stage for good.
Collingwood 19.15.129 d. Melbourne 11.14.80
Goals - Bunn 2, Dickson 2, Gaunt 2, Buntz 1, Czarnecki 1, O'Dwyer 1, Seaton 1, Sier 1
Best - Hunnibell, Wingate, Hamilton
Melbourne 21.9.135 d. Collingwood 17.10.112