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The backline full of cult heroes

Paul Robinson  June 23, 2017 5:00 PM

125 in 125: Port Adelaide Collingwood Media presents a history between Collingwood and Port Adelaide.
Mark Richardson played 141 games in his 11 years at Collingwood.

Mark Richardson played 141 games in his 11 years at Collingwood.

Paul Robinson is one of the men behind the cult social media channels 'The Carlton Draft' and 'The Ressies Footballer'

His Black and White passion is unquestionable, and the views represented in this article are solely his own and not representative of the Collingwood Football Club.

It has been (probably) scientifically proven Collingwood has the most comprehensive list of cult heroes of any team in the history of the AFL.

The Cultpies isn’t for the Nathan Buckley’s, Bob Rose’s or Scott Pendlebury’s of the world. It’s a ‘NO SUPERSTARS ALLOWED’ set-up here.

The types catered for are more along the lines of the Mark ‘Angry Dad’ Orval type, and the ‘Mighty’ Rupe Betheras mould.

Everyone knows forwards get the girls, midfielders get the Brownlows… and the backs get bugger all.

But the men in defence are the rocks of the side who do the hardest work and are the most-loved members of the Cultpies.

I’ve already spoken to the head bartender and we’ve come to an agreement that if you’re in the back six, you don’t pay for your first six beers. You also get to pick the first songs on the jukebox at the club social nights.

So without further ado, I present to you the back half of the Cultpies. Congrats to all those that made the side. I look forward to seeing what you can do on Mad Monday.

B: Simon Prestigiacomo, Tyson Goldsack, Matthew Lokan
Kevin Grose, Mark Richardson, Mick Gayfer

A player I refer to as the rich-man’s Bruce Doull.

In 1995 when we drafted the 193cm key forward (yeah, you read that right) many fans thought we had the second-coming of Peter McKenna on our hands. The height, the build, the mop of hair that put Ringo Starr to shame…

But it didn’t turn out that way. When thrown down back the Pies soon realized we were on to a keeper. 233 games, three goals and 19 words spoken in his 14-season career.

Who could forget the match against Brisbane in 2009 when Presti came back to the field after a concussion scare, and was thrown up forward. The sound of the crowd going absolutely bananas whenever the ball was in his vicinity was music to my ears… And that’s one of the many reasons Presti makes it into the Cultpies.

The sounds of thousands of TAB tickets being ripped up echoed through Australia when Tyson Goldsack kicking the first goal in the 2010 replay. The only person in the country who picked it? His dear old Mum.

The Sack has played in every position on the field, just for the sake of the team. He’s a true club person.

The 30-year-old’s performance against Fremantle this year with a busted shoulder might not have been pretty on the stat-sheet, but neither was his opponents. The ball followed him as he went forward later in the game, despite one arm constantly tucked into his body.

The Sack is the 2017 embodiment of Collingwood club spirit. A deserving member of the Cultpies back six.

Matty Lokan
is one of the first players I think of when the 2003 Grand Final side is discussed. He was a true battler who made his way from SANFL ressies to a top-four AFL side within a couple of seasons.

His career highlight can be summed up with one word… Sunsilk. His laughter in the infamous shampoo ad also starring Chris Tarrant, Shane Wakelin and Jason Cloke was the cream on the cake of a supremely underrated 46-game career.

He didn’t look like it, but this man had some serious pace over 25 metres. Couple that with his solid frame and you’ve got a solid back pocket who could go for a stride with the Sherrin in hand when needed. Welcome to the Cultpies, Loks.

32 games, 10 goals and two arms full of ink. The tats weren’t at the Dane Swan level we’ve come to love and expect, but for his time Kevin Grose was a mean-looking man straight out of Reservoir.

Nicknamed ‘Disney’ due to what the players called cartoons up his arm, his attack on the pill was anything but a joke. Grose was a fierce competitor whose off-field approach would have put him right at home in the Collingwood rat-pack of the 2000s.

He once won the club’s Player of the Month prize of $200… and spent the lot on a party for the rest of the boys!

Grose sadly passed away at 58 while on a holiday to Thailand, but his legend lives on in the Cultpies.

The son of a club champion who was unfairly maligned for never living up to expectations.

Mark Richardson also didn’t age. Seriously – google it. He looks the same from his first season in 1991 to last in 2002.

At times, he shone. He kicked seven goals in just his fifth game. But for a lot of his career he seemed to be thrown around too much covering holes where they needed to be covered. His accepting of having to do the team thing, in addition to a running style that resembled a giraffe made him a favorite among Pies fans.

You earned your spot in this side, Richo!

Micky Gayfer:
The glove-man. The human blanket.

Whatever you wanted to call him, Mick Gayfer covered his opposition in a way that delighted Magpie fans across the nation.

He’s the first to admit that he wasn’t the most naturally gifted with skill. Everything he got out of the game was through hard work, and boy did he make his opponents work just as hard to get a kick of their own.

Gayfer was a fitness freak who played in the drought breaking 1990 premiership and only kicked one goal in his career… in a 90-point loss to Fitzroy in 1988.

The poor bloke didn’t even get to experience the hugs and back-slaps that come with a first goal, so my guess is that he’ll be happy to put his hand up for a rotation in the Cultpies on the back flank.


Mick Gayfer in action back in his playing days for Collingwood.


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