It was one of the most significant decades in the history of the Collingwood Football Club, bookended by two wildly fluctuating experiences for the Magpie masses.
In the first year of the decade, the club soared to its most dizzying high in more than 12,000 days, while in the process ended a running joke that had coined its own moniker – ‘the Colliwobbles’.
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That long-awaited success produced the party of a lifetime, sealed with a remarkable night hanging out with an old friend (Victoria Park).
By the end of the decade, in a football and a financial sense, the club was almost on its knees, but with a new plan to somehow turn the fortunes around as quickly as possible.
The party to say goodbye to that same old friend turned in a far more solemn occasion than had been the case at the start of the decade.
Incredibly, for a decade that started out so brightly, this particular 10-year block would prove to be the one in the club’s history where the losses would outnumber the wins (110 to 105 with three draws).
Welcome back to the 1990s, a decade that delivered the best and worst of it for Collingwood, but one that was never boring or mundane.
If you are too young to remember all of it, you missed an ever-changing decade where players went from part-time footballers to professionals, where trainings went from Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights to throughout the day and the week, and where post-game beers weren’t frowned upon.
If you lived through it - as most of us did - your memories will likely run the full gamut of emotions.
Whatever the case, each week this year Collingwood Forever plans to transport you back in time for a blast from the 1990’s past, profiling a player who made an impact for one reason or another during that decade.
They may not have all been superstars, but each contributed to something important to the fabric of the club and its supporters during this time.
Some flashed in and out, with their brief strut upon the Collingwood stage.
Some were premiership heroes forever linked to that dizzy October afternoon in 1990. Some were honest toilers who sacrificed their game for the sake of the team.
Some were cut down cruelly by injuries. Others came to Victoria Park from other AFL clubs and found satisfaction and connection in their new environment.
All came to be loved and respected by the Magpie faithful.
It was the decade which gave us common access to mobile phones and a thing called the World Wide Web, fuelling our passion for digital technology that knows no bounds three decades on.
It was a time when Grunge and Gameboys ruled, and when Beverley Hills 90210 became the hottest address on television at the time when the Cold War thawed, and when an aspiring Prime Minister (then treasurer Paul Keating) came to support Collingwood because he thought it might make him more electable.
In 1990 Leigh Matthews – entering his fifth season as Collingwood coach - vowed the 'Colliwobbles' (a jibe aimed at Pies supporters after a run of eight losses and a draw in Grand Finals) had no relevance to the modern area of Magpie players.
He fashioned a team in his own image, desperate to do anything for the cause.
Some were stars, most of them were honest, hardworking players who stuck to structures and some local lads willing to give their all for the sake of the side.
It seemed like a new beginning.
In keeping with that, the Victorian Football League changed its name to the Australian Football League for the start of the 1990 season.
The first game of the decade for Collingwood started with a 46-point flogging way out west and with star recruit Tony Francis banned for six weeks for kicking in his debut game.
But a slow build through the season, including a stretch of nine wins through the middle of the season, game Magpie fans hope this year might prove different.
Matthews urged his players to create to make their own history rather than be anchored by the club's past failures.
The momentum of premiership favourites Essendon stalled when Collingwood drew with West Coast - thanks to a Peter Sumich miss - in the qualifying final, leaving them two weeks without a game. The Magpies easily outpointed the Eagles in the replay, then smashed the Bombers to qualify for their first Grand Final since 1981.
Darren Millane provided much of the inspiration. He fractured his thumb before the finals, but he played on. Only those closest to him knew the real story of his pain.
Gavin Brown came back to kick a goal in the third term after being knocked out in a wild quarter-time brawl of the Grand Final.
Peter Daicos kicked two goals in the premiership playoff – taking his season tally to 97 – and Tony Shaw, who had seen past heartaches, was not prepared to allow it to happen again.
The skipper turned in a best on ground performance.
Collingwood turned history on its head, restricting Essendon to only five goals on the day, and going on to win by 48 points.
Millane had the ball in his hands when the siren sounded at 5.11pm at the MCG on Saturday, October 6. The drought was over; ‘the Colliwobbles’ had been excised after 32 years.
Across the ground, across the city, across the state, across the world, long-planned celebrations broke out. Some lasted for a night, some for weeks and months.
The players partied at the Australis Ballroom at the now defunct Southern Cross before returning to a packed throng of more than 20,000 at Victoria Park.
The celebrations seemed to last forever; the resultant hangover lasted the rest of the decade.
Collingwood's title defence was over almost before it began. The club was always playing catch up in terms of injuries and a loss of that same hunger throughout the 1991 season.
Six straight losses midway through the season cost the club dearly. In the end, a final round loss to Geelong at Kardinia Park cost the club a finals berth.
But that loss paled into insignificance of what occurred on October 7, 1991. Millane, 26, was killed in a car accident.
The players resolved to win the flag for their lost mate the following year, a season in which Collingwood celebrated its 100th birthday.
The Pies were meant to party on May 7, 1992, when they played Carlton at the MCG, but the Blues proved party poopers, winning the game by 33 points.
With a team that some people thought was every bit as good as the 1990 side - if not better - Collingwood finished equal top of the ladder at the end of the season but was relegated third between Geelong and Footscray on percentage.
A quirk of the AFL finals system at the time, Matthews' Magpies had to play St Kilda in an elimination final at the Saints' home ground, Waverley.
It lost by eight points and a season that promised so much cruelly ended.
There were no finals in 1993.
1994 was significant for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the recruitment of one of the game's most exciting young players, Nathan Buckley.
Incredibly, 26 years on, Buckley remains at Collingwood as senior coach.
The Magpies squeezed into the final eight that season - on percentage - and had to play the top side West Coast in week 1. They took the game up to the Eagles and almost pulled off a WACA heist. West Coast held on by to win by two points, and went on to win the flag.
The 1995 season gave birth to the Collingwood-Essendon Anzac Day fixture. The game ended in a draw; a new tradition was created.
But the Magpies could only manage 10th place that season, which brought an end to Matthews' tenure as coach, just five years after president Allan McAlister guaranteed him a job for life.
McAlister would also depart at the same time, replaced by Kevin Rose.
Shaw, the hero of 1990 and one of the club's greatest captains, took over as coach. His tenure would last five seasons, leading Collingwood through until the end of the decade.
Sadly, there would be no more finals appearances.
Shaw might not have had a successful stint as Collingwood coach, but it wasn’t for lack of effort, or passion for the club.
Collingwood finished 11th (eight wins), 10th (10 wins), 14th (seven wins) and 16th and last (four wins) in Shaw's seasons.
Shaw's last game as coach was Victoria Park's last game as an official league venue, and the Magpies lost to Brisbane Lions on a miserable afternoon.
It was meant to be a party, but it turned out to be more of a wake.
Still, armed with a smart young president named Eddie McGuire, a new coach in Mick Malthouse, some strong draft options, and a plan to see Collingwood swiftly return to the finals again, the Magpies ended the 1990s with a vision to take them into the new millennium.