North Melbourne’s Top Five 21st Century Moments

Siobhan Waddell lists the top five emotional North Melbourne Moments of the 21st Century.

Hird and Archer say farewell, one of The Pinch Hitters Top Five Kangaroos Moments of the 21st Century.

5. Hird and Archer. Round 7 2007

On a Friday night game round 7 2007, North defeated Essendon 18.9.117 to 13.17.95.

The memorable moment from this game was when Hird and Archer swapped jumpers at the end of the game, knowing that was the last time they would play against each other.

2007 season was to be the last for Archer and Hird and the men respected and admired one another.  Their mutual admiration was obvious; both men played the game fairly, courageously and skill fully. To see Hird walk off the ground in the North number 11 was a sight to behold.

Brad Scott's farewell, one of The Pinch Hitters Top Five Kangaroos Moments of the 21st Century.

4. Brad Scott – final Coaching game. Round 10 2019

It was an emotional week with the surprise announcement that Brad Scott was to finish up as Coach of North Melbourne. The question was how the emotion would affect the players, would they lift for the outgoing Coach or underperform?

North led at every change, however it did look like an emotional week was starting to take it’s toll when the Bulldogs came back from 20 points behind to hit the lead with 14 minutes to play. To North credit they held firm and finished the game in style, winning by 25 points, to give their old Coach a nice farewell to end his reign.

Boomer Harvey's Record Breaking Game, one of The Pinch Hitters Top Five Kangaroos Moments of the 21st Century.

3. Brent Harvey’s Record Breaking Game. Round 16 – 2016

Brent Harvey broke the all time record for VFL/AFL games played when he played game number 427 in Round 16, 2016.

North’s opponent for that game was St. Kilda and North won a tight game by 23 points.

North Melbourne and the AFL ensured the game was a celebration for Brent Harvey with many past champions of the AFL and North in attendance.  Harvey fans proudly wore white and blue hats with the motif “Brent Harvey 427 AFL Games Record”. 

Keep North South, one of The Pinch Hitters Top Five Kangaroos Moments of the 21st Century

2. Keep North South
After the Kangaroos signed a contract in 2006 to play 3 home games in the Gold Coast; little did we know this was going to be a fight to stay in Melbourne. In 2007 the AFL, and one well-known Journalist, keep pushing for North Melbourne to move to the Gold Coast.  The AFL claimed 75% of the N.M.F.C Board was in favor of the relocation.

North supporters fought back hard, people who have never bought a membership signed up. Media identities, players and supporters of other AFL Clubs also purchased North Melbourne memberships to show their support to the “Keep North South” group.

At a meeting of North Melbourne members and supporters at Dallas Brooks Hall on 6 December 2007 the members were told that the Board Members who favored the Gold Coast relocation had stood down and replaced by a Board with members committed to keeping North at Arden Street.

The Age Newspaper’s Jill Stark’s report of that meeting on 7 December 2007, summed up the emotion of the meeting with this first paragraph: “Young and old they stood together – Shinboners to the end. Just hours after the AFL had rejected the Kangaroos’ bid for 12 more months to consider the league’s offer that it move to the Gold Coast, an army of blue and white battlers let their voices be heard.”

Jason McCartney's emotional comeback one of The Pinch Hitters Top Five Kangaroos Moments of the 21st Century.

1. Jason McCartney Comeback and Last game  – Round 11, 2003

This would have to be the number 1 most inspirational story in AFL history. Jason McCartney and Mick Martin went to Bali for a holiday and became victims of the most horrific experience that anyone should have to go through, the Bali Bombings.

Jason received second-degree burns to 50% of his body. At the time of the explosion he did not realize how seriously he was burned, and after the bombing he assisted other victims in getting to safety and comforting them.

On returning to Melbourne Jason was critically ill and close to death. The man’s determination and strength of character to push through the pain and trauma was an inspiration to all Australia. Jason set himself the goal to play AFL again.

McCartney was selected in the AFL side to play Richmond, 237 days after being seriously injured. When he ran onto the field in the third quarter, it was an emotional moment for everyone. He made his way to the full forward position at the Richmond cheer squad end where he was greeted with a Richmond Cheer squad standing ovation.

Jason contributed to the North win with one mark and goal and a kick into the forward line, which set up the match-winning goal. That game was also his last as he announced his retirement to the fans after the game.

Jason McCartney’s statistics in that game were irrelevant. His return to the field game was celebrated as victory over terrorism and a win for all those who survived Bali.   The emotion of that night cannot be explained in words, tears in the eyes and lump in the throat of so many AFL supporters said so much. Jason is a hero on and off the field.

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