1987 Battle of Britain        

1987 Battle of Britain

Carlton 13.13 91
North Melbourne 16.8 104
Venue: The Oval, London Date: October, 1987
Result: Loss by 13 points Umpires: Ian Robinson, Gavin Dore Crowd:
Reports: See Game Review Injuries: Ian Aitken (Broken Jaw)

Game Review

Carlton took on North Melbourne at the Oval, in London, England, in 1987.

The game is most famous for being relabelled the "Battle of Britain" after a young Alistair Clarkson broke Ian Aitken's jaw, and was then hunted by Blues players for the remainder of the match. David Rhys-Jones, Jim Buckley, Wayne Johnston, Brad Shine and young unknown Mark Edwards (making his only senior start ever) were all reported for the Blues. Shine received a reprimand for attempting to strike Clarkson right back, whilst Buckley and Johnston both received a 2-match suspension for more successful attempts at striking Clarkson. Edwards copped 2 matches for striking John Law. Rhys got 1 match for striking Donald McDonald. Clarkson was suspended for 4 weeks for the original strike on Aitken whilst Donald McDonald was reported for striking Rhys twice copping a reprimand and a one-match suspension.

As the match descended into chaos legendary North coach John Kennedy, according to highly unconfirmed reports, sent John Longmire (then an untried 16-year old) on to the field with the words "Just go out there and hit someone - otherwise everyone will think you're weak".

Clarkson told the Age in September 2004: "That was something that happened as an 18 year old, naive, immature footballer just coming into footy at the highest level," Clarkson said. "I've learnt a hell of a lot since then. It's certainly not something I want to indoctrinate into my players to play in that style or manner."



Clarkson speaks

Footage: 1987: The Battle of Britain (highlights)




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