Our history is filled with many grand moments – spectacular success, high-flying marks and rip-roaring goals that brought down the house – and failures. Image But beyond those that generally make the history books, there are also games that are memorable for different reasons. In the first of a series of articles from the Blueseum outlining some ‘different’ memories of the past, former Blue Great Geoff Southby outlines a game some 30 years ago which sticks in the mind for a very different reason…

“One of my most memorable games was the day of the famous fog at The Junction Oval, St Kilda in 1971. We were playing against Fitzroy and I lined up on Paul Shanahan who played 21 games and kicked 27 goals for Fitzroy between 1968 & 1972. It was my first season with the Blues.

The game commenced in brilliant sunshine with clear skies. The score were almost even at half time and as we were leaving the ground at the half time break, I noticed a fog building over the Albert Park Lake. On our way out onto the ground after the break, we were amazed to find a thick fog had completely covered the Junction Oval. It was a real "pea souper"!

I found my way to Full Back and to Paul Shanahan, who was as amazed as me by the fog. We could barely see 25 metres in front of us. The game continued with players, coaches, umpires and spectators completely confused by the incredibly restricted vision. The game should have been called off but it continued.

Every now and then, an unidentifiable Fitzroy player would emerge out of the fog with the ball about 20 metres away from and look for the goals and/or Paul Shanahan. It was like playing blind. I am sure Ron Barassi was regularly sending the runner down to the scoreboard end just to see what the score was!

It was the second last game of the home & away season and we needed to win our last two games to make the final four. To our disgust we lost to Fitzroy that day and finished fifth that year. There is a great "Herald" photo of myself and Paul Shanahan taken from behind us from the goals at one end. It really shows how thick that fog was that day.”

The Blues would lose by about 4 goals, after being down by a single major at the last break. A week later, with the season over despite a win in Round 22, the careers of Serge Silvagni, Ian Collins, Barry Mulcair and Bill Barrot would all end.

Blueseum: Links to all other 'Memorable Games' articles | Southby's Blueseum Biography