"It had been the wettest week prior to the grand final ever recorded."
Warrnambool's Len Mann said it rained for a full week and the MCG was a quagmire the day he experienced a premiership triumph with the Melbourne Football Club.
Despite the weather, there were more than 97,000 fans at the home of football that September day in 1960.
Mann and his cousin Harold 'Hassa' Mann had been recruited from Merbein, just outside Mildura, in the late '50s.
He admitted he was lucky to be in the team after playing only half-a-dozen senior games.
"Terry Gleeson was first ruck with Ronny Barassi and he broke his leg and I got a chance, I only played eight games before I was in the grand final side, which was pretty lucky," he said.
"But if he hadn't broken his leg I probably wouldn't have got a game.
"...I was pretty light, I only played at about 13-and-a-half stone (85 kilograms) then but I had a pretty good leap.
"So we went all right in the ruck that day."
Mann, who featured in the best players, was in the ruck and captain Barassi was one of his rovers.
He played alongside his cousin 'Hassa' who lined up at half-forward.
Mann wasn't as lucky in 1964 - the Dees' most recent flag.
He sustained bruised kidneys during a home-and-away reserves match which put him out for six weeks.
"It was like (Richmond's) Dusty Martin, he's got bruised kidneys at the moment," he said.
He only played four senior games in '64 before he got injured.
The ruckman almost broke back into the side for the big dance and was an emergency.
But he said the great part about the Demons is that everyone gets acknowledged for their contribution.
"Melbourne, when they take premiership teams they don't just take a premiership team they are a TEAM - everybody gets a mention, everybody's in the photo, the boot-studder, the time-keeper, the trainers and that is a team" he said.
Mann highlighted the other emergency that day had a Warrnambool connection.
"It was a changing of the guard from 1960 to 1964, okay I was an emergency but who was on the bench beside me was Graeme Watson," he said.
"He only played five or six games for Melbourne that year and incidentally when he was 18, he lived in Warrnambool here because his father was a school teacher."
Watson, also a talented cricketer, played five Test matches for Australia.
Mann is as eager as any to see if the Demons break their 57-year drought on Saturday night when they take on the Western Bulldogs in the AFL grand final in Perth.
"I'm quietly confident they've been a consistent side, they're a very fit side and they always finish well," he said.
"But the opposition is very good also, they played equally as well in their preliminary final."
Mann hasn't missed a game this season and has watched more footy this year than ever.
"I underestimated them, halfway through the season, I thought 'is this Melbourne?'," he said.
"It's been such a long drought I suppose I can't believe they're playing so well and so consistently."
Listen to The Standard's Len Mann interview:
Mann, the 1960 premiership ruckman, enjoys watching the Dees' modern ruck duo.
He lauded Max Gawn as a clever player who has "played exceptionally well all season".
"But what's made him such a good player this year also is Luke Jackson, our second ruck," he said.
"He's going to be something very special, he's an ex-basketballer, I can't believe how they haven't woken up to him.
"He runs around them he doesn't make contact with a player, most of them they wrestle and all this but you watch him - he starts off on the boundary, he gets behind the ruckman, he runs to the side and gets in front.
"And in the centre bounces and anywhere like that - the throw-ups, same thing, he gets in front.
"He springs, he's got enormous spring."
Mann, who played 46 games for the Demons, also made an interesting point about the way Jackson goes for marks.
"With his basketball setup, he just floats in from the side, that's the way to mark," he said.
"How many marks are taken in the big packs, there's not many, is there?
"The only time a mark is any good these days is if it's on the last line or right at full-forward.
"But in the centre they want to play on, you've got to play on to create a loose man and get it up there quick."
Mann believes the Dees play just as well when Jackson is in the ruck.
"He's helped Gawn and when Gawn goes off we don't go backwards, we stay at the same trend," he said.
Premiership reunions have been a feature of Mann's life ever since the glory of the '60s.
And it's where another intriguing tale has emerged.
Melbourne defeated Collingwood 8.14 (62) to 2.2 (14) in the 1960 decider in one of the lowest scoring grand finals ever.
"Probably 30 years ago, we were having a reunion or something - we were all together - and up comes the 1960 premiership team," Mann said.
"And 'Tassie' Johnson who played full-back said 'they (Collingwood) were lucky that day, they should have only scored one goal, two (points)," he said.
"(Tassie explained) 'well it came down in the second quarter and I dropped a bloody chest mark and it dribbled on the ground and Ray Gabelich came in and toe-poked it through for a goal."
Mann has ended up with even more to add to that.
"Probably another five years on from that, a bloke came up to me one day - this bloke is a friend of a friend of mine," he said.
The bloke was a Melbourne supporter and asked Mann about the 1960 grand final.
He asked if the premiership player remembered leaping up to touch the ball on the Collingwood goal line in the third quarter.
Mann recalled tapping the ball down to the ground.
It ended up being called a goal.
The Dees' supporter told Mann he was standing right in line with the goal posts and 'there was no way known that was a goal'.
As Mann said "how would that have been, they (Collingwood) wouldn't have scored" if things had turned out slightly differently.
The 83-year-old has a photo at home which suggests he did touch the ball before the line so it certainly would have been one for the score review system these days.
Mann, who retired from the VFL in 1965, coached Warrnambool Blues to their 1966 flag.
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