Paul Vander Haar

For many of us our favourite or most memorable game is probably a come from behind special or a Grand Final victory.

 

For me it has long been Paul Vander Haar's comeback game.

 

Round 6 1978 was a ripper.

 

After winning every first year player award on offer (remember the Cazaly Awards?) in 1977, Vanda suffered a well documented trail bike accident. So server that many feared this was the end of a promising football career.

 

Luckily for us this wasn't to be.

 

I remember sitting in the outer at Windy Hill when the Reynolds Stand crowd went crazy. The roar was one of the loudest I have ever witnessed.

 

It was all for Vanda. 

He had been a late, unnamed replacement for Ronnie Andrews.

 

When the team ran on to the ground, the resulting roar was deafening.

 

All for a guy who had only been at the club 12 months.

 

He wasn't the best on ground that day but he went a long way towards helping the Bombers chase down a five goal 3/4 time deficit with an ripper final 20 minute, nine goal blitz.

 

It was and still is my favourite all time game.

 

Here are some articles from the game. They might be hard to read but pictures say a thousand words. Especially the one where he has a cigarette in his hand.

 

Round 6 1978. Two amazing comebacks on one Saturday afternoon.

 

Couldn't ask for any more.

 

urh5.jpg

 

w03z.jpg

 

ciln.jpg

 

mz8v.jpg

 

xf5z.jpg    5kxv.jpg

«1

Comments

  • Thanks for that. He was my first favourite. Just an absolute natural he was equally good at either end. It was only a few weeks after that comeback game that Vanders went head-to-head with Peter Knights, and together they put on one of the greatest showcases of high-marking the game has ever seen.

  • rossonerirossoneri #standbynickyd

    I didn't get to see much of him as his battered body gave up on him in 1990. I do remember a game against Melbourne I think at Windy Hill in 1989 where he marked everything that came towards him, think he may have ended up with 15 or so marks. I think DJR posted an article from that day with Van Der with 7 fingers?

     

    We all hear about the stories of him smoking and drinking at half time and being late to matches and being out all night, but I remember reading one of Sheeds books and he says that no one ever trained harder on the track than Vanders. He was the ultimate professional on the track and during gametime.

     

    I do remember in the book that when sheeds came to the club and watched him train he said "geez, that guy must eat healthy eat lots of vegies" and one of the trainers turned around and said, yeah, well whatever vegies you find in a pastie.

  • BacchusfoxBacchusfox Legs of a Champion

    And he is a top bloke.  He has a swimming pool spa business and did an installation in our Town. Stayed at one of the pubs and kept us quiet with his footy and other stories.

  • He played really well in the first final against Geelong in 1989. It was probably his last great game. I still think he was targeted the next week by Hawthorn.  

  • Unfortunatleynim a tad young to recall his games live, and the oldest games I have is '84/85 GF where I don't think he really stamps his authority on the game. I sort of half wonder what all the fuss was about.

    Would he have been the league equivalent of buddy in terms of hype and freak anility? Or was he more an essendon superstar first and a very good VFL player second. Either way, hes got a highlights package and medals to show his grand kids most players would die for.
  • A gym owner I know used to work in the fitness department at Essendon in the Eighties. One of his favourite stories was that everytime anybody tried to get Vander into the gym his reply was, "with a body like mine why do I need to do weights?" Then he'd walk off into the corner for another smoke!

  • Captain JackCaptain Jack Long - Range Bomber

    Unfortunatleynim a tad young to recall his games live, and the oldest games I have is '84/85 GF where I don't think he really stamps his authority on the game. I sort of half wonder what all the fuss was about.

    Would he have been the league equivalent of buddy in terms of hype and freak anility? Or was he more an essendon superstar first and a very good VFL player second. Either way, hes got a highlights package and medals to show his grand kids most players would die for.


    He and Baker basically destroyed Collingwood in the 1984 PF. As a contest the game was over by 1/4 time on the strength of their dominance. After quarter time the game was reduced to a training run with black and white witches hats. 



  • Unfortunatleynim a tad young to recall his games live, and the oldest games I have is '84/85 GF where I don't think he really stamps his authority on the game. I sort of half wonder what all the fuss was about.

    Would he have been the league equivalent of buddy in terms of hype and freak anility? Or was he more an essendon superstar first and a very good VFL player second. Either way, hes got a highlights package and medals to show his grand kids most players would die for.


    He and Baker basically destroyed Collingwood in the 1984 PF. As a contest the game was over by 1/4 time on the strength of their dominance. After quarter time the game was reduced to a training run with black and white witches hats.

    That was one game when I didn't mind the drive across town to Arctic Park. The margin was magnificent and was topped off by Ron Andrews being Collingwoods only decent player on the day.
  • rossonerirossoneri #standbynickyd

     


    Unfortunatleynim a tad young to recall his games live, and the oldest games I have is '84/85 GF where I don't think he really stamps his authority on the game. I sort of half wonder what all the fuss was about.

    Would he have been the league equivalent of buddy in terms of hype and freak anility? Or was he more an essendon superstar first and a very good VFL player second. Either way, hes got a highlights package and medals to show his grand kids most players would die for.


    He and Baker basically destroyed Collingwood in the 1984 PF. As a contest the game was over by 1/4 time on the strength of their dominance. After quarter time the game was reduced to a training run with black and white witches hats. 

     


    Took a mark about 45 out on a 45 degree angle and rather than go back over the mark and kick it on his right foot (his preferred one) he turns to the left and smashes it home.

     

  • DiggersDiggers Tank fly boss walk jam nitty-gritty

    Try to imagine the damage he would have done around Melbourne niteclubs in the 70's/80's.

     

    Good Lord.

  • MeroMero Peripheral Visionary

    Not sure he was the hardest trainer as Sheeds attested to.

    I remember TD telling  story at Vanda's testimonial about how Shane Heard came down to training one night in 1989 after retiring (for the first time) after the 1987 season.

    Heard was standing by the fence and Vanda was doing stretches and he said to him "look at you, all that diet and extra training and there you are over that side of the fence, and me, I went out on the **** every night, did as little as possible and I'm playing in the finals for the Bombers"

    He wasn't being vindictive, it was just stirring,but it made for a great story.

     

     

    TD's first thought at the Vanda testimonial.

    By gee y'know, the old bloody Vanda, He's a bloody character the old Vanda.

    There's probably hundreds,nah,probably thousands of stories you could tell about the old Vanda.

    Can't remember any of them at the moment, but he was a bloody character. 

  • Vanders /Williams / Baker .. tough hard players who I loved watching as a kid. They were the days.
  • Great thread, trip down memory lane, Dutchy was an absolute freak of a footballer, in regards to who would you compare him to, Jake Carlisle is similar but Vander could really fly at the ball and take speckies...Was a beautiful kick of a ball, there are many examples of him kicking 70+ metre goals..I asked him once when he was out injured with a broken leg, how's your leg Paul, not bad mate, how's yours he replied..Was a true joy to grow up watching the likes of Vander, Watson,Madden, Terry and Neale, Glenn Hawker, Merv Neagle, Nobby, Ezard, Bomber, harvey, Salmon and the rest develop into the legends they became...Truly glorious days..

     

    Check out the footage in this clip to understand how good he was, back in those days contested marks were everything and Vander and Madden were both incredible and ahead of their time, Tim Watson was also brilliant in the air, VanderHaar was a star check out some of his leaps, he was also targeted by other teams who knew how good he was but he just took it, was never a dirty player played hard and partied hard, great memories, great thread, loved the news paper clippings, had them myself as a kid any more of other players in the time please?

     

  • edited November 2013

    Unfortunatleynim a tad young to recall his games live, and the oldest games I have is '84/85 GF where I don't think he really stamps his authority on the game. I sort of half wonder what all the fuss was about.

    Would he have been the league equivalent of buddy in terms of hype and freak anility? Or was he more an essendon superstar first and a very good VFL player second. Either way, hes got a highlights package and medals to show his grand kids most players would die for.


    Check the footage above, should give you a fair idea...for his day definitely Buddy is a similar type of freak, Vander was that good...plus he never left for Sydney when they tried to nab him...


  • Unfortunatleynim a tad young to recall his games live, and the oldest games I have is '84/85 GF where I don't think he really stamps his authority on the game. I sort of half wonder what all the fuss was about.

    Would he have been the league equivalent of buddy in terms of hype and freak anility? Or was he more an essendon superstar first and a very good VFL player second. Either way, hes got a highlights package and medals to show his grand kids most players would die for.


    Check this clip out, notice how the commentators say how he played CHF with the wind and CHB against the wind, unheard of in those days....

     

  • Thanks for the clips. Perhaps Carey might be a better comparison? (Didn't mind juggling the mark...)

  • Thanks for the clips. Perhaps Carey might be a better comparison? (Didn't mind juggling the mark...)


    Yeah Carey would be a fair comparison, except Vander was not arrogant at all, had great character, also Vander hit it straight away in his first year winning the VFL recruit of the year, equal to the rising star, and he finished 2nd in the B&F in that first year as well..I remember him bagging 9 one day...Carey took a while to become a star, Vander had it from day 1, as did Timmy!!!

  • Great thread, trip down memory lane, Dutchy was an absolute freak of a footballer, in regards to who would you compare him to, Jake Carlisle is similar but Vander could really fly at the ball and take speckies...Was a beautiful kick of a ball, there are many examples of him kicking 70+ metre goals..I asked him once when he was out injured with a broken leg, how's your leg Paul, not bad mate, how's yours he replied..Was a true joy to grow up watching the likes of Vander, Watson,Madden, Terry and Neale, Glenn Hawker, Merv Neagle, Nobby, Ezard, Bomber, harvey, Salmon and the rest develop into the legends they became...Truly glorious days..

     

    Check out the footage in this clip to understand how good he was, back in those days contested marks were everything and Vander and Madden were both incredible and ahead of their time, Tim Watson was also brilliant in the air, VanderHaar was a star check out some of his leaps, he was also targeted by other teams who knew how good he was but he just took it, was never a dirty player played hard and partied hard, great memories, great thread, loved the news paper clippings, had them myself as a kid any more of other players in the time please?

     


    Thanks for putting up this clip.

    Check out who uploaded it to YouTube....Me!

    It was put together for his testimonial.

    I actually stuffed up the upload and lost the first few minutes. I'm not the best with technology.

    But you are spot on about everything you've said about Vanda.

    He is the only guy (apart from Salmon) who I can recall being an Essendon STAR from the minute he first ran on to the field.

    Targeted every time he went near the ball but never took his eyes off the ball.

    Was probably the most versatile of the key position players we had through the 80's.

    Loved him.

  •  

    Great thread, trip down memory lane, Dutchy was an absolute freak of a footballer, in regards to who would you compare him to, Jake Carlisle is similar but Vander could really fly at the ball and take speckies...Was a beautiful kick of a ball, there are many examples of him kicking 70+ metre goals..I asked him once when he was out injured with a broken leg, how's your leg Paul, not bad mate, how's yours he replied..Was a true joy to grow up watching the likes of Vander, Watson,Madden, Terry and Neale, Glenn Hawker, Merv Neagle, Nobby, Ezard, Bomber, harvey, Salmon and the rest develop into the legends they became...Truly glorious days..

     

    Check out the footage in this clip to understand how good he was, back in those days contested marks were everything and Vander and Madden were both incredible and ahead of their time, Tim Watson was also brilliant in the air, VanderHaar was a star check out some of his leaps, he was also targeted by other teams who knew how good he was but he just took it, was never a dirty player played hard and partied hard, great memories, great thread, loved the news paper clippings, had them myself as a kid any more of other players in the time please?

     


    Thanks for putting up this clip.

    Check out who uploaded it to YouTube....Me!

    It was put together for his testimonial.

    I actually stuffed up the upload and lost the first few minutes. I'm not the best with technology.

    But you are spot on about everything you've said about Vanda.

    He is the only guy (apart from Salmon) who I can recall being an Essendon STAR from the minute he first ran on to the field.

    Targeted every time he went near the ball but never took his eyes off the ball.

    Was probably the most versatile of the key position players we had through the 80's.

    Loved him.

     


    Cheers mate, watched a few of your vids last night as well if that's the case,

     

    some great memories in there, would love to see similar one's for Simon, Terry, Neale, Fish, Bewick and of coures KickettlongWanganeen if you have any extra tapes hidden away...thanks for uploading them, When I was 12 we didn't do Jezzas, we did Vanderhaaaaaars...


  •  


    Unfortunatleynim a tad young to recall his games live, and the oldest games I have is '84/85 GF where I don't think he really stamps his authority on the game. I sort of half wonder what all the fuss was about.

    Would he have been the league equivalent of buddy in terms of hype and freak anility? Or was he more an essendon superstar first and a very good VFL player second. Either way, hes got a highlights package and medals to show his grand kids most players would die for.


    Check this clip out, notice how the commentators say how he played CHF with the wind and CHB against the wind, unheard of in those days....

     

     


    He did that against St Kilda in 1985 too and finished with 9 goals from CHF after having played half the game at CHB. There was no real reason for him playing at both ends as we won in a canter; it was just Sheedy being Sheedy.

  • Alan_Noonan_10Alan_Noonan_10 Iconoclast and blasphemer

     


     


    Unfortunatleynim a tad young to recall his games live, and the oldest games I have is '84/85 GF where I don't think he really stamps his authority on the game. I sort of half wonder what all the fuss was about.

    Would he have been the league equivalent of buddy in terms of hype and freak anility? Or was he more an essendon superstar first and a very good VFL player second. Either way, hes got a highlights package and medals to show his grand kids most players would die for.


    Check this clip out, notice how the commentators say how he played CHF with the wind and CHB against the wind, unheard of in those days....

     

     


    He did that against St Kilda in 1985 too and finished with 9 goals from CHF after having played half the game at CHB. There was no real reason for him playing at both ends as we won in a canter; it was just Sheedy being Sheedy.

     


    Windy Hill I think 1990, we were towelling Melbourne and Hamilton wasn't giving Bennett a sniff.

     

    Sheedy swapped Vander onto Bennett at three-quarter and Bennett gave him a kicking. Kicked a few himself, Ricky Jackson kicked a couple of joe-the-goose's (the only goals he ever kicked) and they got up after we'd led by 6 at three-quarter.


  • Great thread, trip down memory lane, Dutchy was an absolute freak of a footballer, in regards to who would you compare him to, Jake Carlisle is similar but Vander could really fly at the ball and take speckies...Was a beautiful kick of a ball, there are many examples of him kicking 70+ metre goals..I asked him once when he was out injured with a broken leg, how's your leg Paul, not bad mate, how's yours he replied..Was a true joy to grow up watching the likes of Vander, Watson,Madden, Terry and Neale, Glenn Hawker, Merv Neagle, Nobby, Ezard, Bomber, harvey, Salmon and the rest develop into the legends they became...Truly glorious days..

     

    Check out the footage in this clip to understand how good he was, back in those days contested marks were everything and Vander and Madden were both incredible and ahead of their time, Tim Watson was also brilliant in the air, VanderHaar was a star check out some of his leaps, he was also targeted by other teams who knew how good he was but he just took it, was never a dirty player played hard and partied hard, great memories, great thread, loved the news paper clippings, had them myself as a kid any more of other players in the time please?

     


    That goal from inside the square at 3:24 went 15 rows into the crowd and he kicked it with a broken leg. It sunk Richmond's comeback and Jack Dyer couldn't shut up about it for weeks after.


  •  


    Great thread, trip down memory lane, Dutchy was an absolute freak of a footballer, in regards to who would you compare him to, Jake Carlisle is similar but Vander could really fly at the ball and take speckies...Was a beautiful kick of a ball, there are many examples of him kicking 70+ metre goals..I asked him once when he was out injured with a broken leg, how's your leg Paul, not bad mate, how's yours he replied..Was a true joy to grow up watching the likes of Vander, Watson,Madden, Terry and Neale, Glenn Hawker, Merv Neagle, Nobby, Ezard, Bomber, harvey, Salmon and the rest develop into the legends they became...Truly glorious days..

     

    Check out the footage in this clip to understand how good he was, back in those days contested marks were everything and Vander and Madden were both incredible and ahead of their time, Tim Watson was also brilliant in the air, VanderHaar was a star check out some of his leaps, he was also targeted by other teams who knew how good he was but he just took it, was never a dirty player played hard and partied hard, great memories, great thread, loved the news paper clippings, had them myself as a kid any more of other players in the time please?

     


    That goal from inside the square at 3:24 went 15 rows into the crowd and he kicked it with a broken leg. It sunk Richmond's comeback and Jack Dyer couldn't shut up about it for weeks after.

     


    Have just watched it again, he was an absolute freak, thanks for the memories Dutchman..

  • What I picked up on was he looked pretty handy on both feet, and interestingly he leaps off his left foot for a right side dominant player. Some lovely footage tho.
  • my fav player as a youngster and was the reason i went to the footy every week. Have had the pleasure of speaking with him many times over the past 15 years, a real mans man. 

     

    what a lovely kick on either foot.

  • bomber cbomber c Dank under oath to crime commission "we used thymomodulin
    I am told it was vanders idea to play pass the microphone with a story about someone who then told a story about the next person.
    Even TD thought it was a great idea.
    Venue was windy hill social club with about 60 people close to the 84/85 premiership sides on the saturday 11/4 /2015.
    Budgies wife was voted best on ground for most entertaining story and budgie was so grateful to be back home ,ducky was also in great form all weekend ...what a great club essendon are .
  • Vanda - what a legend of the club.

    What hasn't been said yet?

    There was a newspaper interview with him c1983. At that time he was revered but, despite a strict diet and training regime, was not playing to the standards he set in the '70s (which is hardly surprising considering he would have broken most of his bones by then). Anyway, the reporter asked what was he going to do, to which he replied "Dunno, I s'pose I have to get back on the **** again"!
  • Great thread- thanks to all. Caught the end of his career- he was a real favourite of bomber fans.
  • Alan_Noonan_10Alan_Noonan_10 Iconoclast and blasphemer
    He should have punched out Demetriou in that North game.

    Loses legend status because of that one oversight.
  • bomber cbomber c Dank under oath to crime commission "we used thymomodulin
    Just done an open mike interview ,one not to be missed in the future.
Sign In or Register to comment.