The Power will wear the historical guernsey in its two Showdown clashes against cross-town rivals Adelaide after a compromise was reached between Collingwood and Port Adelaide, with Magpies President Eddie McGuire constantly at odds with the traditional strip’s place in the AFL.
This season we have already seen examples of clubs taking the opportunity to pay homage to their past. In round 12, Brisbane donned a Fitzroy-inspired Hall of Fame guernsey and in round 22 we saw Fremantle run out in their famous green and red anchor guernsey.
With the success of the Sir Doug Nicholls Round in celebrating the Aboriginal AFL community and fans jumping at the opportunity to own an Indigenous jumper, it is the perfect opportunity for the AFL to dedicate a round to celebrating the proud histories of each club.
The original AFL Heritage Round lasted just five seasons, from 2003-2007, but left a lasting impression on fans, bringing back memories of historical triumphs and giving younger supporters the opportunity to wear creative – and sometimes bizarre – replica guernseys.
From Port Adelaide’s infamous magenta, blue and yellow jumper, to Sydney’s red V and the umpires’ all-white uniforms, it was a magical time for supporters looking to bolster their guernsey collections.
Clubs are constantly looking for innovative ways to keep fans returning each year and purchasing the latest merchandise so tapping into their sense of nostalgia is a great way to accomplish this.
Port Adelaide fans led the charge for the club to wear the Prison Bars next season, through their #BringBackTheBars campaign, with a petition signed by over 10,000 people and counting, including club legends Darren Cahill and Dwayne Russell.
In 2018, the West Coast Eagles brought back their “royal blue” home jumper worn between 1988 and 1994 and this year, North Melbourne replaced their previous away jumper with the one they donned during their successful era between 1995 and 2002.
It’s clear that supporters and clubs are all on board with reintroducing historical guernseys into their fixtures, therefore, it’s important to have a unified round where each club can showcase its traditions and give fans the opportunity to own a piece of history.
As comedian and Bulldogs banner writer Danny McGinlay says, “Come on Gil, bring it back, quite literally, for old times’ sake.”