June 2, 1984 is day Collingwood fans who were at Western Oval will never forget — for all the wrong reasons, at least for them.
For much of the afternoon they thought they'd remember it for one of the marks of the year, taken by Dennis Banks, capped off by an away win against the Bulldogs.
But thanks to a quick-thinking and agile Simon Beasley, the memories of the day are now wonderfully happy ones for the Footscray faithful.
Collingwood came to Footscray as warm favourites to win and cement their place in the ladder's top three. In Mick Malthouse's first year as coach, the Dogs had started the year well but had slipped down the ladder after disappointing losses to St Kilda and Melbourne, and they weren't expected to cause the Pies too much trouble.
For much of the first three quarters, that was indeed the case. After first-quarter shoot-out in which both sides kicked six goals, the Magpies broke away in the second term to take a comfortable 29-point lead into the long break.
To cap off the term, Banks took one of the great marks of the 1980s, flying high over Dogs Brian Cordy and Peter Foster. Collingwood fans would have been feeling pretty good about themselves as they lined up for their half-time refreshments.
Midway through the third quarter, Collingwood's lead was still 26 points and there was no hint of what was to unfold over the next 45 minutes. But late goals to the Dogs saw that lead cut to 11 points at the final end change, sparking some hope within Footscray fans.
Collingwood held firm in the early stages of the last quarter but majors to Michael 'Magic' McLean, Rick Kennedy — a long way from his usual post at full back — and rover Bruce Duperouzel, changed the complexion of the game completely.
With moments left, the Bulldogs were within a point and attacking again. Under siege, the Magpie defence held on for dear life, forcing the ball to the boundary for a thrown-in whenever possible.
With the ball bobbing around in the Bulldogs' forward pocket, Magpie Graeme 'Gubby' Allan was attempting to pick the ball up when he was tackled by the Bulldogs' Jim Edmond, whom the umpire judged to have pushed Allan in the back.
Having received nine free kicks — four more than anyone else on the ground — during the match, Edmond probably didn't have much to complain about, but he did anyway. While he gave the umpire a spray, Allan spotted Greg Phillips free in the other forward pocket and speared a pass in his direction.
But from the goal-square, Bulldog full forward Simon Beasley saw what Allan was attempting and he sprinted out and marked the ball in front of Phillips' outstretched hands. While Beasley went back to line up for goal, Edmonds took a moment to redirect his emotions from the umpire to Allan, mouthing a few choice words to 'Gubby' while pointing a finger at the side of his head.
Beasley calmly slotted the goal, his fourth of the day, putting the Bulldogs ahead by five points. Seconds later the siren sounded and the Western Oval — if not the whole of West Footscray — erupted with joy.
The Dogs had stolen a win in one of the great comebacks. Sadly for Banks, his brilliant mark became little more than a footnote in footy history, with Allan's miskick and Beasley's match-winner instead etched in the memories of the 25,618 fans there on that day.
Steve Wallis (30 disposals), Brian Royal (25 possessions and a goal), Doug Hawkins (23 touches, one goal) and Jim Edmond himself (two goals, 23 possessions) were all pivotal to the win, but no one was more so than Simon Beasley and his four goals — especially the last one!