Australian Football Hall of Famer Malcolm Blight has revealed the worst moment of his career on This Is Your Sporting Life for Tobin Brothers Funerals, celebrating lives with Peter Donegan.
Blight is referring to 1981 when he was player-coach of North Melbourne and was replaced as coach by fellow Hall of Famer Barry Cable.
The North Melbourne champion was in a press conference handing the coaching reigns over to Cable, but also had playing commitments to worry about afterwards.
“Barry came and I handed over the job to him through a press conference. I said to him at the press conference ‘do you mind if I just go, the boys have just started training’,” Blight said.
“(Cable) said ‘no Blighty, I want you to go and get changed and I want you to train’.
“The worst moment in my football life bar none.
“I had to go into the change rooms by myself. I was the coach, I’m now not the coach.
"I changed, we did a two lap warm up in those days, the rest of the blokes had already done that, I ran around those two laps of Arden Street Oval with so many cameras around and even blokes with radios just watching.
“My whole life flashed before me. I had a young family and it was just the worst moment in my football life.”
Blight remained a player at North Melbourne for a year after stepping down as coach, finishing up in 1982.
He said the events of that day solidified in his mind his style of coaching going forward.
“I was in fog-land to be perfectly honest. As I was doing those laps and every television, radio and press bloke is virtually in my face, I just decided then and there if ever I got the chance to coach again, I would be ‘me’ and I’d do it my way,” Blight said.
“No one would interfere with me ever again.”
Blight went on to coach Woodville in the SANFL through to the end of 1987 after leaving the Roos.
He would then return to the AFL with successful stints at Geelong and Adelaide as coach, winning two flags with the latter.
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Listen to the entire Blight interview on This is Your Sporting Life with Peter Donegan in the player below.