Malcolm Blight has opened up about the moment he decided he would be leaving Geelong as senior coach and how booing deeply affected him.
Blight speaks of a day at Kardinia Park back in Round 12 of 1994 where his Cats took on a struggling St Kilda side.
The Saints finished third last on the ladder that year, but led the perennially successful Geelong after kicking seven unanswered goals.
Blight breaks down what happened next, how it led to him choosing to leave Geelong and why people need to think about the long-term ramifications of booing before they do it.
“I remember it like yesterday,” Blight told SEN’s Whateley.
“I don’t think I’ve ever said this before, what actually happened was we played in a couple of Grand Finals and were going really well, and there was St Kilda who weren’t travelling well and they were in front of us.
“Gary Ayres was an assistant coach for the first time that year, he’d come from Hawthorn, and as I walked out and heard the booing, I turned to Gary and said, 'I told you, the Geelong people don’t like you Hawthorn people'.
“Which was funnily enough broke the ice and then I went and did my business.
“In the last quarter Gary Ablett Snr turned it on and the team played really well and we won the game.
“I can honestly say after that night and I said, 'Gary (Ablett), that to me says today that I won’t be here after this year'.
“I made my decision virtually that after all you’ve brought to the club, I thought if that’s what it’s got to (booing), I don’t have to put up with this.
“That booing is extreme and I thought this is a waste of time. We ended up making the Grand Final and I dutifully stepped aside and the reason being if that’s what the Geelong people think about what I’m doing, I might as well not be here.
“Now that’s pretty extreme, I’ve never told that story ever, ever before.
“It just disappointed me to no end… after all you’ve sort of done for the previous six years, you thought you might have had a few credit points, but that’s okay.
“So that booing to me just typifies something that I just think is extreme and something I don’t ever want to be a part of.
“People can pay their money and go and do that, but all sorts of things come after that booing and if you want to ask anyone, ask Adam Goodes about that. What it does to people… and on that sort of field, I just don’t get it.”