18 August 2001
If you looked up a dictionary under the word 'cult' there would be a picture of Donald Dickie. Port Power fans loved his non stop spectacular football in all too brief a career. Dickie's game was like that movie 'The Perfect Storm'. An unstoppable wave of action. The Port guy brought swells of excitement over the crowd. Far more than the effect that Wayne Weidemann had when he put together some exciting games for the Crows.
Donald Dickie was a flamboyant and highly skilled Aboriginal midfielder with cat like reflexes. In the mould of the showman Bertie Johnson who played 31 games with North Melbourne between 1965 and 1968. But the Dickie story is one of overcoming setback. Perhaps that's why he was such a hit with the Football Park faithful.
Dickie was overlooked in AFL drafts. He was then rejected by SANFL club Sturt. The persistent wingman then ventured to the Parade where Norwood provided an opportunity. Yet he struggled for senior games with the Redlegs. He was far from a household name unless it was that Australian brand of bathroom towels. The D guy provided value as a halfİback and midfielder. He was 187 and 82. Quick as chocolate drink. He was hard to match up on because he had an attacking penchant along with fine defensive skills. Also his ability to come up with something freakish caused panic in opposition coaches boxes.
Dickie played 51 games at Norwood. When Port Adelaide Power assembled its inaugural team it selected the Don man with a 1996 national zone selection. The new team gave their aboriginal player the number 19 jumper.
He endeared himself to Port fans immediately. Like that 1984 song 'Spiritwalker' by The Cult. Donald shone in the 1997 round 3 night game versus Geelong at Footy Park. Dickie went back deep in defence to give numbers at the ball. In possession he could accelerate through the middle and supply Port forwards. But just before half time he took a courageous mark. Parked underneath the ball that hung in the air then dropped sharply. He shielded the Sherrin with his body as the sound of boots thundered in all directions. Early in the third took a monstrous hanger as though he were filled with helium. The crowd was exhilarated. Halfway through the same quarter Dickie grabbed the ball at 50, faked a handpass, sidestepped the clutches of two Cat defenders and notched the goal. The Dickie efforts contributed to the Power's first win in the AFL. 18.21 to 14.6.
For all his ball skills DD Smash had a reputation for vise like tackles. In 1998 round 11 against the Eagles he chased down Peter Matera and put on a huge retarder that resulted in a holding the ball decision. Early in the first stanza of round 16 v the Swans at the SCG he brought down Paul Kelly in a tackle that unhappily caused a serious knee injury to the Sydney skipper. Round 20 v. Melbourne at FP. Dickie in the midfield. 10 and 15 minutes into the first the D electrified supporters with two brilliant running goals. A dynamic start for the teals. In the end they lost 14.10 to 10.11. A cool set shot goal against the Bulldogs in the 1999 round 7 encounter. Power lost 10.15 to 18.12.
Through 2000 Dickie had some ankle problems. Played 4 games. 11 back at Norwood. Port delisted dashing Donald at the end of 2000. 55 games.
The crowd lost a cult figure. And a spark.
The Coodabeen Champions Pharaohs of Fate