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'Titanic', the first iPod, and Carlton at the Cattery

Cat John Barnes booted three goals to beat Anthony Koutoufides and the Blues when the sides last met in Geelong - AFL,Geelong Cats,Carlton Blues
Cat John Barnes booted three goals to beat Anthony Koutoufides and the Blues when the sides last met in Geelong

JOHN Howard was Prime Minister, Jeff Kennett was Victoria's Premier, and the world was yet to meet Harry Potter the last time Carlton travelled down the Princes Freeway to play a home-and-away game in Geelong before Saturday night.

The match, played on Saturday, August 16, 1997, saw the Cats record a 28-point win, with John Barnes kicking three goals for the winners and Stephen Silvagni the same for the Blues.

Stephen Kernahan and Barry Stoneham were the respective captains but neither played in the game, which was witnessed by 23,007 people at the ground then simply known as Kardinia Park (it became Shell Stadium in 1999).

In 1997, Howard was in the second year of his first term as Prime Minister, and English author J.K Rowling published Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone; the first of the series of books that made her a houseshold name. 

Elton John topped the year's ARIA music charts for his Candle In The Wind '97/Something About the Way You Look Tonight, which was released in tribute to Princess Diana who died in a car crash on August 31 that year.

Also in 1997, The English Patient picked up the Academy Award for Best Picture, while Australia's own Geoffrey Rush was dubbed Best Actor for his role as David Helfgott in Shine.

Actress Frances McDormand won Best Actress for playing Marge Gunderson in Fargo, and Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire) and Juliette Binoche (The English Patient) were honoured in their respective supporting roles.

Titanic and The Castle were released in cinemas, Katrina and the Waves won Eurovision, Crown Casino opened in Melbourne and Star City Casino in Sydney.

The first iPod was four years away, the first flip phone (the Motorola StarTAC) was new to circulation at a cost of $1000, and if you didn't have one of those, you were likely playing Snake on your Nokia 6110.

Rollerblades were in, the Spice Girls were everything, Hanson released MMMBop, George Clooney was coming to the end of his five-year stint as Dr Doug Ross on E.R, and every kid wanted a Tamagotchi for Christmas.

In footy terms, Carlton captain Marc Murphy was 10 years old, Geelong skipper Joel Selwood turned nine, Patrick Cripps was two, and Esava Ratugolea wasn't yet born.

Blues coach Brendon Bolton was 18 and one year away from winning the Darrel Baldock medal for being the best player in North Launceston's premiership win over Clarence in the Tasmanian Football League.

Cats coach Chris Scott played his 60th game for the Brisbane Lions in round 15 at the age of 21.

Adelaide won the premiership, the first of two in a back-to-back triumph, Tony Modra kicked 84 goals to win the Coleman medal and Robert Harvey won the first of two Brownlows.

Gary Ablett Jnr was 13, and with his dad Gary Snr retiring the year before, was no stranger to the surrounds of Kardinia Park.

It would be another five years before he'd play his first game at the Geelong fortress, which happened in round four, 2002, against St Kilda.

On Saturday night, Ablett Jnr will line up for his first match for premiership points in Geelong colours at the Cats' home ground since round 22, 2010; the year Collingwood won the premiership in a replay after a draw with St Kilda, Chris Judd won the Brownlow and Jack Riewoldt the Coleman.

What else happened in 2010 is a whole other story …