THE 1980s was a decade of change, from the way the game was played, coached, watched and reported. And to celebrate and commemorate a wonderful 10 years of footy, the AFL Record is giving fans the chance to wind back the clock with the release of Great Footy Decades 1980s in digital version.

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The decade started with Richmond, inspired by the goalkicking heroics of little champ Kevin Bartlett, thrashing Collingwood in the 1980 Grand Final and ended with one of the greatest Grand Finals of all time in 1989 with Hawthorn just holding out a fast-finishing Geelong, led by its superstar forward Gary Ablett.

There was no shortage of newsmakers on and off the field.

The infamous Leigh Matthews-Neville Bruns incident saw the Hawthorn legend charged by police for his hit on the Geelong winger.

A moment of madness cost mercurial Essendon forward Phil Carman 16 games for headbutting boundary umpire Graham Carbery and four matches for striking St Kilda captain Garry Sidebottom.

Who’ll forget the Battle of Britain when North Melbourne and Carlton went at it in an exhibition match at The Oval in London in 1987?

The 1980s saw the introduction of the draft, the salary cap, trial by video and Sunday footy.

Off the field, private ownership came in but eventually entrepreneurs such as Dr Geoffrey Edelsten (Sydney) and Christopher Skase (Brisbane) fell on their sword. Even the powerful West Coast Eagles went through private ownership issues in their formative years.

Colourful 1980s figure Dr Geoffrey Edelsten

South Melbourne was shipped to Sydney in 1982 and became the Sydney Swans and boasted star spearhead Warwick Capper, he of the tight shorts and amazing speccies.

A planned merger between Fitzroy and Footscray was called off after Bulldogs fans rallied to save their club. Remember the famous bumper sticker "Up Yours Oakley" in reference to then League boss Ross Oakley?

Western Bulldogs fans in 2019 reference a famous 1980s' message to former AFL CEO Ross Oakley. Picture: AFL Photos

The 1980s had it all including a streaker in the 1982 Grand Final, Hawthorn star Dermott Brereton running through the Essendon huddle in 1988 and 'he-man' Matthews snapping a point post in a game at Windy Hill in 1982.

Our expert team has selected its Team of the Decade and there are scoreboards and summaries of every Grand Final from the 1980s.

Great Footy Decades 1980s, available now on, the AFL app, and the SEN app for $1.99.