2003 “Vale” Captain Blood

John Raymond Dyer Sr. OAM (15 November 1913– 23 August 2003), nicknamed Captain Blood, was an Australian rules footballer who played for the Richmond Football Club in the Victorian Football League (VFL) between 1931 and 1952. One of the game’s most prominent players, he was one of 12 inaugural “Legends” inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame. He later turned to coaching and work in the media as a popular broadcaster and journalist.


According to press obituaries, Dyer was responsible for malapropisms including:

  • “Yes, we had an enjoyable time on the French Riverina” (The Riverina is a highly productive agricultural region of south-western New South Wales) and describing the problems with younger players by saying that “All they want to do is sit around and smoke marinara”.
  • “I won’t say anything in case I say something.”
  • “Bartlett’s older than he’s ever been before.”
  • “Johnston missed one from the 10-yard square – it was impossible to miss that.”
  • “The only way to tackle Justin Madden. I don’t know.”
  • “That’s the beauty of being small – your hands are close to your feet.”
  • “Bamblett made a great debut last week, and an even better one today.”
  • “The ball goes to Marceesie … Marcheson … McKann, er …” before co-commentator Ian Major interjected: “Actually, Jack, I don’t think Marchesani was in that passage of play.”
  • “Mark Lee’s long arms reaching up like giant testicles.”
  • “It’s as dark out there as the Black Hole of Dakota.”
  • “The goal posts are moving so fast I can’t keep up with the play.”
  • And on World Of Sport, Dyer declared that Fitzroy had “copulated to the opposition”.