Pop guru Molly Meldrum might confess to moments of madness throughout his unrivalled career.
It’s hard to rank them.
Throwing himself across a police car during the Beatles visit in 1964 comes to mind as does his meltdown during an interview with Prince Charles on the Countdown set in 1977.
But it was at the Junction Oval in 1963 where a 20 year old Ian Meldrum shocked even himself.
A St Kilda tragic, Meldrum was sitting with the Saints cheersquad for the last home and away match of the season.
The scenario was this: St Kilda desperately needed to beat North Melbourne to make the finals.
But Meldrum knew his beloved Saints needed more than just a win so he took drastic action.
Fifty-seven years on, Molly recounted the incident in an interview with Nine News.
“I don’t know what possessed me, I was in the cheersquad and for some reason I jumped the fence, ran out onto the ground and the umpire was about to bounce the ball,” Meldrum said.
“The umpire yelled ‘Stop!’ and I said ‘Hold on a moment’.”
At that point, Meldrum made a beeline for St Kilda players Kevin ‘Cowboy’ Neale and ruckman Alan Morrow to deliver his all important message.
“Listen, apart from winning you need better percentage to get in,” he told them.
And Molly, who was working in a bank at the time, had done the sums.
“Not only did they have to win, they had to win by two more goals to jump over the top of Essendon,” Meldrum said.
As Meldrum was running back to his seat, he was confronted by a burly police sergeant who escorted him off the ground.
Saints ruckman Alan Morrow, now 83, also recalls the pitch invasion.
“The next minute I hear this bloke saying ‘C’mon Alan keep going,’ and I turned around and I seen this bloke and I thought ‘Where in the hell did he come from?” Morrow said.
“I said ‘Hey, get off mate!”
While Morrow and his team-mates went on to achieve the result required and make the finals, Molly scampered through the streets of St Kilda hoping to evade police.
“I told the officer I needed to go to the toilet, but I took off down Fitzroy Street and down to Grey Street,” Meldrum recalled.
Years later, Meldrum and Morrow would meet up in more social surrounds.
“Later on I got to meet up with him and have a yarn with him because he’s a friend of (trucking magnate) Lindsay Fox and I worked for Lindsay for 39 years,” Morrow said.
Although St Kilda’s 1963 Premiership tilt failed to eventuate, the club did claim the flag in 1966.
Morrow led the way in the ruck while Molly was leading the way in the cheersquad.
It remains St Kilda’s one and only premiership.
While Molly was there, he can’t recall the moment the premiership became official.
“Barry Breen kicked the point (to win the match) and it all became too much for me and I fainted,” Meldrum told Nine News.
“So, in theory, I’ve never experienced the Saints winning a Grand Final… EVER… and that’s why I hang out for it so much,” he laughed.
The Saints face a similar scenario this Friday night, needing to defeat GWS to reach the finals.
There’ll be no fence jumping to deliver messages this time for Molly, he’ll be watching from the comfort of his home … in lockdown.
Although, given the chance, not even a lockdown could restrain Molly when it comes to his Saints.