The West End Slowdown is an annual charity Australian rules football match run by the Little Heroes Foundation (formerly named the McGuinness-McDermott Foundation) to raise funds to improve oncology treatment for South Australian children.
The match is held at the end of the regular AFL season, with teams drawn mostly from retired AFL and SANFL players, augmented with a sprinkling of celebrities who over the years have included former World number 1 tennis player Lleyton Hewitt, singer Guy Sebastian and Australian media personality and actor Andrew Daddo. The ex-players competing are mostly those who represented either the Adelaide Crows or the Port Adelaide Power during their AFL career, even if they only played a minimal amount of games for the club. Port Adelaide also can call on ex-Port Adelaide Magpies players while the Crows can usually call on any player who has ever been on their playing list including ex-Port Magpies players who played at the Crows, though those players who played for both the Magpies and the Crows have the option of choosing who they play for, e.g. Greg Anderson who started his senior career with the Magpies in the SANFL in 1983, played 121 games for the club and indeed won the Magarey Medal in 1986 and Magpies premierships in 1995 and '96, plays for the "Crows" in the Slowdown while David Brown who also started with the Magpies, was a inaugural Crows member and played 69 games for the club and played also for the Power in the AFL represents the "Power" in Slowdowns.
Regular players/coaches in the Slowdown over the years have been the likes of inaugural Crows and Power coaches Graham Cornes and John Cahill, 1997 Coleman Medallist Tony Modra, Magarey Medallists Tony McGuinness (co-founder of the MM-Foundation), Greg Anderson, Andrew Jarman and Scott Hodges, Brownlow Medallists Gavin Wanganeen and Mark Ricciuto as well as various Crows and Port premiership players as well as co-founder of the McGuinness-McDermott Foundation and inaugural Adelaide Crows club captain Chris McDermott.
In both 2004 and 2011 a State of Origin Slowdown was held at the Adelaide Oval between South Australia and Victoria. Former 1990 Collingwood premiership player Doug Barwick had the chance after the final siren to win the game for Victoria in 2004 but his 52m kick was deemed to be only a point giving SA the win by just 4 points. In 2011 the game supported the Little Heroes Foundation and the Reach Foundation, a youth charity started by 1991 Brownlow Medallist Jim Stynes. The game, played in a great spirit, saw many lead changes with the Big V holding a 20 point lead in the third quarter but South Australia mounted a comeback and with only 20 seconds left in the game, former North Adelaide, Hawthorn and Adelaide Crows premiership player Darren Jarman kicked a goal to give the Croweaters the victory by a single point. Despite playing on the losing side, Brendan Fevola, the only player still actively playing football, won the West End Slowdown Medal as best on ground.
The games have been generally well supported with crowds of around 10-15,000 attending most games, though some games such as Slowdown VI in 2005 saw a crowd of around 25,000 with the entry fee being only a gold coin donation (A$1 or $2) with all gate takings going to the Little Heroes Foundation. The 2011 State of Origin Slowdown had an entry fee of $5 and saw a crowd of around 12,000.
In 2007 the event moved from its home at the Adelaide Oval to the SANFL's own AAMI Stadium due to the Oval being used for cricket by its major tenant, the Southern Redbacks. The game remained at AAMI for 2008 before moving back to the Adelaide Oval in 2009. The 2009 game was also the first Slowdown to be played under lights. In 2011 the State of Origin Slowdown was played in the afternoon timeslot (1:40pm start).
In total, out of 11 games, the "Adelaide Crows" have won 6 and "Port Adelaide Power" have won 5, including 4 of the last 5 games while South Australia leads Victoria 2-0 in State of Origin Slowdown's.
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Famous quotes containing the word west:
“God forbid that any book should be banned. The practice is as indefensible as infanticide.”
—Rebecca West (18921983)