Writing in the Sporting Globe Bill Twomey described it as a “massacre deluxe”.

What else can you say when a team fails to kick a goal for an entire game and loses by 83 points?

Richmond didn’t even have the excuse of playing in poor conditions as the Junction Oval was in a pristine state. St Kilda won all over the ground in a game where Richmond did not have a clue after the first five minutes.

The Tigers managed just eight behinds across the four quarters and as Bill Twomey observed, “Although St Kilda turned on the heat, Richmond’s performance was the most dismal I have seen.”

It was the first time since 1921 that a VFL team had been held goalless, and since that day it has never occurred again. Oddly enough, the 1921 situation had also been in a game at the Junction Oval when the Saints racked up 0.18 and lost to Fitzroy’s 6.8.

What has turned out to be a once-in-a-hundred years event was set up in the first quarter when Alan Morrow booted three of St Kilda’s five goals for the term and the yellow and blacks were scoreless.

Despite the perfect conditions, Richmond was lamentable as St Kilda looked yards faster. It was a wonderful exhibition of power football that delighted the home crowd.

Tough Guy: Saints ironman Eric Guy thwarts the Tigers.

The Tigers got on the board for the first time in the second quarter, but by half-time had just four behinds to show for their efforts. About the only consolation was the St Kilda full-forward Bill Young was not his normal deadly self with a personal tally of 1.3 on the board by half-time early in the third term. But as St Kilda swarmed the goals Young snagged three goals and four behinds in the third quarter.

The Saints took the foot off the accelerator in the closing term and the only interest centred on whether Richmond could actually manage a goal. Tigers Gary Williamson and Ron Branton went for long shots and right at the end Mike Patterson, a future St Kilda coach, missed a sitter. 

Years later Branton recalled: “I’ve never seen a day where so many times the ball was run into open goals and then turned back. They moved me into the centre when things were going bad. Mike Patterson was 30 metres out four times and kicked points, that’s how it was. A terrible day”.

St Kilda’s defence was famous for its unrelenting and miserly approach. The first two lines announced each Thursday night usually read: “Backs -  Walsh, Howell, Annand, Half-Backs: Guy, Roberts, Guyatt”. Each of that rock solid half dozen represented Victoria, and two – Neil Roberts and Verdun Howell – were Brownlow medallists. In one graphic picture taken early in 1961, a half dozen could be seen crowding a Carlton forward.

Neil Roberts always reckoned Brian Walsh was the best defender of the lot and in the back pocket he was the consummate sweeper playing alongside the dashing full-back Howell. And on the half-back Eric Guy’s nickname “The tank” perfectly described a rock-hard individual hardened by constant work with a pick and shovel.

In this particular game the versatile Jimmy Guyatt lined up on a wing whilst Roy Apted stood in as a half back.

The notoriously hard to please St Kilda coach Allan Jeans said after the game:

I thought that my players could have gone in a bit harder at the end.

- Allan Jeans

His Richmond counterpart Des Rowe said it was a game he would like to forget and that Eric Guy had put the fear of hell into his forwards.

St Kilda’s champion midfielder Lance Oswald was superb in the middle and ripped Richmond to pieces.

ST KILDA  5.5  9.9  12.15  12.19 (91)
RICHMOND  0.0  0.4  0.5  0.8 (8)

Walsh, Howell, Synman, Morrow, Oswald, Smith

B Brian Walsh Verdun Howell Bud Annand
HB Roy Apted Neil Roberts Eric Guy
C Bill Coady Lance Oswald Jim Guyatt
HF Kevin Roberts Frank Hodgkin Brian McCarthy
F Alan Morrow Bill Young Ross Smith
R John McMillan Ian Synmam  
RR Ian Rowland    
RES Rodger Head David Prescott