It was in a small London hotel room that news first broke to the Adelaide players - the Crows had acquired the rights to recruit Andrew McLeod.

The team had flown to the England capital to face West Coast in a post-season game at The Oval - an effort by the AFL to grow its international brand.

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Nearly 25 years on, past players Rod Jameson and Simon Tregenza barely remember the result, or even large parts of the trip…

But they likely won’t ever forget Chris Groom’s reaction when he was informed of the trade.

“I recall being in the room with Chris Groom when he got a phone call to say he was off to Freo and we’d picked up a bloke called Andrew McLeod,” Jameson said.

“That was the industry at the time and he was on the other side of the world.

“He was just looking out the window in our hotel room pondering his future.”

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The rest is history - McLeod went on to win two premierships, two Norm Smith Medals and play 340 games for the Club.

Although a lot of the London trip escapes them, there were still a few golden stories to reflect on, such as Tony Modra’s apparent English stardom.

“When we got to the hotel, West Coast’s Chris Mainwaring, Craig Turley and Peter Wilson were walking down the stairs as I was walking up with Tony Modra,” Jameson said.

“They said ‘hey Mods’ and when we got upstairs he said to me ‘far out, they know me over here as well’.

“He had no idea that they were three of the greatest West Coast players in the game. He just thought it was some random in a hotel having a chat.”


Tregenza was playing in his first game for nearly two months after suffering a depressed cheekbone and a concussion in August, and had not expected to even take part.

“It was very much an end of season trip with a game of football in the middle so we probably weren’t treating the game too seriously,” Tregenza said.

“I remember being out of breathe a lot and struggling, I hadn’t played since I was injured against Brisbane and my season ended about four or five weeks earlier than everyone else.

“Back in 1994, the off-season was more of an off-season… we weren’t as conscious about our bodies so I probably didn’t play in peak condition after not expecting to play.”

While Tregenza may have battled to be at his best he was able to enjoy a European holiday when the formalities were over.

“We went to America as a team in 1992 but this was my first time to Europe and it was great to go over and be overseas again,” Tregenza said.

“It’s a great thrill and experience when anyone in their 20s can travel to the other side of the world.”