There were wild scenes at a fish ‘n’ chip shop in Melbourne’s inner-north when former AFL star Ryan Fitzgerald from Seven’s The Front Bar turned up.
The restuarant is owned by former Carlton fan-favourite Ang Christou and it’s fair to say he – and his customers – are enjoying the Blues return to finals action this year.
It has been a decade since Carlton played, and the club is urging all players and supporters to soak in the hype as the former powerhouse chases its first premiership since 1995.
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And as Carlton is gearing up to take on Melbourne in a cut-throat final on Friday night, Fitzy is taking those orders to heart.
“I’m following the hype, boys, I’m jumping on band wagons and let me tell you this, the bandwagon is Blue,” Fitzy said on The Front Bar.
“Pangy (Sam Pang), Andy (Maher), I’m sipping lattes on Lygon St and whoofing down seafood at the North Seafood and Grill because you know why … the magnificent Ang Christou owns it.”
Vinnie Catoggio. and Fitzy at the fish ‘n chip restaurant. Credit: Seven
And there were more hysterics when Fitzy said he had heard Christou had adopted a Carlton-themed menu.
Among the items were King George Weitering with minimum Cripps, BarraKouta, and the Bruce Doull flake.
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Doull is an AFL legend and a Carlton cult figure. He played for Carlton during their dynasty days of the 1970s and early ‘80s.
His nickname was ‘The Flying Doormat’, a name that captured his long hair and headband.
When Fitzy asked Christou what was the Bruce Doull flake, Christou produced a fish with some stringy hair attached.
“It’s got the headhand on it, Fitzy exclaimed, before conceding: “That’s a really s*** joke.”
But there was more laughter to come when club legend Anthony Koutoufides appeared as the fisherman who catches the fish for the restaurant.
Jokes used to fly around in AFL circles that some Blues stars in the ‘90s received extra cash payments in brown paper bags.
Anthony Koutoufides turned up playing the part of Ang’s fisherman. Credit: Seven
Those jokes were somewhat amusing back in the day until, of course, Carlton did actually get caught out for salary cap cheating.
When Fitzy peeked into Kouta’s bucket he then whipped out a brown paper bag.
“Good to see he’s still getting paid at Carlton, Kouta,” Fitzy said with a cheeky grin.
Other Carlton legends to appear on the show were Mil Hanna and Vinnie Catoggio.
“Oh, my God! Vinnie!” Fitzgerald shouted as he embraced Catggio. “And look at the mane, the mane is still amazing.”
But the biggest and most hilarious twist was yet to come.
At the end of the segment the camera pulled out to reveal a silver-haired gentleman sitting alone at a table.
Fitzy looked at the crowd and said: “It’s been unbelievable, what a night to get here,” as people cheered.
And then he looked at the man.
“You know what … even this old bloke sitting here having a feed, how lucky are you to be here for Carlton royalty, mate?” he asked.
The man – who just happened to be four-time premiership coach David Parkin said: “Unbelievable group of people.”
Once again there was huge laughter.
Parkin coached the Blues to back-to-back flags in the ‘80s and was also in charge for their last premiership in 1995.
But much to everyone’s amusement, Fitzy kept up the gag. “You’re a very lucky man. I’ll get an autograph for you afterwards.”
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