Brent Harvey, hands clasped on his head, looked exhausted as he sauntered up to Lindsay Thomas while he prepared to take a set shot at goal from close range late in North Melbourne’s win over St Kilda on Saturday night.
But the 38-year-old snapped into action when Thomas gave off a quick handball and seconds later Kangaroos fans in the 44,287-strong crowd at Etihad Stadium wildly celebrated the goal they so dearly wanted from Harvey in his record 427th AFL game.
“I wasn’t foxing but lucky my opponent just thought Lindsay was going to go back and kick the goal,” Harvey said with a wry grin after he celebrated breaking Michael Tuck’s all-time games record with a 23-point win.
“I was knackered. I was pretty tired, it was late in the game and we’d worked pretty hard.
“He marked one in the goal square and I was going over to him to give him a pat on the backside after he kicked it and he said ‘Do you want this?’ “I sort of looked around and I thought ‘Yep!’ “I got a little cheap one. But that’s the kind of guy Lindsay is. He said to me during the week he would get me a goal and he did.”
Harvey, who is still yet to lose a personal milestone game in his illustrious career, wasn’t overawed by the situation and was a key contributor with 24 possessions.
The win was a fitting tribute to a magnificent career but Harvey was careful not to get carried away with the occasion when asked how many games he thinks he has left in him.
“I’ve got no idea … I’ll be on 428 next week and that’s all that matters,” he said.
“We’ve got our 12 wins now and that was our objective at the start of the year, so we’ll go out next week and have a massive crack against the Bulldogs and see if we can climb the ladder a little bit.
“It’s a cliche, but we’ve got four games to go (until finals) and I’ll be looking at it very short term.”
Harvey was chaired off the ground by close friends Drew Petrie and Michael Firrito, with St Kilda players joining in a guard of honour.