Earlier this year, North Melbourne announced its top 150 players of all time, as the club celebrates its 150th anniversary.
Before the Matera’s and Burgoyne’s, the original superstar sibling double-act was Jim and Phil Krakouer.
The boys from Mount Barker lit up the WAFL in the late 70’s and early 80’s, leading Claremont to the 1981 premiership.
Their outstanding displays didn’t go unnoticed, procuring plenty of interest from VFL clubs, particularly Geelong and North Melbourne.
Fortunately, Ron Joseph was able to convince the pair to make the switch to Arden St, offering a guaranteed contract as opposed to the Cats’ performance-based deal.
Arriving together in 1982, the Krakouer’s brought skill and excitement rarely seen in the VFL up to that point, starring for North through the 80’s.
Both were stars in their own right, but their ability to find each other with an almost telepathic connection made the Krakouer’s one of the most exciting, and dangerous combinations in the VFL, with the term “Krakouer Magic” ringing around stadiums.
The pair was a nightmare for opposing defenders, and finished as the Roos’ joint leading goalkickers in 1982, alternating as the top goal-kickers between 1985 and 1988.
The older of the two, Jim played 134 games for North, booting 229 majors.
Exceptionally skilled, Jim was also blessed with outstanding courage, and despite his small size, was one of the Roos’ on-field enforcers.
Jim’s brilliance saw him end Matthew Larkin’s run of three Syd Barker Medals when he took out the award in 1986.
According to Jim, Phil was perhaps even more skilled than his older brother, and his unique kicking style and goal-sense captivated fans around Australia.
Phil would play 141 games in the royal blue and white stripes, kicking 224 majors.
They arrived together, starred together, and departed together, both leaving North at the end of the 1989 season.
The brothers were undoubtedly trailblazers, making their mark in the competition in an era where racism was a challenge, and have served as an inspiration to many of the modern game’s great Aboriginal players.