Richmond Football Club

Richmond Football Club
Richmond Logo
Full name Richmond Football Club
Nickname(s) Tigers, Tiges
Motto "Eat 'em Alive"
2011 season
Home and away season Twelfth (12th)
Pre-season Cup First round
Leading goalkicker Jack Riewoldt (62 goals)
Best and fairest Trent Cotchin (236 votes)
Club details
Founded 1885
Colours      Yellow      Black
Competition Australian Football League
Coach Damien Hardwick
Captain(s) Chris Newman
Premierships 10 (1920, 1921, 1932, 1934, 1943, 1967, 1969, 1973, 1974, 1980)
Ground(s) Melbourne Cricket Ground (capacity: 100,0181)
Punt Road Oval (Training)
Other information
Official website
Richmond Tigers Jumper.svg

The Richmond Football Club, nicknamed The Tigers, is an Australian rules football club which competes in the Australian Football League. Richmond shares healthy rivalries with Carlton, Collingwood and Essendon. After winning five premierships between 1967 and 1980, the club hit the depths in 1990, when a large debt almost forced them to fold. In the last 15 years, Richmond regained a strong financial position without enjoying any sustained finals success. Nonetheless the Tigers boast a mighty history (ten premierships) and a host of star players and personalities who have contributed to the formation of the unique Richmond football identity.

Since its inception in the mid-1880s, the club has been based at the Richmond Cricket Ground (better known as the Punt Road Oval), just a few hundred metres to the east of the Melbourne Cricket Ground, where the Tigers have played their home games since 1965. A late bloomer, Richmond struggled until the start of the twentieth century, so it was not offered an invitation to join the Victorian Football League (VFL) until 1908. After World War I, Richmond matured quickly, enjoyed more success than many of the more established clubs. The Tigers created great rivalries with both Carlton and Collingwood. At this time, the city of Richmond was an industrial, blue-collar area nicknamed "Struggletown". The working-class supporters identified strongly with the club and the Tigers developed a massive following during the golden period of the 1930s.

Extraordinary high points interspersed among long periods of mediocrity has been the pattern of the club's form in the years since World War II. Regardless, Richmond's team has to only show a hint of success and a game against one of the other "big four" will pack them in at the MCG. In 1980, the Tigers were the first sporting team in Australia to attract one million paying spectators in a season (1,065,603).



Earliest days (1860–1900)

Royal Hotel c1874. The RFC was formed at a meeting at this Richmond pub in 1885.

A team of footballers playing as Richmond is mentioned by the newspapers in the first years of Australian football, circa 1860.[1] HCA Harrison, the so-called "father of the game", captained Richmond briefly at this time before moving to Geelong.[2] This loosely organised group has no continuity to the present club. A number of teams formed in the Richmond area during the game's rapid expansion of the 1870s and early 1880s.[3] However, all played at a junior level and it was considered an anomaly that Richmond, one of Melbourne's biggest locales, didn't boast a senior team. The wait ended when the Richmond Football Club was officially formed at the Royal Hotel in Richmond on 20 February 1885.[4] A successful application for immediate admission to the Victorian Football Association followed – the VFA was the premier Australian football competition at this time. The club shared the Punt Road Oval with the Richmond Cricket Club, one of the strongest cricket clubs in Australia which had been playing on the ground since 1856.[5]

At first the team wore a blue uniform. One of the most important features of a nineteenth century footballer's uniform was his headgear, and Richmond opted for yellow and black striped caps, the same as the cricket club. After a couple of years, yellow and black stripes replaced blue as the colours of the team's guernseys. The team was variously called the "Richmondites", the "Wasps" or, most commonly, the "Tigers".

During the late 1880s, the VFA was expanding rapidly. A booming economy and large numbers of immigrants made Melbourne the largest city in the Australian colonies. The city was besotted with football and many clubs clamoured for admission to the VFA. Richmond struggled to make an impression and after a promising season in 1888 (when they finished fifth with eleven wins), the club slipped backwards. In a theoretically amateur sport, the strongest teams were luring the best talent with undisclosed payments to players and were not keen to schedule matches against teams with poor followings (such as Richmond) that couldn't generate much gate money.

Centreman Charlie Backhouse played over 200 games in a 15-year career before the Tigers joined the VFL in 1908.

As the local economy slipped into severe depression in the early 1890s and the crowds began to dwindle, a cabal of strong teams began to agitate for a reform of the competition. Richmond were not considered part of this elite group, who usually voted together as a block at VFA meetings. A lack of commitment and focused effort was holding the Tigers back. In 1896, Richmond walked off the field in a match with South Melbourne at half time when they were a long way behind on a very wet day to protest the umpiring. Later in the season, the Tigers had their score annulled against Essendon when it was discovered that they had too many men on the ground. In the closing three weeks of the season, Richmond's gate takings amounted to just five pounds.

Richmond finished the season last of the thirteen clubs, and picked a bad time to perform so poorly. In October 1896, the cabal of six strong clubs broke with the association to form the VFL, and invited two other clubs to join them: Carlton and St Kilda. Obviously, Richmond's struggles during the season had not helped when the invitations to the new competition were being considered. Richmond's performances didn't immediately improve in the emaciated VFA until the turn of the century.

Success at last (1901–1907)

The Tigers were boosted by a significant country recruit in 1901. George 'Mallee' Johnson was an instant sensation and the first true star player at the club. Richmond leapt to third place and then in 1902, with Johnson dominating the ruck, Richmond entered the closing weeks of the season neck and neck with Port Melbourne at the head of the ladder. Just when a play-off between the clubs to decide the premiership looked certain, Port faltered against Williamstown to hand Richmond its first flag.

Charlie Ricketts, the star player in the Tigers' 1905 premiership. He then transferred to South Melbourne, and later returned to Punt Road to coach the club between 1914–16.

Having missed a potential bonanza from a premiership play-off, the VFA decided to emulate the VFL and introduce a finals series in 1903, a fateful decision for the Tigers. After recruiting the competition's leading goalkicker, Jack Hutchinson, and finishing the season as minor premier, Richmond lost both finals and were runner-up. The following season, the club became embroiled in a feud with umpire Allen, accused by the Tigers of failing to curb field invasions or the illegal tactics of arch-rival North Melbourne.

When the two clubs were scheduled to meet in the Grand Final, Richmond announced that they wouldn't play under Allen. The VFA called the Tigers' bluff, and appointed Allen for the match, meaning that the Grand Final was scratched and North Melbourne won the premiership on forfeit. Richmond were now openly at odds with the VFA and matters failed to improve in the next few years.

The club was campaigning against violence (both on-field and among the crowd), ungentlemanly conduct and poor sportsmanship, issues that plagued the VFA to a far greater extent than the rival VFL. Richmond cultivated links with some League clubs by playing practice matches against them. The Tigers knew that they were a major asset to the Association. They had built up a large following and played on one of the best grounds in the competition, where they remained unbeaten for five consecutive seasons. In 1905, Richmond confirmed their status with a second premiership, this time overcoming bitter rivals North Melbourne, a club perceived as the antithesis of Richmond. 'Mallee' Johnson had moved to Carlton, but youngster Charlie Ricketts dominated the season and won plaudits among the pressmen, who voted him the best player in the VFA.

However, Ricketts was also lost to the VFL and injury hit the club hard. In 1906–07, the Tigers played finals without looking likely to win the flag. The club earned a rebuke from the VFA for scheduling a practice match against Geelong before the 1907 season, but Richmond went ahead with the commitment and earned further censure. Later in the year it became clear that the VFL wanted to expand its competition and Richmond won a place ahead of North Melbourne, which had been strengthened by an amalgamation with the bankrupt West Melbourne as part of their bid. Richmond were granted admission along with the now defunct University.

Into the big league (1908–1944)

The Hon. Frank Tudor, federal leader of the ALP, was president of RFC during World War I.

The first few seasons in the VFL were less than spectacular. Although the club turned up some star players, it let a lot of talent leave and the administration was unstable after George Bennett's death at the end of the 1908 season. In 1916, the side played in the finals for the first time, however, with the ravages of war having reduced the competition to just four clubs, finals qualification was automatic.

Vic Thorp, Richmond's great full back

Finally, in 1919, the Tigers made their first Grand Final appearance, losing to Collingwood. Richmond stoked a rivalry with the Magpies by recruiting their former skipper Dan Minogue as playing coach and the Tigers gained vengeance by beating Collingwood in the 1920 Grand Final to secure a first flag in the big league. This was followed by an even better performance the next year. The only club that continued to beat Richmond on a regular basis was Carlton. Finishing minor premier with only one loss for the season in 1921, the Blues were the hottest premiership favourite, yet Richmond managed to beat them in two classic finals matches played over successive weeks to go back-to-back.

The rest of the decade saw four more Grand Final appearances, all of which would end in frustration. From 1927 to 1929 Richmond became the first club in the VFL to lose three consecutive Grand Finals, all of which were to neighbouring arch rivals, Collingwood.

The next VFL flag came in 1932, with the Tigers triumph over Carlton in a tough encounter which saw Richmond wingman Alan Geddes play the second half with a broken jaw. Another Tigers premiership came in 1934, this time against South Melbourne's famed "Foreign Legion", avenging the Tigers' loss in the previous season's Grand Final.

Prior to the commencement of the 1940 season, internal problems were brewing between the key personalities at the club. Some felt that the uneven performance of the team was due to Bentley's coaching methods, and that he should be replaced. Dyer walked out on the club and threatened to play in the VFA after his father, a committeeman who was involved with the anti-Bentley faction, lost his position at the board elections. Finally, the matter was resolved and Bentley kept his job, while Dyer returned to training on the eve of the season. The problems appeared to have been solved when the Tigers won the semi final against Melbourne to go straight into the Grand Final. However, the Demons reversed this result with a crushing win to pinch the premiership. The Tigers had been out-thought by their old mentor Checker Hughes, who had assigned a tagger to negate Dyer. Dyer was furious that Bentley had done nothing to prevent his opponent taking him out of the game. The Richmond committee agreed with this assessment, so when Bentley (after retiring as a player) attempted to negotiate a higher fee to continue his coaching tenure, he was rebuffed. Incensed, Bentley quit Punt Road and moved to Carlton as coach, adding further spice to an already fierce rivalry between the two clubs.

Dick Harris booted 7 goals in the Tigers' 1943 premiership win.

Despite the tribulations created by the Second World War, the Tigers were able to maintain a commendable level of consistency on the field. The club had quite a lot of players in reserved occupations who remained at home, while the administration became adept at securing star players who were temporarily in Melbourne on war service. Dyer was a fearsome presence in his role as playing coach, but he was unable to improve the Tigers' ability to win finals matches. A loss in the 1942 Grand Final to Essendon (after starting as favourite) meant that over the previous 18 years, Richmond had won two flags but been runner-up eight times. Jack Titus set a still unbeaten record of playing in six losing Grand Final teams. In 1943, Richmond broke through to beat Essendon in a thrilling Grand Final by five points, a win that the club dedicated to ex-player Bill Cosgrove, an RAF pilot who had been killed in action a few weeks before the match. But another Grand Final loss followed in 1944, when Dyer's team failed against Fitzroy on a very hot day.

Tough times at Tigerland (1945–1965)

In the immediate post-war era, despite an influx of excellent new players, Richmond struggled to make the four, appearing in the finals only once, in 1947. The Tigers seemed to have lost the killer instinct. Dyer continued on as coach for three years after his playing retirement at the end of 1949, but was asked to retire by the committee who felt the club needed a shake up. Under a succession of coaches, the 1950s were wasted years for Richmond. With the demands of potential players increasing with each passing year, the club refused to allocate sufficient funds to recruit and they failed to replace star players as they retired. When stalwarts such as Des Rowe and dual-Brownlow Medallist Roy Wright left, the team slumped dramatically and finished with a wooden spoon in 1960.

Success through Hafey Era (1966–1982)

1966 heralded the start of the Tom Hafey era, one that would see the club winning four premierships under his leadership. They won the 1967 flag in a thrilling encounter with Geelong, ending a 24 year premiership drought. In 1969, it became two in three years as Richmond, who had finished fourth on the ladder, beat the much fancied Carlton in the Grand Final by 25 points.

The Tigers were dominant in 1972 and were hot favourites in the Grand Final against Carlton. However, the Blues stunned the Tigers in a game of ridiculous high scoring. Even Richmond equalled the then record highest score in a Grand Final of 22.18(150), but Carlton beat it with 28.9(177). The Tigers got their revenge in an intensely physical clash in the 1973 Grand Final and went back-to-back in 1974 with a strong win against a resurgent North Melbourne.

Richmond 1980s shield logo

Richmond won its last premiership with a then record-breaking margin of 81 points over arch-rivals Collingwood in 1980. After reaching and losing the 1982 Grand Final, it has been a rocky road for the Tigers who have struggled to come to grips with the rules and regulations of a modernized AFL, including the draft and salary cap. The successes of the early 1980s were bought at high financial cost through expensive recruiting, and were followed by severe cut backs that saw several top players depart.

Recruiting war (1983–1986)

Still smarting from the loss of star players to Collingwood, the Tigers set themselves for war with the Magpies in 1984 by signing three of their players: John Annear, Craig Stewart and Phil Walsh. Not only were there big contracts and transfer fees to pay, but the costs of an expensive court action as well. Richmond also signed a number of mediocre players on big contracts, and the club's financial situation took a battering. With the team failing to improve, a challenge to the committee was brewing and Richmond's traditional political stability threatened. The rebel group, organised by long-time servant Bill Durham, convinced former player and coach Barry Richardson to be leader. An election in late 1984 failed to clarify the situation. The challengers had the numbers, but Ian Wilson held on to the presidency into the new year. When the one hundredth birthday of the club arrived in February 1985, there was too much dissension to mark the moment fittingly. Eventually, Wilson handed over to Richardson, who had selected his former premiership teammate Paul Sproule to return from Tasmania and take over the coaching position on a guaranteed contract.

As the season progressed with Richmond still struggling, Sproule came under pressure. Richardson guaranteed his position but at the end of the year the committee over-ruled Richardson and sacked Sproule. Incensed, Richardson walked out of Punt Road, which was in turmoil again. Desperately, the Tigers turned back to Tony Jewell, who was appointed coach for a second time, the only man in the club's history to get a second go at the job. Jewell later commented on the destruction wrought on the club during his four year absence..."the supporters were gone, the members were gone, the money was gone...a real shame."

With the competition set to expand, the Tigers made a number of misguided moves in 1986. To fill the vacancy left by Richardson, Richmond wooed high-flying West Australian entrepreneur Alan Bond to become president. Bond came with an agenda to raise money for the club by listing on the stockmarket and relocating to Brisbane. When the latter plan was revealed in the media, a furious reaction from supporters and high profile club personalities buried the proposal almost immediately. Early in 1987, Bond's tenure at the club ended in farce when he resigned without presiding over a single game. The off-field confusion was reflected in the players' performance as Richmond slumped to only its second wooden spoon in 70 years.

Save Our Skins and a return to the Finals (1987–1995)

Although the new president, ex-captain Neville Crowe, had stabilised the club and scored a coup by persuading club legend Kevin Bartlett to coach, the matter of servicing the huge debt remained a chain around the Tigers' neck. The club managed to stay solvent by cutting expenses to the bone and paying only two-thirds of the allowable salary cap. But there was no money for recruiting to improve an impoverished playing list. The club struggled to come to terms with the draft after its inception in 1986, and made a number of poor choices – notably, the number one pick in 1987 was used on a player who had only two games with the Tigers.

Finally, with the economy in serious recession and interest rates touching seventeen per cent, Richmond's creditors began calling in the debts. At one point, an attempt was made to seize the club's 1973–74 premiership trophies as securities for unpaid debts, an embarrassing situation. For a number of years, the exact amount that the club owed was not publicly known. After Bartlett came Allan Jeans, who then passed the job to ex-Tiger premiership player John Northey for 1993. Northey returned the team to the simple long-kicking style of the halcyon days under the legendary Tom Hafey. Along with some draft concessions granted by the AFL, Northey's efforts gradually improved the Tigers. The team fumbled an opportunity to make the 1994 finals, then opened 1995 with its best start to a season in 75 years and eventually made it to the preliminary final. With a talented playing list and a strong administration led by Leon Daphne (the Tigers' first president from the corporate world, the Alan Bond farce aside), Richmond looked set to become regular finalists again.

During 1992 the Richmond Football Club logo was redesigned to its current 2009 form by Rob Perry (see external links), while he was working as an art director at the advertising agency George Patterson Bates in Melbourne. The illustration of the tiger was done by Lex Bell, the in-house illustrator of the agency.

Lost opportunities (1996–2004)

Somehow, the anticipated success failed to materialise, partly because Richmond allowed the coaching position to again become unstable. With over a year still to run on his contract, Northey demanded a contract extension (because of a rumour that some people with an association with the club were pursuing Kevin Sheedy) that the club refused, so he broke his contract and walked out on Richmond. Northey accepted a longer-term contract to coach Brisbane. Richmond, caught short, appointed the Bears' ex-coach Robert Walls for 1996. After several humiliating thrashings in 1997, Walls became the first Tiger coach to be sacked mid-season. After two and a half seasons under Jeff Gieschen, the club appointed ex-St Kilda captain Danny Frawley. After a Preliminary Final appearance in Frawley's second season, Richmond over-estimated the strength of the list and settled for trading for established players rather than drafting youth. Over the next three seasons, the team managed just 18 wins. The administration continued to support Frawley and ensured that he would see out his contract, a far cry from the way many of his predecessors were treated. However, midway through the 2004 season (a season in which the Tigers only managed 4 wins, and lost their last 14 H&A matches), Frawley announced he would be relinquishing his role as the Tiger coach at seasons' end.

Beginning to rebuild and another wooden spoon (2005–2007)

The 2005 pre-season began with renewed optimism at the club, with No. 1 draft pick Brett Deledio being touted as a future star and leader. However, the Tigers' first match of the season (against Geelong), quickly dashed that hope, as they were thrashed by 62 points. However, this loss would spark a change in the Tigers, and in the next 8 weeks of the season, they would go on to win 7 matches (the one exception being a 68 point loss at the hands of St. Kilda in Round 5). This included wins over the then-reigning premiers, Port Adelaide, and over then-runners up, the Brisbane Lions. Sitting pretty at 7 wins and 2 losses, and 3rd on the ladder, the impossible prospect of finals football loomed large. However, in the Round 10 match against Melbourne, star player Nathan Brown suffered a horrible leg injury, that would sideline him for the rest of the season. They went on to lose the match by 57 points, and would only register 3 more wins for the season (one of those was against eventual premiers the Sydney Swans by one point, who ironically had a one point win against Collingwood the round before), eventually finishing 12th. Nevertheless, from where they had come from, this move up the ladder was considered by many as a sign of things to come.

2006, a year which many experts predicted continued improvement for the Tigers, saw them lose their first H&A match by 115 points, against the Western Bulldogs, after which followed losses to St Kilda and West Coast. By the end of Round 3, things were looking grim for the Tigers once again. However, just as they did in 2005, the Tigers would respond to their poor start by winning 8 of their next 11 matches, and by the end of Round 14, the Tigers were in the Top 8 by a game and percentage. However, their spot in the Top 8 would be short lived, as 4 straight losses between Rounds 15 and 18 would effectively end their finals chances. They finished the 2006 season in 9th place, with 11 wins and 11 losses.

After promising seasons in 2005 and 2006, it was expected that the Tigers would take the next step in 2007, and play finals football. After massive hype in the off-season, the Tigers had a terrible start to the 2007 season, losing their first 9 matches (this included suffering their biggest ever defeat, at the hands of eventual premiers Geelong, by a whopping 157 points). Their first premiership points came in a draw against the Brisbane Lions in Round 10, and their first win of the season didn't come until Round 12 against fellow straggler Melbourne. After Round 18 of the season, the Tigers had registered a mere 1 win, 1 draw, and 16 losses, and were looking like recording their worst ever recorded season. However, late-season victories over old rivals Collingwood in Round 19, and Essendon in Round 21, saved them from this fate. They would eventually finish the year as wooden spooners, with 3 wins, 1 draw, and 18 losses.

Tiger Centenary (2008)

After the end of the 2007 season, Richmond elected to delist Patrick Bowden, Brent Hartigan, Andrew Krakouer and Carl Peterson. These four joined another four players in leaving Punt Road. These four included veteran Darren Gaspar, Kent Kingsley, Trent Knobel and Ray Hall. While these players left the club Jake King and Angus Graham were elevated off the rookie list.

During the trade period the Tigers obtained Bulldog midfielder Jordan McMahon along with Eagle forward Mitch Morton.

Next up came the 2007 AFL Draft, where the Tigers recruited highly rated midfielder Trent Cotchin with their 1st pick (number 2 overall), backman Alex Rance (pick number 18 overall) and ruckman Dean Putt (pick number 51 overall). Then in the Pre Season draft they elected to pick ruckman David Gourdis with the number one pick. The Tigers also picked Clayton Collard, Jarrod Silvester, Tristan Cartledge and Cameron Howat for the rookie list. Cam Howat had previously been on the rookie list but was delisted then picked up again.

The Tigers had kept a low profile going into their Round 1 clash against Carlton. Many people predicted Carlton would run all over Richmond because Carlton had received Chris Judd during the trade period. The Tigers trailed by as much as 25 points during the second quarter but they came back, led by Matthew Richardson kicking 5 goals. The Tigers ended up winning 17.7 (109) to Carlton 11.13 (79) in front of a crowd of 72,552 at the MCG.

From Rounds 2 to 11 however, the Tigers would only register 2 more wins (and a controversial draw against the Western Bulldogs), and after Round 11's completion, they sat in 12th place with 3 wins, 1 draw, and 7 losses. While many people wrote the Tigers of 2008 off at this point, they defied the odds, and went on to win 8 of their last 11 matches to finish off the 2008 season strongly, recording 11 wins, 1 draw, and 10 losses. However, this would not be enough to get them into finals football, as they finished 2 premiership points short (and percentage) of 8th placed Collingwood, who finished with 12 wins and 10 losses.

Wallace Era ends

At the start of 2009, Richmond were said to be rising as a team, and they would be in the eight[citation needed]. They had recruited former West Coast Eagles player Ben Cousins (who had missed the previous year through off-field dramas), and they had rising stars in Brett Deledio, Trent Cotchin and many more. In Round 1, those dreams all came crushing down, as they were thumped by Carlton. The Tigers did not register a win until Round 5, against the North Melbourne Football Club.

The media was getting out of control, with a loss to last years wooden spooners, the Melbourne Demons, starting the rabble. The coach, the players and the whole club was getting out of control, with reports some of the player asked the coach, Terry Wallace to step down. Some of the loyal supporters even turned their backs on their beloved club. The club decided enough was enough, and so did Wallace. Terry Wallace stepped down as Richmond coach on 1 June 2009. He would coach his last game on 5 June, against the inform Western Bulldogs. They went on to lose the game.

After the Round 11 game, Richmond announced their new caretaker coach, Jade Rawlings. This was a shock to most, as Jade did not have the greatest AFL career. Jade instantly took most of the over-30 year olds taken out of the side, and brought in the younger players. He was nicknamed 'Jade the Blade'. The tigers went on to win 3 games and had one draw with Rawlings.

Joel Bowden, one of Richmond's favourite sons, also announced his retirement in 2009, after being cut out of the team by Jade Rawlings. The tigers lost his farewell game by 93 points.

As the coaching search for Richmond started, there were many candidates. Many pulling out during the hard process. It was eventually cut down to four, Alan Richardson, Jade Rawlings, Damien Hardwick and Ken Hinkley. On 25 August, Richmond announced its coach for the next 3 years, Damien Hardwick. Damien Hardwick immediately got rid of injury-prone players, Mark Coughlan and Nathan Brown, signalling the start of a rebuilding era. Later, Richmond delisted: Kayne Pettifer, Jarrad Oakley-Nicholls, Cleve Hughes, Dean Putt, Graham Polak (later retained in the 2009 Rookie Draft), Adam Pattison and Jarrod Silvester (confirmed as of 30 October). Andrew Raines requested to be traded to another club because he thought he wasn't getting enough game time. Raines was eventually traded to Brisbane for pick 44 and Jay Schulz was traded to Port Adelaide for Mitchell Farmer and another draft pick.

As Jade Rawlings and Craig McRae and Brian Royal left the Tigers assistant coaching panel, Brendon Lade and Justin Leppitsch were appointed as assistant coaches, leaving only Wayne Campbell as a previous Richmond assistant coach. Brendon Gale was also appointed CEO of the Tigers.

Richmond legend Matthew Richardson later announced his retirement from AFL Football, due to injuries. This confirmed the complete clean out of the tiger's playing list, coaching panel and staff which was prompted by new coach, Damien Hardwick.

2010—New coach, new list and a new beginning

The 2010 season started with a barrage of negative comments from critics and the media. Many thought that Richmond would be lucky to win more than 4 games. From the 2009 AFL Draft, the Tigers picked up 7 new faces, which included 'man-child' midfielder Dustin Martin. Martin inspired fans with his hard-at-it approach and determination to win the ball and was touted early as a future star. At the 2010 Pre-season Draft, Richmond recruited young key defender Dylan Grimes, brother of Melbourne defender Jack Grimes. Finally, the recruiting process was finished in the Rookie Draft, where the Tigers picked Robert Hicks, Pat Contin, Relton Roberts, Irishman Jamie O'Reilly, Nick Westhoff and Graham Polak.

Damien Hardwick's axe was felt in the start of the 2010 season, with 4 debutants, and very few players over 25 in their round 1 clash against Carlton and inexperience showed, losing to a revitalised Blues' forward line, and it only got worse until their round 8 clash against Hawthorn, where they lost in a nail-biter by 3 points. Damien Hardwick publicly came out and stated that Richmond's season "begins now". Begin, it did.

After a scrappy win over Port Adelaide, Richmond's season began a dramatic turnaround. The Tigers won their next 6 out of 7 games, and showed greatly improved skill and determination. Young key forward Jack Riewoldt showed glimpses of older cousin and AFL star Nick Riewoldt, booting a career high 10 goals against the West Coast Eagles. The form was highlighted by a memorable 4-game winning streak during which they toppled eventual finalists Sydney and Fremantle; the latter game saw the Tigers get up after a monumental contest, led by Jack Riewoldt with 5 goals and first-year sensation Dustin Martin the Tigers showed glimpes of a powerhouse side in the future. A form dip in the next 3 rounds cost the team a higher placing on the ladder, but they finished the season strongly with a great performance over premiership contenders, St Kilda. The Tigers were underdogs, but didn't back down against an almost full-strength St Kilda side. They were led by Brett Deledio, skipper Chris Newman and Jack Riewoldt, who booted 7 goals, a best-on-ground performance. They didn't win, but it was a sign that the Tigers were a threat in future years. They ended up finishing 15th for the 2010 AFL Home and Away season. Throughout the season, the Tigers discovered potential superstars of the game, including David Astbury, Dustin Martin, Ben Nason and Ben Griffiths.

General media opinion was that Richmond demonstrated significant onfield improvement over the second half of the season. Retirements at the end of the season included Ben Cousins, Troy Simmonds and Graham Polak. As was the case in 2009, the club again delisted a considerable number of players including Relton Roberts, Dean Polo, Jordan McMahon, Tom Hislop, Adam Thomson and Alroy Gilligan. Andrew Collins was traded to Carlton for Shaun Grigg. Richard Tambling was traded to Adelaide for two draft picks; a late first-round compensation pick on-traded by Adelaide (which they received for losing Nathan Bock to the Gold Coast) and Adelaide's third-round selection. The compensation pick can be used by Richmond in any year up to 2014. Although Will Thursfield indicated his desire to be traded, this did not eventuate during the trading period. Improvements in players such as Jack Riewoldt (winner of the 2010 Coleman Medal and the Jack Dyer Medal), Shane Edwards, Daniel Connors and David Gourdis indicate that 2011 will deliver further onfield success.

Club identity and culture

Checker Hughes coached the Tigers to 5 Grand Finals in 6 years, winning the 1932 premiership before moving to Melbourne where he won another four flags.

Initially, Richmond saw itself as a gentlemanly and sportsman-like club; it even went to the extent of sacking a player who used poor language. During the early 1900s, the club used the press as a forum to publicise a campaign against violence in the game, which earned the derision of some rival clubs. This image followed the club into the VFL in 1908 and during the First World War the club emphasised the number of men associated with the club who had enlisted and served overseas. But the club's actions in 1916, when it voted with three other clubs seen as representative of the working class (Collingwood, Fitzroy and Carlton) to continue playing football, left no doubt as to which side of the class divide that the Tigers belonged. The club's self-consciously non-confrontational image can be partly attributed to two of long serving presidents – George Bennett (1887–1908) and Frank Tudor (1909–1918). Both were Richmond men and respected parliamentarians who took the view that how the game was played was more important than whether the game was won.

After World War I, the club's attitude hardened as they attempted to match it with the then power clubs Collingwood and Carlton. Eventually, the Tigers became more prosaic in their approach to recruiting and training.

Richmond club mascot, Tiger "Stripes" Dyer

The Hafey era transformed Richmond into one of the most feared combinations in the then VFL. Football Administrator Graham Richmond drove the "win at all costs" mentality across the whole club, making Richmond a formidable force that won 5 flags from 1967–1980. Since the Tigers last Grand Final appearance in 1982, the club has been unable to rekindle this spirit, only appearing in 2 finals since (1995 and 2001). Board and coaching instability during the 80's and 90's distracted the club, and forced its focus away from becoming an on-field force. The current board and coach have tried to restore the club's on field fortunes.

Club guernseys

  • The home jumper is black with a yellow sash which goes from top left to bottom right. The Clash jumper is the same as the home jumper with the addition of yellow side panels and inverse numbers on the back. The guernseys are made by sportswear company KooGa.

The Tigers first wore their clash jumper against Essendon in the penultimate round of the 2007 season, winning by 27 points.

Club song (Oh, we're from Tigerland)

Jack Malcolmson is credited with writing the words to the song in 1962, adapting them to the tune of "Row, Row, Row", a 1930's show tune. Richmond were using words sung to the tune of Waltzing Matilda at the time and approached Jack, a cabaret singer who was performing regularly at the Richmond Football Club Social Club, to write the lyrics. It is said that then coach, Des Rowe and the playing group gave the song a standing ovation when they heard it sung for the first time.[citation needed] The current version of the song used by the club is a 1972 recording performed by the Fable singers.[6]


Richmond's club mascot is called Tiger Stripes Dyer named after AFL legend Jack "Captain Blood" Dyer.


The Melbourne Cricket Ground

The club's home ground is the Melbourne Cricket Ground where they play most of their home matches in the regular season. The MCG has capacity of 100,000, and the club usually draws large attendances against Victorian clubs, particularly against rivals such as Essendon, Collingwood and Carlton.

Richmond train at their home ground, the Punt Road Oval, which is located only a few hundred metres away from the MCG.


Club administration since league admission





General Manager

  • Gareth Andrews 1978–79
  • Richard Doggett 1979–80
  • Kevin Dixon 1981–86
  • Richard Doggett 1986–88
  • Cameron Schwab 1988–94
  • Jim Malone 1994–99
  • Mark Brayshaw 2000–02
  • Ian Campbell 2003–04
  • Steve Wright 2004–09
  • Brendon Gale 2009–

Supporter base

Richmond has an enormous support that can lie dormant during times of poor performance but is vociferous and very noticeable during periods of success. In the golden era of the 1960s and 1970s, the Tiger supporters were sometimes labelled rabid and arrogant, a description that matched how the club's rivals felt about the Tigers in general.

The building of the fan base was a slow burn for Richmond. In the 1890s, the club never sold more than three hundred season's tickets, but the following was built up with success in the VFA and membership numbered about 2,000 at the time of admission to the VFL in 1908. Between the wars, the club captured the imagination of the residents of Richmond. The successful Tigers were a positive motif for the oppressed working class community which suffered deprivation during the Great Depression. At this time, the Richmond community was almost one-half Catholic, and this demographic was reflected in the club amongst the players and officials.

As Melbourne dramatically spread out in the post-war years, so too did the Richmond supporters. Many were now concentrated in the eastern suburbs, which eventually formed the club's metropolitan recruiting zone. Indeed, at one point during the early development of the Waverley Park ground, the Tigers considered making the stadium its home for this reason. Following the barren period of the 1950s, Richmond was able to tap into the large number of fans by moving home matches to the MCG and almost doubled attendance figures. The Tigers maintained this advantage over the other clubs until the mid-1980s, when poor administration led to a downturn in every area of the club. As the club struggled for funds, the membership plummeted from over 10,000 to under 3,000.

The greatest display of loyalty from the fans occurred during 1990. Threatened by liquidation, the supporters rallied to pay off the multi-million dollar debt via the "Save Our Skins" campaign. During the fully professional AFL era, the Tigers have enjoyed a level of support that allows it to determine its own destiny by regularly turning a profit. With the growth of the game outside Victoria, Richmond has picked up a lot of support in the other states of Australia.[dubious ][citation needed]

Season Ticketed Members Finishing Position Total Attendance Average Attendance
1992 8,158 13th 474,575 21,571
1993 9,918 14th 484,041 24,202
1994 8,229 9th 646,301 29,377
1995 14,647 3rd 1,104,607* 44,184*
1996 20,308 9th 850,966 38,680
1997 24,975 13th 783,517 35,614
1998 27,092 9th 1,023,821 46,537
1999 29,047 12th 885,159 40,234
2000 26,869 9th 853,916 38,814
2001 26,501 3rd 1,173,875* 46,955*
2002 27,251 14th 776,113 35,277
2003 25,101 13th 830,841 37,765
2004 27,133 16th 751,982 34,181
2005 28,029 12th 802,885 36,494
2006 29,406 9th 855,556 38,888
2007 30,044 16th 909,203 41,327
2008 30,820 9th 935,002 42,500
2009 36,985 15th 868,855 39,493
2010 35,960 15th 834,590 37,936
2011 40,184 12th 895,290 40,695

Season records in bold
* Includes three finals matches in both 1995 and 2001

The Official Richmond Cheer Squad are an organised group of passionate supporters that attend every Richmond game whether in Melbourne or interstate.

Club honour board

Premiership teams

See Richmond Premiership Teams

Richmond Team of the Century

In 1998, Richmond announced its team of the twentieth century. The selection of the twenty two players shows an even spread of champions from all the eras of the club: Thorp from the club's first premiership wins of 1920–21; McCormack, Strang, Titus and Dyer from the inter-war years; Rowe, Morris and Wright from the battling era after the war; Richardson and Knights from recent times. But the great days from the late 1960s to the early 1980s provide the bulk of the side: Sheedy, Green, Keane, Bourke, Barrot, Clay, Hart, Dean and Bartlett who made up the core of Tom Hafey's teams, and later success stories Weightman and Raines. Ian Stewart, named on the bench, created a record as the only man to win selection in a team of the century at two clubs – he was named in the centre of St Kilda's team as well. Richmond has four players denoted below with an asterisk who are also members of AFL Team of the Century. The second most of any club.

Richmond Team of the Century
B: Kevin Sheedy

1967–79, 180cm 81k,
251 games 91 goals

Vic Thorp

1910–25, 178cm 83k,
263 games 7 goals

Michael Green

1966–75, 193cm 94k,
146 games 83 goals

HB: Basil McCormack

1925–36, 180cm 80k,
199 games 1 goal

Gordon Strang

1931–38, 185cm 83k,
116 games 108 goals

Mervyn Keane

1972–84, 185cm 82k,
238 games 36 goals

C: Francis Bourke *

1967–81, 185cm 83k,
300 games 71 goals

Bill Barrot

1961–70, 180 cm 76k,
120 games 91 goals

Dick Clay

1966–76, 185cm 85k,
213 games 80 goals

HF: Matthew Richardson

1993-09 , 197cm 103k,
282 games 800 goals

Royce Hart *

1967–77, 187cm 86k,
187 games 369 goals

Roger Dean

1957–73, 175cm 73k,
245 games 204 goals

F: Dale Weightman

1978–93, 170cm 69k,
274 games 344 goals

Jack Titus

1926–43, 175cm 66k,
294 games 970 goals

Bill Morris

1942–51, 188cm 86k,
140 games 98 goals

Foll: Roy Wright

1946–59, 188cm, 102k,
195 games 127 goals

Jack Dyer * (capt)

1931–49, 185cm 89k,
312 games 443 goals

Kevin Bartlett

1965–83, 175cm 71k,
403 games 778 goals

Int: Des Rowe

1946–57, 182cm 83k,
175 games 24 goals

Geoff Raines

1976–82, 180cm 78k,
134 games 53 goals

Ian Stewart *

1971–75, 180cm 78k,
78 games 55 goals

Matthew Knights

1988–2002, 179cm 74k,
279 games 141 goals

Coach: Tom Hafey

Played 248 Won 173 Lost 73 Drawn 2


Australian Football Hall of Fame Members

As legends of the game:

As players of the game:

As coaches of the game:

Richmond Hall of Fame

The club's hall of fame was created in 2002 with 23 inductees. Below is a list, separated into categories, of members and the year they were inducted. So far, five Richmond "Immortals" have been named, the first of whom was Jack Dyer, the year before his death in 2003. Dyer was followed by Kevin Bartlett, Tom Hafey, Francis Bourke and Royce Hart.

Players Players Players Coaches Servants

Bill Barrot 2007

Kevin Bartlett 2002

Percy Bentley 2002

Neil Balme 2010

Martin Bolger 2005

Francis Bourke 2002

Ron Branton 2006

Dick Clay 2002

David Cloke 2007

Roger Dean 2002

Jack Dyer 2002

Alec Edmond 2007

Alan Geddes 2007

Michael Green 2004

Clarrie Hall 2006

Dick Harris 2004

Royce Hart 2002

Frank Hughes 2004

Hugh James 2005

Jim Jess 2008

Mervyn Keane 2005

Mark Lee 2010

Ray Martin 2010

Basil McCormack 2004

Bill Morris 2002

Kevin O'Neill 2008

Max Oppy 2004

Geoff Raines 2008

Michael Roach 2002

Des Rowe 2004

Kevin Sheedy 2002

Vic Thorp 2002

Jack Titus 2002

Dale Weightman 2002

Bryan Wood 2006

Roy Wright 2002

Tom Hafey 2002

Dan Minogue 2002

Charlie Backhouse 2002

Charlie Callander 2002

James Charles 2002

Allan Cooke 2006

Neville Crowe 2002

Ray Dunn 2002

Barney Herbert 2004

Tony Jewell 2002

Barry Richardson 2004

Graeme Richmond 2002

Alice Wills 2002

Ian Wilson 2010


"100 Tiger Treasures"

During the centenary season the tigers announced their 100 Tiger Treasures consisting of 10 awards, each with 10 nominees given by the Richmond Football Club in 2008 to celebrate their centenary year of competition in the VFL/AFL. The awards were mostly given to players but also club moments and campaigns. On Saturday, 28 June Richmond held a centenary celebration at Punt Road Oval before the centenary game at the MCG against arch rivials Carlton later that day.

Award Winner Nominees
Best Individual Performance of the Century Kevin Bartlett

"Put his unique stamp on the 1980 finals series, kicking 21 goals as a half-forward in Richmond’s three appearances, including a Grand Final-equalling bag of seven in the Grand Final massacre of the Magpies, which earned him the Norm Smith Medal for being best afield."

Class of the Century Royce Hart

"Thrilled Tiger fans for a decade with his match-winning exploits at centre half-forward. His dominance up forward was a major factor in the Club’s run of four premierships from 1967–74. He was an extraordinary mark, a deadeye shot for goal, very courageous and, when the ball hit the ground, he swooped on it like a rover."

The Strong & the Bold Jack Dyer

"No player in the history of the game epitomises his club more than the man known as “Captain Blood”. He struck fear into the hearts and minds of all opposition players during the 1930s and 40s. Was renowned for his bone-jarring shirtfronts, which left many an opponent bloodied, battered and bruised. He bled for the Tigers and expected his teammates to do likewise."

Defining Moment Save Our Skins

"On 15 August 1990, Richmond announced that it needed to raise $1 million by 31 October that year, or it would cease to exist. The Save Our Skins campaign was immediately established to keep the Tigers alive. With Club president Neville Crowe as the figurehead, the SOS campaign did exactly what it set out to achieve, raising the necessary funds to stave off the threat of extinction."

Servant of the Century Graeme Richmond

"Graeme Richmond filled a variety of important roles at Tigerland over more than 30 years of devoted service. He was a shrewd, ruthless administrator, who never wasted an opportunity that could benefit his beloved Tigers. His strength lay in his relentless persuasiveness – he was a masterly recruiter and negotiator. And, as a speaker, arguably there have been none finer in league football history."

Brave Act of the Century Francis Bourke

"Bourke collided with teammate Stephen Mount in a tense Round 21, 1980 clash with North Melbourne at Arden Street and had trouble seeing because of the blood streaming down his face. He was subsequently moved from full-back to the opposite end of the ground, where he immediately made his presence felt, taking a diving chest mark and slotting through a crucial goal."

Premiership of the Century 1967

"Richmond, under coach Tommy Hafey, finished the 1967 home-and-away season on top. The Tigers disposed of Carlton by 40 points in the second-semi, then faced up to a star-studded Geelong combination in the Grand Final. At the end of a spectacular contest, Richmond had broken a 24-year premiership drought. Barrot, Brown, Hart, Dean and Bartlett starred, while unsung hero Ronaldson kicked three vital goals."

Mark of the Century Michael Roach

"The superstar full-forward was a noted high-flyer during his 200-game career at Tigerland, but the mark he took against Hawthorn at the MCG in 1979 was, almost literally, out of this world. ‘Roachy’ actually rose so high over a huge nest of Hawk players, he ended up making it a chest mark!"

Goal of the Century Michael Mitchell

"The little Tiger excitement machine decided to take off on a bit of a trot during the team’s final home-and-away match of the 1990 season, against Sydney at the SCG. After gathering the ball deep in defence, ‘Mitch’ took one bounce, then another, and then five more (seven in total), before calmly drilling home an incredibly inspirational goal."

Controversy of the Century Windy Hill Brawl

"On 18 May 1974, all hell broke loose at half-time of Richmond’s clash with Essendon at Windy Hill as the players were leaving the field... A massive brawl erupted, involving players and officials of both clubs. Following a league investigation, several players and officials received suspensions, the heaviest being for Graeme Richmond, who was rubbed out until 31 December and also fined $2000."




Current squad

As of 1 November 2011:

Richmond Football Clubview · talk · edit
Senior list Coaching staff

Head coach

Assistant coaches

  • (c) Captain
  • (vc) Vice captain
  • Cruz Roja.svg Long-term injury list
  • Arrow-up.gif Upgraded rookie(s)
  • (ret) Retired

Updated: 11 August 2011
Source(s): Playing list, Coaching staff

Current coaching staff


Club records

VFL/AFL Premierships

  • 10 (1920, 1921, 1932, 1934, 1943, 1967, 1969, 1973, 1974, 1980)

VFL/AFL Runner-Up

  • 12 (1919, 1924, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1931, 1933, 1940, 1942, 1944, 1972, 1982)

VFL/AFL Reserve Premierships

  • 9 (1929, 1946, 1954, 1955, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1977, 1997)

VFL/AFL Under 19 Premierships

  • 11 (1958, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1985, 1989)

McClelland Trophies

  • 7 (1967, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1982)

Champions of Australia

  • 3 (1969, 1973, 1974)

Pre-season/Night Series Premierships

  • 1 (1962)

VFL/AFL Lightning Premierships

  • 1 (1953)

VFL/AFL Wooden Spoons

  • 6 (1917, 1960, 1987, 1989, 2004, 2007)
Win-Loss Record: Played: 2027    Won: 1029, Lost: 979, Drawn: 19 (to end of 2008 Season)
Highest Score: 34.18 (222) vs. St. Kilda Football Club, Round 16, 1980 at SCG
Lowest Score: 0.8 (8) vs. St. Kilda Football Club, Round 16, 1961 at Junction Oval
Greatest Winning Margin: 168 points vs. North Melbourne Football Club, Round 2, 1931 at Punt Road Oval
Greatest Losing Margin: 157 points vs. Geelong Football Club, Round 6, 2007 at Telstra Dome
Biggest Match Attendance: 119,165 vs. Carlton Football Club, Grand Final, 1969 at MCG
Biggest Home & Away Match Attendance:    92,436 vs. Collingwood Football Club, Round 4, 1977 at MCG

Individual records

Brownlow Medal Winners: 4 Stan Judkins (1930), Bill Morris (1948), Roy Wright (1952 & 1954), Ian Stewart (1971)
Coleman Medal Winners: 3 Michael Roach (1980, 1981), Jack Riewoldt (2010)
Most Games: 403    Kevin Bartlett (1965–1983)
Most Games as Captain: 168 Percy Bentley (1932–1940)
Most Games as Coach: 248 Tom Hafey (1966–1976)
Most Club Best & Fairest Awards: 6 Jack Dyer (1932, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1946)
Most Seasons as Club Leading Goalkicker:    13 Matthew Richardson (1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)
Most Goals in a Career: 970 Jack Titus (1926–1943)
Most Goals in a Season: 112 Michael Roach (1980)
Most Goals in a Match: 14 Doug Strang (vs. North Melbourne, Round 2, 1931 at Punt Road Oval)
Youngest Player: 15 years 328 days Mick Maguire (Round 1, 1910)
Oldest Player: 36 years 215 days David Cloke (Round 24, 1991)

Individual awards

AFL Army Award winners

Best and Fairest

See Jack Dyer Medal
Stan Judkins, RFC's first Brownlow medallist.

Brownlow Medallists

First Awarded 1924

Leading goalkicker

See List of Michael Roach Medal recipients

Coleman Medallists

First Awarded 1897

* Michael Roach was the first winner of the Coleman Medal in 1981. Retrospective awards were dated back to 1955. Prior to 1955 the Leading Goalkicker Medal was awarded.

AFL Rising Star winners

First Awarded 1993

Norm Smith Medal winners

First Awarded 1979

Mark of the Year winners

Goal of the Year winners

Tassie Medal winners

Awarded 1937 to 1988

All Australian selections

Commenced 1953

National team representatives

Commenced 1998

See also


1.^ Including standing room.
  1. ^ Blainey (1990), p62.
  2. ^ Mancini & Hibbins (1987), p119.
  3. ^ Blainey (1990), p64.
  4. ^ Hansen (1992), p28.
  5. ^ Richmond Cricket Club. Accessed 7 August 2007.
  6. ^ AFL Tunes to Remember – The Melbourne Age, 23 July 2010

External links

Preceded by
South Melbourne
St Kilda
VFL/AFL Premiers
Succeeded by
South Melbourne
North Melbourne

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