Richmond Football Club
The Richmond Football Club, nicknamed the Tigers, is a professional Australian rules football club playing in the Australian Football League (AFL), the sport’s premier competition. Between its inception in Richmond, Melbourne in 1885 and 1907, the club competed in the Victorian Football Association (VFA), winning two premierships. Richmond joined the Victorian Football League (now known as the AFL) in 1908 and has since won eleven premierships, most recently in 2017.
Richmond’s headquarters and training facilities are located at its original home ground, the Punt Road Oval, which sits adjacent to the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), the club’s playing home since 1965. Richmond traditionally wears a black guernsey with a yellow sash.
The club is coached by Damien Hardwick and its current captain is Trent Cotchin. Five Richmond players have been inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame as “Legends” of the sport: Kevin Bartlett, Jack Dyer, Royce Hart, Kevin Sheedy and Ian Stewart.
Origins and VFA years (1885–1907)
A short-lived football club named Richmond Cricketers was established in 1860 with T.W.S. Wills, Tom Wills, one of the founders of Australian rules football, serving as its inaugural secretary and captain. Wills’ cousin H. C. A. Harrison captained Richmond briefly in the early 1860s before moving to Geelong. This club has no continuity to the present club. A number of teams formed in Richmond during the game’s rapid expansion in the 1870s and early 1880s. However, all played at a junior level and it was considered an anomaly that Richmond, one of Melbourne’s most prominent suburbs, did not boast a senior side. The wait ended when the Richmond Football Club was officially formed at the Royal Hotel in Richmond on 20 February 1885. A successful application for immediate admission to the Victorian Football Association (VFA) followed. 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.
At first the team wore blue guernseys and caps with yellow and black stripes in the style of the Richmond Cricket Club. The football club soon adopted yellow and black as its official colours. The team was variously called the “Richmondites”, the “Wasps” or, most commonly, the “Tigers”.
During the late 1880s, Richmond struggled to make an impression in the VFA, and after a promising season in 1888 (when they finished fifth with eleven wins), the club slipped backwards, in the process losing players to more successful sides. As the local economy slipped into severe depression in the early 1890s and the crowds began to dwindle, some of the VFA’s strongest clubs began to agitate for a reform of the competition. Richmond was not considered part of this elite group, which usually voted as a bloc at VFA meetings.
In 1896, Richmond walked off the field in a match against South Melbourne to protest the umpiring, and later in the season, the Tigers had their half-time 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 cut of the gate takings amounted to just five pounds, and they finished the season with the wooden spoon.
In October 1896, the cabal of six strong clubs broke with the association to form the Victorian Football League (VFL). As a struggling club with a poor following, Richmond was not invited to join the new league. Richmond’s performances did not immediately improve in the emaciated VFA until the turn of the century.
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, but Port Melbourne faltered against Williamstown to hand Richmond its first flag.
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, whom the Tigers accused of failing to curb field invasions or the dubious tactics of arch-rival North Melbourne. When the two clubs were scheduled to meet in the 1904 VFA Grand Final, Richmond announced that they wouldn’t play with Allen as umpire. The VFA called Richmond’s bluff, and appointed Allen as umpire 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 since the 1896 split. Richmond cultivated links with some VFL clubs by playing practice matches against them. Richmond knew that they were a major asset to the VFA, had built up a large following and played on one of the best grounds in the competition, where they remained unbeaten for five years. In 1905, Richmond confirmed their status with a second premiership, this time overcoming bitter rivals North Melbourne, “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, then 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 Football Club.
Entry into the VFL (1908–1944)
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 World War I having reduced the competition to just four clubs, finals qualification was automatic.
Finally, in 1919, Richmond made their first Grand Final appearance, losing to Collingwood. Richmond stoked a rivalry with Collingwood by recruiting their former skipper Dan Minogue as playing coach and gained vengeance by beating Collingwood in the 1920 VFL 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, Carlton 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 archrivals, Collingwood.
The next VFL flag came in 1932, with Richmond’s triumph over Carlton in a tough encounter which saw Richmond wingman Alan Geddes play the second half with a broken jaw. Another premiership came in 1934, this time against South Melbourne’s famed “Foreign Legion”, avenging Richmond’s loss in the 1933 VFL 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 Percy Bentley‘s coaching methods, and that he should be replaced. Jack 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 Richmond won the semi-final against Melbourne to go straight into the 1940 VFL Grand Final. However, Melbourne reversed this result with a crushing win to pinch the premiership. Richmond had been out-thought by their old mentor Frank ‘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.
Despite the tribulations created by the Second World War, Richmond was 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.[example needed] Dyer was a fearsome presence in his role as playing coach, but he was unable to improve Richmond’s ability to win finals matches. A loss in the 1942 VFL 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. 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 in the 1950s, 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.
In 1962 Graeme Richmond was appointed Secretary of the club, Richmond was the under 19’s coach who had been around the club since the early 1950s as a junior player until knee injury stopped him from playing so he took on coaching. Graeme understood that for Richmond to improve so would the recruiting. A shrewd businessman, Richmond was able to sign young recruits for bargain like fees. Royce Hart was given a suit and six shirts, and Kevin Bartlett simply walked in off the street. Graeme kept a close eye on the success former player Tom Hafey was having with Shepparton in the Goulburn Valley Football League. When coach Len Smith had a heart attack in 1965, the club appointed Jack Titus to serve as interim coach until a replacement could be found. Hafey was encouraged to apply, and the decision came down to Hafey and former club captain Ron Branton. Many expected Branton to get the job. However, Graeme Richmond saw something special in Hafey and he was appointed coach for the 1966 season.
Success through Hafey Era (1966–1982)
1966 heralded the start of the Tom Hafey era. Hafey, a former player of the club, was appointed coach and brought with him a couple of quality young footballers from northern Victoria. Out of the Goulburn Valley came Dick Clay from Kyabram and Francis Bourke from Nathalia. Further afield were Doug Strang and John Perry from Albury and Wodonga.
On his return to Richmond, Hafey found the team had acquired a number of young, high quality players, Kevin Bartlett was a skinny 17 year old who lived locally walked in and asked for a tryout. Mike Green followed Kevin a year later. Even so, he quickly put his stamp on the club, bringing intensity and desire to reach the top. Although he acknowledged the ideas and tactical approach of Len Smith (who remained at the club as a selector and consultant), Hafey opted for what became his trademark style: kick the ball long and quickly into the forward line. He raised the bar for fitness among his players, extending pre-season training and introducing a third training night during the week. Richmond quickly became known for being the fittest team in the competition.
Richmond began 1966 strongly. A month before the finals, they hit the top of the ladder for the first time since 1951 and seemed certain to play in September. However, two losses dropped the Tigers to fifth place with thirteen wins and a draw. Richmond dismissed a number of players, replacing them with new players such as Royce Hart, Kevin Sheedy and Francis Bourke.
Richmond dominated the 1967 season, running out winners in a classic Grand Final against Geelong. In his first two years, the team lost only seven games and Hafey had gone from an unknown coach in the bush to the toast of the football world. In hindsight, the 1967 premiership marked a turning point for the game. The Tigers were fitter than any team that had gone before and were the highest scoring team since 1950. Australian football, after two decades of defensive-based play, was about to enter an era of high scoring, aided by rule changes, new tactics and betters standards of fitness. They won the 1967 flag in a thrilling encounter with Geelong, ending a 24-year premiership drought.
The Tigers started the 1968 season slowly. They rallied to win the last six games, but missed the finals. When the Tigers were again lethargic in mid-1969, accusations of under-achievement arose and rumours that Hafey was on the way out circulated. The players rallied behind Hafey and finished the season strong, taking fourth place. The team won all three finals, beat the much fancied Carlton in the 1969 VFL Grand Final by 25 points.
After missing the playoffs in 1970, Hafey took the Tigers to the finals for the next five years. Basing the team’s strategy around all-out attack had drawbacks. Richmond were dominant in 1972 and were hot favourites in the 1972 VFL Grand Final against Carlton. However, Carlton stunned Richmond 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). Richmond got their revenge in an intensely physical clash in the 1973 VFL Grand Final and went back-to-back in 1974 with a strong win against a resurgent North Melbourne.
By now, the aggressive attitude of the club both on and off the field had created resentment toward the club. A number of incidents during the 1973 Grand Final – the Windy Hill brawl, the attempted recruitment of John Pitura from South Melbourne and a poor reaction to Kevin Bartlett’s failure to win the Brownlow medal – all focussed negative attention on the club. Hafey, however, used the resentment to his advantage, telling his players “it’s Richmond against the world”.
Richmond showed signs of ageing in 1975, when they lost in the preliminary final. Triple Brownlow medallist, Ian Stewart retired, Paul Sproule returned to Hobart, Brian Roberts and two others were part of the John Pitura trade. A raft of other player departures made for a poor 1976 season, Hart spent most of the year nursing a knee and Dick Clay opted to retire. The Tigers finishing seventh, Hafey’s worst ever result. Internally the Richmond board bickering had flared into the public domain. It took a majority vote for Hafey to be reappointed for 1977, but not unanimously (he had no contract with Richmond, instead being appointed on a year-to-year basis). When it leaked that Graeme Richmond, the club’s powerbroker, had voted against Hafey’s reappointment Hafey immediately resigned.
The club appointed dual premiership player Barry Richardson as coach for two seasons before he was replaced by Tony Jewell. Richmond won its next premiership under Jewell with a then record-breaking margin of 81 points over arch-rivals Collingwood in 1980. After reaching and losing the 1982 VFL Grand Final, it has been a rocky road for Richmond who have struggled to come to grips with the rules and regulations of a modernised VFL, 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, Richmond set themselves for war with Collingwood 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.
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 overruled Richardson and sacked Sproule. Incensed, Richardson walked out of Punt Road, which was in turmoil again. Desperately, Richmond 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, Richmond 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 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 four games with Richmond.
Finally, with the economy in serious recession and interest rates touching seventeen per cent, Richmond’s creditors came knocking. At one point, an attempt was made to seize the club’s 1973 and 1974 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-Richmond 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 Richmond. 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 (Richmond’s first president from the corporate world, the Alan Bond farce aside), Richmond looked set to become regular finalists again.
Lost opportunities (1996–2004)
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, John Northey demanded a contract extension that the club refused. This was because of a rumour that some people with an association with the club were pursuing Essendon coach and former Richmond premiership player Kevin Sheedy. So Northey walked out on Richmond and accepted a longer-term contract to coach the Brisbane Bears. Richmond, caught short, appointed the Bears’ ex-coach Robert Walls for 1996. After several humiliating thrashings in 1997, Robert Walls became the first Richmond 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 overestimated 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 Richmond only managed 4 wins, and lost their last 14 H&A matches), Frawley announced he would be relinquishing his role as Richmond 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 had a one-point win against Collingwood the round before), eventually finishing 12th.
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.
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—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.
Next up came the 2007 AFL Draft, in which the Tigers recruited highly rated midfielder Trent Cotchin with their first pick (No. 2 overall), backman Alex Rance (pick No. 18 overall) and ruckman Dean Putt (pick No. 51 overall). Then, in the pre-season draft, they elected to pick 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.
Richmond began the 2008 season with a surprise win over Carlton, but from Rounds 2 to 11, registered only two more wins (and a controversial draw against the Western Bulldogs). The club fought back in the latter half of the season, winning eight of its last 11 matches. However, this was not enough to reach the finals, as Richmond finished two premiership points short (and percentage) of 8th placed Collingwood.
Wallace era ends
At the start of 2009, Richmond was said to be rising as a team, and they would be in the eight . They had recruited former Brownlow Medal winner Ben Cousins – who had previously been released by the West Coast Eagles due to drug trouble – and they had rising stars in Brett Deledio and Trent Cotchin. However, the club was beaten by 83 points in Round 1 by Carlton, and did not register a win until Round 5, against North Melbourne. With a record of 2–9 after eleven weeks, Terry Wallace stepped down as coach, having announced his intention during the previous week. Jade Rawlings was announced as caretaker senior coach; he adopted a youth policy for the remainder of the year, which saw experienced players Joel Bowden and Matthew Richardson retire by the end of the year. Rawlings led Richmond to three wins and a draw from eleven games. Richmond finished fifteenth with a record of 5–16–1. On 25 August, Damien Hardwick was appointed to be the senior coach from 2010.
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.
New coach, new list and a new beginning (2010–2012)
Richmond was not expected to be competitive in 2010, with many commentators predicting the team would win no more than four games. From the 2009 AFL Draft, the Tigers drafted seven new players, which included midfielder Dustin Martin. At the 2010 Pre-season Draft, Richmond recruited young key defender Dylan Grimes, brother of Melbourne defender Jack Grimes.
Damien Hardwick selected a young team at the start of the season, with four debutants, and only three players (Ben Cousins, Chris Newman and Troy Simmonds) over 25 in the Round 1 loss against Carlton. Richmond was winless after nine games, before a scrappy win over Port Adelaide in Round 10. This was the start of a turnaround in Richmond’s form, with the team winning six out of eight games, to sit with a record of 6–12 after eighteen rounds. After losing the final four matches, Richmond finished fifteenth out of sixteen with a record of 6–16. Young key forward Jack Riewoldt finished the season with 78 goals, to win the Coleman Medal.
Very early in the season, Richmond were criticised for “partying too much” in the wake of its winless start to the season; after the Round 3 loss to the Sydney Swans, Richmond players were reported to be at the bar drinking and acting in a disorderly manner.
Richmond continued to show improvement to finish 12th out of 17 teams in 2011 with eight wins and a draw.
Jack Riewoldt again led the goalkicking with 62 majors, down on his previous year’s tally of 78. Young midfielder Trent Cotchin won his first Jack Dyer Medal with 236 votes. Cotchin also polled the most votes of any Richmond player in the 2011 Brownlow Medal count with 15 votes. Dustin Martin was next best, polling 12 votes.
Richmond’s 2012 season did not see an improvement from the previous three years, as they lost 6 games by 12 points or less and finished 12th for the second year running. Gold Coast also beat them, while trailing by ten points with less than a minute remaining, the Tigers produced what former Sydney Swans coach Paul Roos labelled “the worst 47 seconds in footy” to lose by two points. They did, however, defeat both of the eventual grand finalists Hawthorn and Sydney during the season, the only team to do so the entire year. 2012 also saw Richmond have its first Brownlow Medallist in over 40 years when Trent Cotchin polled 26 votes to be the joint winner with Hawthorn’s Sam Mitchell, due to a countback 4 years later after actual winner Jobe Watson was stripped of his medal due to the Essendon Football Club supplements saga.
Return to finals and premiership run (2013–2017)
2013 saw Richmond claim a victory over Hawthorn (making it one of only two clubs that season to defeat the eventual premiers) and go on to qualify for its first finals series in over a decade. However, before 94,690 fans—the largest week-one crowd since the VFL/AFL adopted its current finals system—Richmond lost to Carlton in the first elimination final. Also that year, Peggy O’Neal, an American-born lawyer, became the AFL’s first female club president when she got the position at Richmond.
After its drought-breaking finals appearance the previous year, Richmond failed to live up to expectations in the first half of the 2014 season, losing 10 of its first 13 matches and dropping to 16th place on the ladder. Despite public sentiment that the season was lost, the club rallied behind a five-goal performance by Cotchin to win against St Kilda. It catalysed a nine-match winning streak, with a Round 23 victory against eventual grand-finalists Sydney raising Richmond to 8th on the ladder and putting the club into its first back-to-back finals appearance since 1975. A 57-point loss to Port Adelaide in an elimination final knocked Richmond out in the first week of the finals. Cotchin won the Jack Dyer Medal for the third time in four years, making him the youngest Richmond player to win three club best and fairest awards.
Richmond faced the prospect of another disappointing season in 2015, losing 4 of its first 6 games. In the following weeks, however, the club registered 4 straight wins, including an upset victory over the previously undefeated Fremantle in Perth, and went on to defeat top-four teams Sydney and reigning premiers Hawthorn. Richmond would go on to win the final four games of the home and away season to finish fifth on the ladder. Facing North Melbourne in an elimination final, Richmond lost by 17 points in front of a crowd of 90,186, making it the club’s third consecutive first weeks finals loss.
In 2016, Richmond failed to qualify for the finals for the first time in four years. Following a comprehensive Round 3 loss to Adelaide, coach Hardwick said the team would have to “take a little half-step back to go two steps forward.” It would go on to be the story of the season with several major defeats including one against Greater Western Sydney in which Richmond registered its lowest score since 1961. The club debuted six players and brought in two recruits for their first games in the yellow and black.
During the preseason period for 2016/17, Richmond made a number of changes to its playing list and coaching staff. Among these changes was the departure of Brett Deledio to Greater Western Sydney, in a three-way deal involving Geelong that saw the Tigers receive a 2017 first-round draft selection from the Cats, as well as a 2017 third-round selection from the Giants. Richmond also attained the services of Gold Coast Suns midfielder Dion Prestia, Geelong player Josh Caddy, and young Sydney Swans ruckman Toby Nankervis in preparation for the 2017 season.
2017 AFL Grand Final G B Total Richmond 16 12 108 Adelaide 8 12 60 Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground Crowd: 100,02137 years and the Tigers are kings of the jungle again – it is Tiger Time, Bruce. There is no doubt about it at all…The Tigers are going to win the Premiership (siren sounds) in 2017! The Tigers have got home for the first time in 37 years!
Richmond began 2017 with 5 straight wins, a feat it had not achieved since 1995. A series of close losses hampered the Tigers throughout the middle of the season, including a 5-point loss to the Western Bulldogs, 2-point loss to Fremantle, and a 3-point loss to the Giants. Richmond ended the season strongly with convincing victories over Fremantle and St Kilda in the final two rounds, elevating the club to 3rd on the ladder. Richmond’s first final of the season – their qualifying final against the Cats at the MCG – attracted a record qualifying final crowd of 95,028; the Tigers won by 51 points in what was actually a home final for Geelong that was played at Richmond’s home ground, the MCG, due to its higher capacity. This sent them to their first preliminary final since 2001, in which Richmond defeated Greater Western Sydney by 36 points in front of a crowd of 94,258 to progress to the Grand Final against Adelaide, their first Grand Final appearance since 1982. The attendance was 100,021, the largest crowd for a Grand Final since 1986. The Crows led at quarter time and were in front by as much as 13, but the Tigers took over the game as it progressed and kicked seven straight goals at one point. They eventually would win by 48 points – 16.12 (108) to Adelaide’s 8.12 (60) – to end their 37-year flag drought. Dustin Martin also became the first player to win a Premiership medal, the Brownlow Medal and the Norm Smith Medal in the same season, while Damien Hardwick was named AFL Coaches Association Coach of the Year. Richmond’s jump from 13th to premiers also marked the biggest jump from one AFL season to the next.
Premiership defence (2018)
The reigning premiers were dominant throughout the 2018 season, winning their first minor premiership since 1982 with an 18–4 win-loss record. Richmond won all 17 of their games in Victoria during the home-and-away season, and broke the record for most consecutive wins at the MCG, winning 22 games at the venue (starting from round 14, 2017) and eclipsing the record of 17 set by Melbourne in 1955–56.
The Tigers defeated Hawthorn by 31 points in the first qualifying final at the MCG and were seemingly destined to win a second consecutive flag. However, they were stunningly denied a repeat Grand Final appearance after Collingwood defeated them by 39 points in the first preliminary final.
Jack Riewoldt had an outstanding year for Richmond, winning his third Coleman Medal after kicking 65 goals during the regular season, his second Jack Dyer Medal and receiving his third
All-Australian selection. Three other Tigers received All-Australian honours: Alex Rance (fullback), Dustin Martin (centre) and Shane Edwards (interchange), and four more were shortlisted in the initial 40-man squad: captain Trent Cotchin, Josh Caddy, Dylan Grimes and Kane Lambert. Exciting young forward/midfielder Jack Higgins capped off a stellar debut season by winning Goal of the Year for his highly memorable scissor-kick goal against Collingwood in Round 19.
At the conclusion of the season, Richmond acquired former Gold Coast co-captain Tom Lynch via free agency on October 8. Five players departed the club during the free agency and trade periods: Reece Conca left to Fremantle as a free agent on October 5, Anthony Miles and Corey Ellis were traded to Gold Coast along with a third round draft pick on October 8 in exchange for another third round pick, Tyson Stengle was traded to Adelaide in exchange for its fourth round pick on October 15, and Sam Lloyd was sent to the Western Bulldogs for pick 64 on October 15. In addition, Ben Griffiths retired in January to pursue a college football career in the United States and Shaun Hampson retired on June 26, citing a chronic back condition.
Club identity and culture
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.
The Hafey era transformed Richmond into one of the most feared combinations in the then VFL. The club’s football administrator, Graeme Richmond, drove the “win at all costs” mentality across the whole club, making Richmond a formidable force, winning five premierships from 1967 to 1980.
Since the Tigers’ grand final appearance in 1982, the club has appeared in seven finals series (1995, 2001, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018). Board and coaching instability during the 1980s and 1990s distracted the club and forced its focus away from becoming an on-field force.
The club’s current home jumper design is black and features a yellow sash running from the top left of the jumper to the bottom right. For away games against teams with dark coloured jumpers, the club wears a clash strip with a reverse of this design, a black sash on a yellow base. In its first season, Richmond wore a blue jumper with a thin yellow-and-black sash running from right to left. Between 2011 and 2016, the club guernseys were manufactured by sportswear company BLK, who were known as KooGa Australia prior to 2014, before it went into receivership in November 2016. Puma manufactures the club’s on-and-off field apparel. With the change to Puma, the yellow used is reasonably lighter than the sash seen in the past few years.
Song: We’re from Tigerland
Initially, Richmond’s club song was Onward the Tigers, set to the tune of Waltzing Matilda. In 1962, Jack Malcolmson, a cabaret singer who was performing regularly at the Richmond Football Club Social Club, was approached to write a new club song and adapted Row, Row, Row (Monaco/Jerome), a show tune from the Ziegfeld Follies of 1912. (America Football Club in Rio de Janeiro uses the same tune for its club song, the Hino do America.)
- Oh, we’re from Tigerland
- A fighting fury, we’re from Tigerland
- In any weather, you will see us with a grin
- Risking head and shin
- If we’re behind, then never mind
- We’ll fight and fight and win
- For we’re from Tigerland
- We never weaken ’till the final siren’s gone
- Like the tiger of old
- We’re strong and we’re bold
- For we’re from Tiger
- Yellow and black
- We’re from Tigerland
The club’s home ground is the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) where the team plays most of their home matches in the regular season. The MCG has a capacity of 100,024 and the club usually draws large attendances against Victorian clubs, particularly rivals such as Essendon, Collingwood, Carlton and Hawthorn.
The club also plays select home games against smaller local and interstate clubs at the smaller capacity Docklands Stadium.
Richmond’s training ground and base of operations is located at the Punt Road Oval, currently branded as the Swinburne Centre, located a few hundred metres from the MCG.
Administration and corporate
Club administration since 1908
Year President Chief Executive Officer Treasurer 2013–present Peggy O’Neal Brendon Gale Robert Dalton 2010–2012 Gary March Brendon Gale Robert Dalton Year President General Manager Treasurer 2006–2009 Gary March Steve Wright Garry Cameron 2005 Clinton Casey
Steve Wright Garry Cameron 2004 Clinton Casey Ian Campbell
Garry Cameron 2003 Clinton Casey Ian Campbell Garry Cameron 2001–2002 Clinton Casey Mark Brayshaw Garry Cameron 2000 Clinton Casey Mark Brayshaw Terry Grigg 1999 Leon Daphne Jim Malone Terry Grigg 1995–1998 Leon Daphne Jim Malone Keith Miller 1994 Leon Daphne Cameron Schwab
Keith Miller 1993 Neville Crowe
Cameron Schwab Keith Miller 1991–1992 Neville Crowe Cameron Schwab Keith Miller 1989–1990 Neville Crowe Cameron Schwab Michael Humphris 1988 Neville Cowe Richard Doggett
Michael Humphris 1987 Alan Bond
Richard Doggett Michael Humphris 1986 Bill Durham Kevin Dixon
1985 Ian Wilson
Kevin Dixon John McCormack 1981–1984 Ian Wilson Kevin Dixon Ron Carson 1980 Ian Wilson Richard Doggett Richard Doggett 1979 Ian Wilson Gareth Andrews
1978 Ian Wilson Gareth Andrews Gareth Andrews Year President Secretary Treasurer 1977 Ian Wilson Max Scales Max Scales 1974–1976 Ian Wilson Alan Schwab Alan Schwab 1973 Al Board Alan Schwab Alan Schwab 1972 Al Board Alan Schwab Pat Kennelly
1971 Ray Dunn
Alan Schwab Pat Kennelly 1970 Ray Dunn Alan Schwab Ron Carson 1969 Ray Dunn Alan Schwab Graeme Richmond 1968 Ray Dunn Graeme Richmond
1966–1967 Ray Dunn Graeme Richmond Ron Carson 1965 Ray Dunn Graeme Richmond Graeme Richmond 1964 Ray Dunn Graeme Richmond I Cameron 1963 Maurie Fleming Graeme Richmond Bill Tymms 1962 Maurie Fleming Bill Tymms
Bill Tymms 1960–1961 Maurie Fleming Bill Tymms Bill Tymms 1959 Maurie Fleming Bill Tymms Bill Quinn 1958 Harry Dyke
Bill Tymms Bill Quinn 1956–1957 Harry Dyke Bill Tymms Bill Quinn 1955 Harry Dyke Hector Lingwood-Smith
Bill Quinn 1953–1954 Harry Dyke Maurie Fleming Bill Quinn 1952 Harry Dyke Maurie Fleming
Bill Quinn 1950–1951 Harry Dyke Maurie Fleming Bill Quinn 1949 Harry Dyke Maurie Fleming Jack Smith
1947–1948 Harry Dyke Maurie Fleming Jack Smith 1940–1946 Harry Dyke Maurie Fleming Charlie Turner 1939 Barney Herbert Maurie Sheahan Charlie Turner 1938 Lou Roberts John Smith Charlie Turner 1937 Lou Roberts John Smith George Smith 1936 Lou Roberts John Smith Jos Langdon 1932–1935 Barney Herbert John Smith Jos Langdon 1925–1931 Jack Archer Percy Page Jos Langdon 1924 Jack Archer Percy Page Abe Aarons 1921–1923 Alf Wood Bill Maybury Abe Aarons 1919–1920 Alf Wood Bill Maybury Jack Archer 1917–1918 Frank Tudor Bill Maybury Jack Archer 1913–1916 Frank Tudor Bill Lohse Jack Archer 1912 Frank Tudor George Beachcroft James MacDermott 1909–1911 Frank Tudor Andrew Manzie Archie McNair 1908 George Bennett Andrew Manzie Archie McNair
Richmond has a large supporter base and which is known for its dedication, including its personal cheer squad who attend both home and away matches for the club. The club broke its membership record along with the all time AFL membership record with 100,063 signing up in 2018. It also has the most members of any Australian sporting team.
The building of the fan base was a slow process for Richmond. In the 1890s, the club never sold more than 300 season 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 half Catholic, and this demographic was reflected in the club among 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 multimillion-dollar debt via the “Save Our Skins” campaign. In 2011, the club launched the Fighting Tiger Fund to reduce the club’s debt and to allow it to increase spending on the football department in order to be more competitive on field.
In 2013, the club launched The Roar is Back membership promotion aiming at signing up 60,000 members in a season for the first time ever. Following a successful campaign, on 24 June 2013, Richmond chief executive Brendon Gale confirmed that membership had passed 60,000. The club created a limited edition commemorative Sherrin football to celebrate the achievement and it was distributed free to families at the ‘Thank you for 60,000 members BBQ/Training Morning’ at Punt Road Oval on 29 June 2013. The official membership total for 2013 was 60,321.
For statistical purposes 30 June is the cut-off date for membership numbers although it does continue to sell memberships. In 2013, after 30 June the club commenced bundling 2013 and 2014 membership years into a special “Sign up as a member for 2014 and get the rest of 2013 free!” offer. The 2014 membership total of 66,122 gave Richmond the 3rd biggest membership base in the AFL behind Collingwood and Hawthorn (80,793 and 68,650 respectively). This record was again broken in 2015 with the club signing up 70,809 members, still ranking 3rd in total membership numbers. The club averaged the highest crowds in the AFL of 49,841 in 2015, home crowd averaged 53,236 the highest in the 2015 AFL season. The Richmond Football club created AFL/VFL history in 2018 by becoming the first club ever to reach 100,000 members.
Season Ticketed Members Ladder Position Finals Premiers Average Home Attendance Average Away Attendance Average Finals Attendance Average Season Attendance Total Season Attendance 2019 90,307** – – – – – – 2018 100,718 1 61,175 47,452 93,203 57,554* 1,381,298* 2017 72,669 3 55,958 37,201 96,436 52,562* 1,314,058* 2016 72,278 13 41,155 40,684 40,920 900,237 2015 70,809 5 49,877 45,974 90,186 49,841* 1,146,335* 2014 66,122 8 43,196 33,147 49,886 38,712* 890,377* 2013 60,321 5 50,901 43,671 94,690 49,477* 1,137,980* 2012 53,027 12 41,319 37,909 39,614 871,504 2011 40,184 12 42,784 38,606 40,695 895,290 2010 35,960 15 37,452 38,434 37,943 834,744 2009 36,985 15 43,165 35,822 39,493 868,855 2008 30,820 9 43,548 41,452 42,500 935,002 2007 30,044 16 38,255 44,400 41,327 909,203 2006 29,406 9 42,929 34,849 38,889 855,556 2005 28,029 12 35,800 37,189 36,495 802,885 2004 27,133 16 35,378 32,984 34,181 751,982 2003 25,101 13 35,630 39,901 37,766 830,841 2002 27,251 14 32,796 37,759 35,278 776,113 2001 26,501 4 46,129 42,532 66,203 46,955* 1,173,875* 2000 26,869 9 44,012 33,617 38,814 853,916 1999 29,047 12 40,533 39,936 40,235 885,159 1998 27,092 9 44,307 48,768 46,537 1,023,821 1997 24,975 13 34,515 36,713 35,614 783,517 1996 20,308 9 38,624 38,737 38,680 850,966 1995 14,647 3 41,952 37,844 75,168 44,184* 1,104,607* 1994 8,229 9 33,968 24,787 29,377 646,301 1993 9,918 14 24,853 23,552 24,202 484,041 1992 8,158 13 20,088 22,255 21,572 474,575
Club records in bold text.
* Includes three finals in 1995, 2001, 2017; two finals in 2018 and one final in 2013, 2014, 2015.
** As at 15 Mar 2019.
The Official Richmond Cheer Squad is an organised group of passionate supporters who attend every Richmond game whether in Melbourne or interstate. There are also supporter groups located in each state of Australia.
Club honour board
Richmond Team of the Century
In 1998, Richmond announced its Team of the 20th Century. The selection of the 22 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, managed 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. This is the second-most of any club.
Richmond Team of the Century B: Kevin Sheedy
1967–79, 180cm 81k,
251 games 91 goals
1910–25, 178cm 83k,
263 games 7 goals
1966–75, 193cm 94k,
146 games 83 goals
HB: Basil McCormack
1925–36, 180cm 80k,
199 games 1 goal
1931–38, 185cm 83k,
116 games 108 goals
1972–84, 185cm 82k,
238 games 36 goals
C: Francis Bourke *
1967–81, 185cm 83k,
300 games 71 goals
1961–70, 180 cm 76k,
120 games 91 goals
1966–76, 185cm 85k,
213 games 80 goals
HF: Matthew Richardson
1993–2009 , 197cm 103k,
282 games 800 goals
Royce Hart *
1967–77, 187cm 86k,
187 games 369 goals
1957–73, 175cm 73k,
245 games 204 goals
F: Dale Weightman
1978–93, 170cm 69k,
274 games 344 goals
1926–43, 175cm 66k,
294 games 970 goals
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
1965–83, 175cm 71k,
403 games 778 goals
Int: Des Rowe
1946–57, 182cm 83k,
175 games 24 goals
1976–82, 180cm 78k,
134 games 53 goals
Ian Stewart *
1971–75, 180cm 78k,
78 games 55 goals
1988–2002, 179cm 74k,
279 games 141 goals
Coach: Tom Hafey
Coached 248 Won 173 Lost 73 Drawn 2
Australian Football Hall of Fame members
As legends of the game:
As players of the game:
- Percy Bentley
- Francis Bourke
- Dan Minogue
- Bill Morris
- Charlie Pannam
- Vic Thorp
- Jack Titus
- Dale Weightman
- Roy Wright
- Matthew Richardson
- Maurice Rioli
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. To date, six 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, Royce Hart and Vic Thorp.
Players Players Players Players Coaches Servants
“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 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.”
- Trent Cotchin 2013–
- Chris Newman 2009–12
- Kane Johnson 2005–08
- Wayne Campbell 2001–04
- Matthew Knights 1997–00
- Tony Free 1994–96
- Jeff Hogg 1993
- Dale Weightman 1988–92
- Mark Lee 1985–87
- Barry Rowlings 1983–84
- David Cloke 1982
- Bryan Wood 1981
- Bruce Monteath 1980
- Kevin Bartlett 1979
- Kevin Sheedy 1978
- Francis Bourke 1976–77
- Royce Hart 1972–75
- Roger Dean 1968–71
- Fred Swift 1967
- Neville Crowe 1963–66
- Ron Branton 1960–62
- Roy Wright 1958–59
- Des Rowe 1952–57
- Bill Morris 1950–51
- Jack Dyer 1941–49
- Percy Bentley 1932–40
- Maurie Hunter 1931
- Alan Geddes 1930
- Cyril Lilburne 1929
- Alan Geddes 1927–28
- Mel Morris 1926
- Dan Minogue 1920–25
- Bill Thomas 1919
- Clarrie Hall 1918
- Percy Maybury 1917
- Bill Thomas 1914–16
- Hugh James 1913
- Ted Ohlsen 1912
- Len Incigneri 1911
- Billy Schmidt 1910
- Dick Condon/John Lawson 1909
- Charlie Pannam Snr 1908
- Damien Hardwick 2010–
- Jade Rawlings 2009 (Rounds 12–22)
- Terry Wallace 2005–09 (Rounds 1–11)
- Danny Frawley 2000–04
- Jeff Gieschen 1997–99
- Robert Walls 1996–97
- John Northey 1993–95
- Allan Jeans 1992
- Kevin Bartlett 1988–91
- Tony Jewell 1986–87
- Paul Sproule 1985
- Mike Patterson 1984
- Francis Bourke 1982–83
- Tony Jewell 1979–81
- Barry Richardson 1977–78
- Verdun Howell 1971
- Tom Hafey 1966–76
- Jack Titus 1965
- Len Smith 1964–65
- Dick Harris 1964
- Des Rowe 1961–63
- Alan McDonald 1957–60
- Max Oppy 1956
- Alby Pannam 1953–55
- Jack Dyer 1941–52
- Percy Bentley 1934–40
- Billy Schmidt 1933
- Frank ‘Checker’ Hughes 1927–32
- Mel Morris 1926
- Dan Minogue 1920–25
- Norm Clark 1919
- Bernie Nolan 1918
- Percy Maybury 1917
- Charlie Ricketts 1914–16
- Ern Jenkins 1913
- Charlie Pannam Sr 1912
- Len Incigneri 1911
- Alex ‘Joker’ Hall 1910
- Dick Condon 1908–09
Current squadRichmond Football Club
Senior list Rookie list Coaching staff
- 1 Nick Vlastuin
- 2 Dylan Grimes
- 3 Dion Prestia
- 4 Dustin Martin
- 5 Brandon Ellis
- 6 Shaun Grigg
- 7 Dan Butler
- 8 Jack Riewoldt (vc)
- 9 Trent Cotchin (c)
- 10 Shane Edwards
- 11 Jason Castagna
- 12 David Astbury
- 13 Jack Higgins
- 14 Bachar Houli
- 15 Jayden Short
- 17 Daniel Rioli
- 18 Alex Rance (vc)
- 19 Tom Lynch
- 22 Josh Caddy
- Blake Caracella (offensive)
- Andrew McQualter (forwards)
- Justin Leppitsch (defence)
- Adam Kingsley (midfield stoppage)
- Ivan Maric (ruck)
- Xavier Clarke (development/VFL midfield)
- Ryan Ferguson (development/VFL defence)
- Craig McRae (VFL coach/development)
- (c) Captain(s)
- (vc) Vice captain(s)
- (B) Category B rookie
Updated: 16 March 2019
VFL/AFL Premierships 11 – 1920, 1921, 1932, 1934, 1943, 1967, 1969, 1973, 1974, 1980, 2017 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 Champions of Australia 3 – 1969, 1973, 1974 Last updated: 25 August, 2018 Win-Loss record Played: 2,255 Won: 1,145 Lost: 1,088 Drawn: 22 Highest score 222 (34.18) vs. St Kilda, Round 16, 1980 at SCG Lowest score 8 (0.8) vs. St Kilda, Round 16, 1961 at Junction Oval Greatest winning margin 168 points vs. North Melbourne, Round 2, 1931 at Punt Road Oval Greatest losing margin 157 points vs. Geelong, Round 6, 2007 at Telstra Dome Biggest match attendance 119,165 vs. Carlton, Grand Final, 1969 at MCG Biggest home & away match attendance 92,436 vs. Collingwood, Round 4, 1977 at MCG Source:AFL Tables. Last updated: 24 September, 2018
Statistic Record Player Seasons inclusive Most league Best and Fairest awards 2 Roy Wright 1952, 1954 Most seasons as league leading goal kicker 3 Jack Riewoldt 2010, 2012, 2018 Most All-Australian selections 5 Alex Rance 2014–2018 Most Brownlow Medal votes 160 Kevin Bartlett 1965–1983 Most club Best & Fairest awards 6 Jack Dyer 1932, 1937–1940, 1946 Most seasons as club leading goal-kicker 13 Matthew Richardson 1994, 1996–1999, 2001–2008 Games played 403 Kevin Bartlett 1965–1983 Games played as captain 168 Percy Bentley 1932–1940 Games as coach 248 Tom Hafey 1966–1976 Goals 970 Jack Titus 1926–1943 Disposals 9151 Kevin Bartlett 1965–1983 Kicks 8293 Kevin Bartlett 1965–1983 Handballs 2736 Dale Weightman 1978–1993 Marks 2270 Matthew Richardson 1993–2009 Tackles 877 Trent Cotchin 2008-current Hit Outs 4304 Mark Lee 1977–1991 Clearances 1093 Trent Cotchin 2008-current Inside 50s 980 Brett Deledio 2005-2016 Rebound 50s 1006 Joel Bowden 1996-2009 One percenters 1550 Alex Rance 2009-current Source:AFL Tables. Last updated 24 September, 2018
Single game records
Statistic Record Player Opponent Match Goals 14 Doug Strang North Melbourne Round 2, 1931 at Punt Road Oval Disposals 46 Robert Wiley Carlton Round 8, 1980 at MCG Kicks 38 Kevin Bartlett Geelong Round 17, 1974 at Waverley Park Handballs 28 Nathan Foley Brisbane Round 6, 2011 at MCG Marks 23 Joel Bowden Port Adelaide Round 13, 2008 at Football Park Tackles 14 Shane Tuck Port Adelaide Round 10, 2010 at Football Park 14 Angus Graham Port Adelaide Round 10, 2010 at Football Park Hit Outs 56 Toby Nankervis Melbourne Round 5, 2017 at MCG Clearances 15 Wayne Campbell Fremantle Round 19, 2000 at WACA Ground Inside 50s 14 Kane Johnson Western Bulldogs Round 17, 2003 at Docklands Stadium Rebound 50s 16 Joel Bowden Adelaide Round 8, 2006 at Docklands Stadium One percenters 19 Alex Rance Geelong Round 21, 2016 at MCG Source:AFL Tables. Last updated 24 September, 2018
Single season records
Statistic Record Player Season Goals 112 Michael Roach 1980 Disposals 744 Dustin Martin 2017 Kicks 634 Kevin Bartlett 1973 Handballs 320 Craig Lambert 1991 Marks 224 Mike Green 1969 Tackles 139 Trent Cotchin 2017 Hit Outs 711 Mark Lee 1984 Clearances 160 Dustin Martin 2017 Inside 50s 159 Nick Daffy 1998 Rebound 50s 190 Joel Bowden 2006 One percenters 242 Alex Rance 2017 Source:AFL Tables. Last updated 24 September, 2018
- Stan Judkins – 1930
- Bill Morris – 1948
- Roy Wright – 1952, 1954
- Ian Stewart – 1971
- Trent Cotchin – 2012
- Dustin Martin – 2017
- George Bayliss – 1920
- Jack Titus – 1940
- Dick Harris – 1943
- Michael Roach – 1980, 1981
- Jack Riewoldt – 2010, 2012, 2018
Grand Final Best & Fairest
First Awarded 1979
AFL Rising Star
First Awarded 1993
- Brett Deledio – 2005
First Awarded 1953
- Des Rowe – 1956
- Roy Wright – 1956
- Neville Crowe – 1966
- Royce Hart – 1969
- David Cloke – 1979
- Bruce Monteath – 1979
- Michael Roach – 1979
- Jim Jess – 1980
- Geoff Raines – 1980
- Mark Lee – 1980, 1983, 1985
- Maurice Rioli – 1983, 1986
- Dale Weightman – 1985, 1986, 1988
- Wayne Campbell – 1995, 1999
- Matthew Richardson – 1996, 1999, 2008
- Matthew Knights – 1998
- Andrew Kellaway – 2000
- Darren Gaspar – 2000, 2001
- Brad Ottens – 2001
- Joel Bowden – 2005, 2006
- Jack Riewoldt – 2010, 2015, 2018
- Trent Cotchin – 2012
- Brett Deledio – 2012, 2015
- Alex Rance – 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 (captain), 2018
- Dustin Martin – 2016, 2017, 2018
- Shane Edwards - 2018
- Damien Hardwick – 2017
- Dustin Martin – 2017
International Rules Series representatives
- Matthew Richardson – 1996, 1999, 2008
- Wayne Campbell – 1998, 1999, 2000
- Andrew Kellaway – 2000, 2002
- Darren Gaspar – 2001
- Brad Ottens – 2001
- Joel Bowden – 2001, 2004
- Nathan Brown – 2003, 2004
- Brett Deledio – 2005
- Chris Newman – 2005
- Andrew Raines – 2006
- Jack Riewoldt – 2010
- Jake King – 2011
- Robin Nahas – 2011
Club Best & Fairest
- See Jack Dyer Medal
Club leading goalkicker
Richmond has had a reserves team participate in various competitions since the early 20th century. The reserves competition for the then-Victorian Football League (now trading as the Australian Football League) began in 1919 and the Richmond reserves recorded its first premiership in 1929. In the following 68 years, Richmond went on to win a further eight premierships in reserve-grade football. The Richmond reserves participated in the VFL/AFL reserves, then the Victorian State Football League up to the 1999 season, then in the new Victorian Football League competition in 2000.
In 2001, the Richmond reserves team was dissolved and the club entered a reserves affiliation with the Coburg Football Club in the VFL, using the latter as a feeder team. This arrangement lasted from 2001 until 2013.
Richmond ended the affiliation at the end of 2013, seeking to re-establish a more direct developmental structure by operating a stand-alone reserves team. The reformed Richmond (VFL) reserves team has played in the VFL since 2014, playing its home games at the Punt Road Oval, with many staged as curtain raisers to the club’s senior home and away games at the nearby Melbourne Cricket Ground. The team is made up of a combination of senior listed AFL players, rookie listed players and VFL exclusive contracted players. The VFL exclusive player list is below.Richmond Football Club (reserves)
Playing list Coaching staff
- 64 Thomas Silvestro
- 67 Brenton Credlin
- 69 Shaun Mannagh
- 74 Tyson Kruse
- 75 Lachlan McKenzie
- 76 Alex Harnett
- 78 Daniel Coffield
- 79 Billy Coates
- 80 Antony Forato
- 81 Danko Bzenic
- 86 Zak McCubbin
- 88 Max O’Sullivan
- Tom Hunter (forwards)
- Xavier Clarke (midfield)
- Ryan Ferguson (backline)
- Ben Waite (midfield stoppage)
- Marc Sophoulis (development)
- (c) Captain(s)
- (vc) Vice captain(s)
Updated: 15 March 2017
Reserves Premierships (9) Year Competition Opponent Score Venue 1929 VFL Reserves Geelong 12.8 (80) – 7.15 (57) MCG 1946 VFL Reserves Fitzroy 7.15 (57) – 7.14 (56) MCG 1954 VFL Reserves Melbourne 10.20 (80) – 4.9 (33) MCG 1955 VFL Reserves Footscray 13.18 (96) – 9.12 (66) MCG 1966 VFL Reserves Collingwood 14.11 (95) – 13.12 (90) MCG 1971 VFL Reserves Essendon 14.14 (98) – 8.18 (66) MCG 1973 VFL Reserves Geelong 17.18 (120) – 8.12 (60) MCG 1977 VFL Reserves Footscray 19.18 (132) – 10.15 (75) MCG 1997 AFL Reserves (VSFL) Hawthorn 17.12 (114) – 10.10 (70) MCG
Best and fairest award
Year Player Award name Notes 2014 Ross Young Guinane Medal VFL-only 2015 Matt Dea Guinane Medal AFL listed 2016 Adam Marcon Guinane Medal AFL listed 2017 Anthony Miles Guinane Medal AFL listed 2018 Anthony Miles Guinane Medal AFL listed Source:Tigerland Archive. Last updated 23 April, 2018
The Richmond Football Club has licenses for two women’s teams: one team in the AFL Women’s competition, which will enter the league in 2020; and one team in the VFL Women’s competition, which will be fielded for the first time in the 2018 VFLW season.
The program, including development pathways, is presently overseen by female football operations manager, Kate Sheahan.
Richmond has a thin history with women’s football, with the club connected to just two women’s matches in the 20th century. The first occurred in 1923, with a team dubbed the “Tigresses” playing off against the club’s junior men’s team (Cubs) as a fundraiser for a VFL team’s interstate trip. As was the case with women versus men charity matches in that era, the men’s team competed in the match in full fancy dress attire. In what was a non-serious affair the women’s side (9.14 (68)) defeated the scoreless cubs side. In August 1933 however, an all women’s match was held between teams representing the suburbs of Richmond and Carlton in a charity match. While the Carlton team was associated with the club itself, Richmond did not pair with the side that played under its moniker. The match, played at Carlton’s home Princes Park drew an estimated crowd of 10,000 and raised funds as part of a VFL bye-week carnival for the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
AFL Women’s team
In 2016, Richmond was among 13 AFL clubs to bid for licenses to compete in the soon to be formed AFL Women’s competition. The club was one of five to miss out, instead being awarded provisional licenses guaranteeing access in later expansions. The following year they would again bid, this time winning the right to entry into the competition’s fourth season, to be held in 2020.
VFL Women’s team
In October 2017, Richmond was granted a license to field a team in the 2018 VFL Women’s season. They are to be one of 13 clubs in the competition, including all 10 Victorian-based AFL clubs. The league operates in the winter season (separately to the AFLW competition), with players not contractually bound to play for the same clubs in both leagues.
Former men’s VFL assistant coach Tom Hunter was named the team’s head coach in November 2017. He is additionally responsible for overseeing the women’s arm of the club’s Next Generation Academy. Jess Kennedy was named the team’s inaugural captain in May 2018.
Richmond Football Club (VFLW) Playing list Coaching staff
- 51 Jess Kennedy (c)
- 52 Elise Hogan (vc)
- 53 Kate Dixon (vc)
- 54 Courtney Musico
- 55 Alana Woodward
- 56 Kate Dempsey
- 57 Trish Muller
- 58 Jacqueline Graham
- 59 Emma Gunn
- 60 Emma King
- 61 Alice Edmonds
- 62 Georgia Fisher
- 63 Evelyn Burry
- 64 Jenna Colwell
- 65 Courtney Wakefield
- 66 Emily Findlay
- 67 Natarsha Bamblett
- 68 Lisa Davie
- 69 Bethany Lynch
- 70 Lauren Tesoriero
- 71 Ella Ross
- 72 Jacinta Louttit
- 73 Justine Hocking
- 74 Vittoriana Tonin
- 75 Ellie George
- 76 Grace Bibby
- 77 Jess Gardner
- 78 Louise Stephenson
- 79 Louise Bieniara
- 80 Nuala Clarke
- 81 Niamh Clarke
- 82 Kirra Grimes
- 83 Amelia Barden
- 87 Jessica Provan
- 88 Grace Egan
- 89 Sophie Damon
- Tom Hunter
- Shaun Smith
- Paul Griffiths
- (c) Captain(s)
- (vc) Vice captain(s)
Updated: 5 May 2018
Best and fairest award
Year Player Award name Notes 2018 Jess Kennedy Best and Fairest – Last updated 27 August 2018
- List of Richmond Football Club seasons
- List of Richmond Football Club players
- List of Richmond Football Club coaches
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