The Hafey Years


the hafey yearsWhat an amazing function! KB at his scintillating best. Honestly, if you haven’t been to a function with KB as MC you have seriously missed out and should make attendance at the next one he hosts an absolute MUST!

The theme of course resonated with the Tommy Hafey Club as we celebrated 10 years and on this occasion, our 33rd official luncheon function. The Hafey Years, a golden era for the Richmond Football Club, which saw the Tigers, perennial cellar dwellers prior to 1966, play finals 8 times for 4 premierships in a remarkable 11 years, and Tommy enjoy an almost 70% winning record in the 248 games he coached.

The function traced the period in four stages with a panel of guests relating their experiences and memories of those heady days:

  1. The period 1963-67 saw a new dynamic take hold at Punt Road where the foundations for sustained success were laid and the first dividend paid with the 1967 premiership; panellists Les Flintoff (recruiting), Barry Stanton (fitness and conditioning), Ian Wilson (administration) and Tommy (coaching) were questioned at length by KB about this crucial formative period, culminating in the ’67 flag;
  2. 1968-69 saw a premiership hang-over in ’68 followed by a second premiership in ’69; panellists Michael Green (premiership ruckman), Roger Dean (captain) and Tommy (coach) recalled the barnstorming finish to season ’69 and the great grand final victory over Carlton;
  3. 1970-73 was a turbulent period during which the Tigers established the “us” versus ‘them” mantra and developed a ruthless reputation for being the bully boys of the competition; panellists Ricky McLean, Robbie McGhie and Tommy re-lived the bitter defeat in ’72 and the marvellous revenge of ’73, the first of the back-to-back flags;
  4. 1974-76 saw another premiership, a slip down the ladder and Tommy resign at the end of the ’76 season; panellists Barry Richardson, Francis Bourke and Tommy talked candidly about this period and the enduring affection for Tommy from his players.

As if this wasn’t enough, the function was addressed by RFC CEO Brendon Gale, RFC Development Coach Greg Mellor, witnessed the official launch of great Tiger supporter Peter Nixon’s book, The Peter Nixon Story, featured interviews with THC sponsored player Alex Rance, with father and son Kevin and Steven Morris, a special segment devoted to THC main sponsor The Outdoor Furniture Specialists, and the auctioning of two magnificent items, one a 2 metre high original oil painting of Richo and Roachy soaring high for their famous marks with the Jack Dyer stand in the background, the other a boxed set of replica premiership cups for ’67, ’69, ’73 & ’74 (which sold for $2,200). The painting sold for $15,000 (purchased by a syndicate of generous supporters[1]) and was immediately donated back to the RFC where discussions are continuing as to where it will be permanently hung. Limited edition prints of the original painting are available for $395 (contact Bruce Smith on 0412 596 883).

KB held the audience of some 250 attendees in raptures throughout a memorable day which was recorded on DVD for posterity. (Copies of which can also be obtained by contacting Bruce Smith for a fee of $30 including postage).

And how good is it to be back at Punt Road in the Maurice Rioli room at the new ME Bank facility? It’s just fabulous to be “home” at Punt Road and to have access to the bar at the conclusion of formal proceedings provides a great opportunity to catch up with friends and colleagues and to savour the day in full.



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