Tommy Hafey
1931 - 2014

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Tommy's Legacy Function Report

tommys legacy

Tommy Hafey Club “Tommy’s” Legacy lunch Friday 15th July 2016.

If you think what you’re about to read is something you’ve already read you’re correct, this is exactly what we wrote after the April “Captain’s Call” lunch ……

“We often get asked, ‘how do you keep coming up with such great themes’? But in the Maurice Rioli room on 15th July, we can confidently say “we did it YET again”!

Any theme involving our inaugural patron Tommy is bound to be popular but this one, where we celebrated Tommy’s enduring legacy, was one out of the box. In 2005, we honoured Tommy’s life in football with a record attendance at the Grand Hyatt. It was a big, spectacular show with football celebrities extoling Tommy’s virtues.

This function embraced players Tommy coached at the four VFL/AFL Clubs, players who Tommy influenced in both football and life. Rex Hunt is passionate about the positive influence Tommy had on his life so he made an ideal master of ceremonies. Peter Hafey, brother and runner for Tommy at three Clubs, was instrumental in attracting some of the biggest names in football to the function including Brownlow medallists Greg Williams and Peter Moore, the Macedonian marvel Peter Daicos, premiership coach Choco Williams, the irrepressible Warwick Capper, our very own Robbie McGhie and many others from the Tigers, Swans, Magpies and Cats.

All players spoke of Tommy’s inspirational leadership, friendship and loyalty and especially of the close “family” environment he and Maureen created at every Club. Little wonder he achieved such an amazing coaching record. The Magpie players, including Ian Cooper, to a man expressed their regret that in five grand finals they could not deliver one premiership for Tommy. It still irks them to this day. The Geelong boys, Mark Yeates, Andrew Bews, Greg Williams and Darren Flanigan all spoke glowingly of the positive impact Tommy had on themselves as players and people, and the Club. The Swans, Warwick and Greg Williams, were equally effusive about Tommy’s impact in Sydney, an example of which was that in three successive rounds in 1987, the Swans kicked more than 30 goals a match and attracted crowds of 40,000+ to the SCG.

A cameo appearance by Dr. Geoffry Edelsten reinforced the sheer power of Tommy’s presence in the Sydney market and what a pivotal role he played in the beginning of what is now a flourishing national competition.

Mark “Choco” Williams prepared a special presentation to mark his appreciation of what Tommy had done for him and how his contribution extended beyond the four league Clubs to junior Clubs, schools and country football.

The Hafey family was well represented by three generations with our patron Maureen leading the way. KB, Francis Bourke, Bryan Wood, Eric Leech, Ron Branton and special Tiger guests Gerald Betts and Stephen Roach were all present to lend their appreciation of Tommy’s legacy.

The function climaxed with visual presentations of Mike Brady singing his song “Tommy” and poet Chris Driscoll’s deeply moving rendition of his poem, “Hafey’s Comet”.

The function ended with Tommy’s enduring legacy: “if it is to be, it is up to me”.

Yet again it proved the point, don’t miss a THC function or you’ll miss something special.


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