My father Alan died 24 years ago this week.
This is a photo of my father in the player race of the Punt Road Oval with Hall of Fame Coach Tom Hafey.
The photo was taken in 1969 and it was Dad’s first full year at the Richmond Football Club. It is a beautiful photo, which I hadn’t seen until it was published in the RFC Centenary book in 2008.
Dad was 28 years of age at the time, and the previous year had moved to the Tigers as Secretary of the Club as the successor to Graeme Richmond, a legendary Tiger figure. Dad had been Assistant Secretary at St Kilda for a number of years, including their 1966 Premiership.
My earliest memory of the game is around this time and I can recall great happiness around our home when Richmond won the Premiership having scraped into the then final 4. It was my first year of primary school. Coincidentally, my Dad and I shared the same birthday. He would have turned 76 last year.
I spent most of my school holidays at the Punt Road Oval with friends from school or my local footy club, Essex Heights. I later spent six years at the club as General Manager, learning some of life’s great lessons when I took on a responsibility that was in many ways well beyond me. It was way back in 1988 and I was only 24 years of age. It was less than 20 years after this photo was taken.
The game has always surrounded me, and I feel honoured and blessed that I have been able to build my career, and many friendships, around it.
I love this image.
I love this game.
I miss my Dad
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