The first meeting of Richmond former players took place on 2 August 1959 at the Richmond Football Club.
Ray Dunn, then the President of Richmond, was concerned that the culture and traditions of the Club were being lost due to the lack of involvement of former players and officials. Ray contacted Jack Baggott to discuss the matter and Jack wrote to the past players and officials, inviting them to a meeting on a Sunday morning in the Board Room of Richmond Football Club. About 70 people attended.
It was moved that an association be formed and Jack Baggott was elected the inaugural President with a committee and office bearers also elected. Ray Dunn volunteered to write the constitution and gave a donation of 20 pounds to open a bank account.
Since that first year, the former players has had five outstanding presidents: Jack Baggott, Keith Cook, Des Martin, Tom Allen and Mike Perry. Peter Williams is our current President, appointed in 2015.
Some of the other wonderful contributors to the association’s committee have included Havel Rowe, Ron Reiffel, Bill Meaklim, Syd Dockendorf, Kevin Gleeson, Pat Phillips and Bruce Tempany.
In the early years, the former players would hold four or five meetings each year and they started a range of valuable social activities and functions. Some of these social activities include:
About three or four of these each year were held as a major fund raiser and were attended by members and supporters
The former players association held a ‘Ladies Night’ once a year to thank wives and girlfriends for their understanding and tolerance at the absence of their men during the year due to committee duties. Up to 200 people used to regularly attend this function with the format being a Dinner Dance and live band.
An annual consultation was established that became an important fund raising activity and provided a regular predictable income each year.
This was usually supported by providing bowls and golf teams, taking tables at other Club’s dinner dances.
An annual donation of $ 500 was donated to the home as part of the former player’s community involvement.
An annual donation of $ 1,000 was made to the Richmond Football Club as a show of support to the Tigers.
The former players used to run many testimonials for retiring premiership players and usually took the form of a pleasant Sunday morning. Supporters also attended and the money raised (usually about $ 1,000) was donated to the player.
Three newsletters were usually posted each year.
The former players used to make arrangements for members with a disability to be picked up from their homes and taken to a game and then returned home when they requested it.
At no cost, speakers were provided to a range of interested groups when requested.
Each December a children’s party was held at the Richmond Punt Rd oval. This is still one of the former player’s well known events and continues to this day.
A former player’s member could join this scheme by adding 10 shillings to his membership. On the member’s death, 25 pounds was given immediately to assist with any financial problems. By 2009 values, this may not appear to be much money, but in 1960 it proved to be a godsend to some of the members.
This award was initiated in the very early years of the former players association. The aim was to provide assistance to an outstanding schoolboy footballer at the Club. At the time, the Bursary was 100 pounds, which was a lot of money in the 1960’s. The award continued right until the late 1990’s when it was abolished because it was considered to breach the AFL salary cap (total player payments scheme).
The year 1986 became a period of one of the most defining times in the former players’ history as well as that of the Richmond Football Club. An opportunity arose to possibly relocate the mighty Richmond Football Club interstate and to leave its famous home.
Supported by a committed group of volunteers, the RFC Museum opens to the public on Mondays from 10am – 3pm and on days when when Richmond plays home games at the MCG for 2 hours prior to the start of the game. An entry fee of $5 applies for adults.