Richmond is inviting every player who played in a premiership team under Tommy Hafey to Saturday’s game against Melbourne, where they are expected to form a guard of honour.
The Tigers are in the process of tracking down the 42 surviving players who played in the 1967, 1969, 1973 and 1974 flags that were coached by Hafey, and will invite them to attend the president’s lunch, hosted by president Peggy O’Neal.
The legacy of Tommy Hafey
Chief sports columnist Greg Baum reflects on the amazing life of Tom Hafey, a man who "loved football, and football loved him back."
It is expected the club will invite those premiership players to form a guard of honour, though the details of Richmond’s Hafey tribute at the MCG are still being finalised.
Hafey coached a total of 45 players to those four flags, with a number of them playing in multiple flags – Kevin Bartlett, Francis Bourke, Royce Hart. Michael Green and Dick Clay were members of all four teams, while others, such as Kevin Sheedy and Barry Richardson, played in the latter three flags.
A number of the players live interstate, including Hart, who is in Tasmania, and Sydney-based Sheedy. Three players have died from the 1967 team – Fred Swift, Geoff Strang and Mike Patterson, who also coached the Tigers in the ’80s.
But all bar Strang have survived from the 1969 team, and every member of the 1973 and 1974 teams is alive.
Hafey, coach of the club's team of the century, coached the Tigers for 11 seasons – in which the Tigers won four flags, played in the 1972 grand final and preliminary finals in 1971 and 1975.
He finished at the end of 1976 and crossed to Collingwood.