Getting to grips with Melbourne sport

I first set foot in Australia in January 2013.

Growing up in England, watching Neighbours, I was pretty certain it was sunny here every day.

But then I moved to Melbourne and that bubble burst.

But bada-boom, this city is more than its sunshine.

The stand-out sparkler here, sport.


At first, I went along with it all. Soaking it all up. I was the ‘yes’ girl.

I got tickets to the tennis, I went GA to the footy and I got dressed up for Spring Carnival.

But amongst it all, I had questions.


Footy is a sport, that is as much about hands as it is feet.

The fella that catches the ball is always called Mark.

There’s a gazillion people on that huge field/pitch/oval wearing a rainbow of colours.

But perhaps the most important question is, WHO DO YOU GO FOR?


I soon learned I had one season to make this decision.

In Melbourne, you pick a Victorian team.

For me it was a difficult choice.

E.Regnans sits next to me at work. He says “Go for the Pies”. So I chose the Pies.

I soon hear of the rivalry between the Pies, and, well just about everyone else.

“Their supporters have no teeth”…”you’ll be getting a tattoo on yer boobs then?” and so on.

I asked, “who does nobody hate?”

The reply from many…TIGERS.


So I did some research.

(a) Nobody hates Richmond Tigers
(b) They have the best song
(c) They are Tigers, that’s a pretty ace animal (that could take on a magpie any day of the week)
(d) They wear yellow on their shirt/jumper/Guernsey like a Miss World sash. And I respect that
(e) I met Ty Vickery (unknowingly) in Richmond, and asked him to take a photo of me and my girlfriends (he of course looked bemused and took a selfie instead. Righteo)

So I picked. Tigers it is. And off to the MCG I go with my (brand new) best mates to watch Richmond v Carlton. I pick up a “RE-CORD!!” and Cochin is on the front. Boom, I know two of them now.

Tigers won. I was sold. I was LEARNING that song.


But hang on, next minute the rugby is on, and we’re calling it ‘Footy’.

You’ve lost me there.

English football didn’t even get a look in. It’s been renamed soccer.

You’ve lost me there too.


But I’m finding my way.

And loving it all.

I’ll be there, cheering Tigers to another finals next year.



About Charlotte

Having a go


  1. (a) I do. A lot.

  2. Andrew Fithall says

    Enjoyed your contribution Charlotte.

    Did you realise that by changing your allegiance from Collingwood you are the first person in the known universe to have done so. Until now, the concept of an “ex-Collingwood supporter” did not exist.


  3. Charlotte

    Welcome to Tigerland, the Almanac and Oz, in that order.

    Happy to have you with us, good choices all


  4. Wonderful Charlotte. Don’t listen to E. Regnans. He means well but…………………Very wise to stay away from that Collingwood mob.

    Good luck with the Tigers. I assume you are quite used to heartache and torture then? They’ll come good one day.

    Very perceptive that you’ve picked up Melbourne’s vibe early in the piece.

  5. Look at the positivity. No downtroddenness; no long-suffering here. “Another finals next year.”

  6. Hi Charlotte
    and welcome. Barracking for the Tigers requires hope. I am surprised it didn’t come up in your research as number 1. or (a)
    Love the first paragraph and your hope for the blue skies of the Neighbours set. Your bubble of hope and expectation surely burst in coming to Melbourne. Hopefully the tiger bubble of promise will remain inflated and deliver something..hopefully


  7. Thanks all for the generous comments and banter haha

  8. Hi Charlotte,
    Great to talk to you at the book launch.
    But when I told you that I hated Richmond, the look on your face was priceless !

  9. Harrumph. Enjoy Melbourne for the rest of your Australian residency Charlotte. Border security forces will detain you if you attempt to holiday in other states, or (even more foolishly) follow the Tigers interstate. It would be like the Pope taking his holidays in Belfast.
    As we Eagles often hum to ourselves about myopic bloody Victorians:
    “You can check out any time you like,
    But you can never leave”

  10. Dave Brown says

    Indeed, welcome Charlotte. Waiting for Rulebook to weigh in on (a) – that said they are the best run club in the AFL for mine (as long as you don’t factor recent premierships in, which I don’t)

  11. GO TIGES!

  12. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Hi Charlotte, we met briefly at the launch. I was the mumbly guy with his way less mumbly daughter.

    You were already fitting in then. Welcome again. Keep those shrewd observations coming. We’re a weird mob.

  13. Stephanie Holt says

    Lovely piece of writing!

  14. Hi Charlotte,

    Welcome to the Almanac.

    It is very interesting to read your story. I am not Australian or living in Australia. I am Japanese and live in Kyoto, Japan. Last year, I met a good Australian friend, Yvette in Sapporo in the north of Japan where I lived at the time. We discussed about footy and found we both supported St Kilda. Then she suggested me to contribute my writing on this great website.

    It is good to hear you have an AFL club to support. As a St Kilda supporter, it is a bit sad that you choose Richmond. But I respect your choice. Your club has a good player, Jack Riewoldt, the cousin of Nick Riewoldt, the St Kilda captain.

    You can find more what made me to support footy and become a St Kilda supporter here:

    Can’t you watch EPL in a pub in Melbourne? I like English football, but have less opportunity to watch because of my job. It is sad. When I lived in New Zealand, I went to a pub with my English colleagues who are passionate of football (soccer).

    Best Wishes


  15. Ahhh, Charlotte.

    We all make our way.
    Yours with the tigers will be a brilliant trip.
    Good on you there in the arena.

    Horses, water, drink.
    Go pies.

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