One-Eyed Footy Fans: Bushy, the Lunatic Tiger

I have a confession to make; I used to actually like Richmond FC.

Close family friend David Palm played for the Tigers and I used to do some of the Christmas training running with David at Victor Harbor. That sand running is something I will never forget.

I met Dale Weightman and Mark Lee through David. The General (Mark Lee) is still as imposing a bloke I have stood next to in a pub and I would have been quite happy to capture some of the female attention drawn to Lee!

As a Norwood supporter we then had the Neil Balme era with also Craig Balme and Peter Laughlin playing in premierships for the ‘Legs’, having come from Punt Road, so there was some affinity with the Tigers.

On arriving at Pembroke Old Scholars CC to coach cricket, I met ‘Bushy’ for the first time. He has turned out to be the most one-eye eyed footy follower I have met!

A Tiger fan through and through, some of the gems he has uttered are; Tyrone Vickery is a gun (not even Ty’s Mum is that silly) and Troy Chaplin will be an All-Australian (the worst player under pressure I have ever seen).

Bushy, in his hero worshipping of Brett Deledio still refuses to acknowledge that Nick Duigan played on him as a defensive forward kicking 4 in the famous 2013 elimination final. Now, this has been acknowledged by both coaches, AFL Champion Data stats and from Duigs himself; “from the 13-minute mark of the first quarter Malcolm.” Hell people have been convicted for murder on less evidence.

Bushy struggles with match ups, structures etc of the modern game, but at least he is not on his Pat Malone there.

Bushy has also claimed the premiership window is well and truly open at Tigerland and that they were a top four side in 2015. Bushy at least has a heart of gold, having recently done volunteer work in Kenya – and on more than one occasion – as a good mate of his has revealed to me.

“Rulebook, why do you worry about it? We all know Bushy has no idea, just ignore him,” I hear you ask. Bushy breaks the golden rule. Though he can give it – basically bagging just about every other side and player in the competition, but boy, does the dummy get spat when inevitably the Tigers crumble, and he can’t take any one giving it back.

I reckon its fine to be one-eyed, but don’t try and claim to be a expert on all things footy.

I concur with JTH that the Footy Almanac is – in general – ‘the intellectual footy follower.’

I look forward to other people’s thoughts on one-eyed followers, and hopefully folks will comment with other
‘Bushy’ pearls of wisdom!


  1. Tony Tea says

    I also know a one-eyed “Bushy” who barracks for Richmond.

  2. Dave Brown says

    Hard to believe you managed to fit a sledge on Chaplin into this one, Rulebook….

    Makes me think of the Sturt cheer squad tragics who cut up rough about the umpiring in the ’78 grand final every time they lose to us.

  3. Jamie Mason says

    youve obviously never been to an AFC game as an opposition supporter… Now that’s the definition of “one eyed” support. Time for a look in your own backyard Rulebook.

  4. Cheryl Critchley says

    Bushy clearly hasn’t seen Richmond play this year! Until some hard truths are spoken at Tigerland we are destined to keep disappointing. I also love my club but we need to develop a harder, tougher and better skilled playing group that doesn’t fall in a hole whenever they are favourites or have pressure applied.

  5. E.regnans says

    Good one OBP,
    We can be blind to it happening for our own team, as J Mason points out. But following Collingwood, you’d have to be deaf and dumb as well (cue set-up for jokes) to miss the one-eyed rants. Every week.
    I tend to avoid eye contact with these types. Just move quietly away.
    Though the odd call from the crowd can be funny. On Friday at Carlton v Collingwood, a one eyed blue was frothing at the mouth coming up to half time. The crowd was pretty quiet. But he’d been getting stuck in. There was a whistle & this bloke boomed: “ohhhhh, COME ON UMP!! NOT YOU, TOO!!”

  6. Mase is spot on….try going to a Richmond V Adelaide game in the city of churches in a yellow and black scarf and see how you get on. Without doubt some of the most clueless observations made by some one eyed crows fans. If i had a dollar for every time i heard a crow fan sledge Richo then i could have retired years ago. He averaged over 2.5 goals per game over his career and kicked the most goals at the G – all done in a very ordinary side.

    The current classic is Dusty Martin – yes he doesnt look like an Adelaide College boy, and you hear alot about his lack of ability because of his haircut and tatoos! My favourite part of the whole 2014 season was seeing Dusty keep his feet, feign a defendere and duly slot the clincher against the crows when a finals spot was up for grabs. Apparently it was still the umpires fault that he won the game for us!

    Reckon you can safely say that every team has one-eyed supporters, but also some are more knowledgeable about the game than others. Cheryl is on the money too, we need to harden up and start some sustained performances rather than shrink away when the focus is on.

  7. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks folks while I find some 1 eyed barracking at games frustrating ( I can be accused of this ) it’s away from the emotion of the game at the time that I hate .
    Supporters such as Bushy with just blind stupidity I find frustrating and having the Fonzy bit incapable of saying the word wrong . Cheryl the Richmond caption you put on facebook of your wedding anniversary photo was perfect good fun one eyed barracking . Dave correct a lot of Sturt supporters have never recovered from 78 .

  8. All Richmond supporters I know are extremely passionate and a tad one eyed. I hope for their sake their time comes soon as they have suffered for long enough.

  9. Damian Woodards says

    I think that they have stuck with Hardwick to enable stability. He hasn’t changed things such as Hinkley has. The 1-Punchers as I call them now should be relegated to the VFL to try and win a Premeirship there, that’s where they one their last in 1980. As well they have only 4 more seasons to win one and the 50 year rule applies like it did with South Melb. 1933 then 1982 relocated to Sydney. Fitzroy 1944 last flag 1996 merged with Brisbane.

  10. Hardman says

    Its a case of blind faith versus reality. Its easy to see sense from the outside, but some people can only support their team with blind, all-conquering passion! All clubs have passionate one-eyed supporters, that we all shake our heads about. Without these supporters some clubs would not survive, as they sit through thick and thin, wet winter after wet winter, yet blindly continue the faith that their team will one day hold the coveted trophy aloft. How would you like to be a Bulldogs or Saints supporter, with one premiership between them in the past 50 years?
    It is these supporters that the rest of us can compare our level of support to, and deduce whether or not that we are not totally insane for following this club. They give us a baseline for blind dedication….. aka my father’s aunt who would beat anyone with her brolly, should they utter a bad word about Jack Dyer in the early ’40s. As much as he was a loved player for Tigers supporters, he would have been hated by most opposing fans. My father stopped going to the footy with his aunt, due to the number of fights he was being drawn into for defending her!

  11. It takes all kinds Book – live and let live. Enjoyable.

  12. Quite simply, the list isn’t good enough and as a team, they don’t work hard enough.
    The push up King and Dusty Martin need to introduce some of their sooks to the underworld. Jack Riewoldt the number 1 culprit.
    [The second part of this comment has been removed on advice from our legal department.]

  13. Campbell says

    Richmond just aren’t good enough, they’ll finish in their favoured position at 9th again this season

  14. Fear [of the awful, unacceptable truth!] masquerading as loyalty, Malcolm.

    Crows supporters tend (a terrible generalisation, I accept) to represent the worst Adelaide has to offer of this parochialism / blind fanaticism grounded in fear.

    I wonder how we’d get along without the tribalism & sense of belonging footy brings? I reckon for one thing I’d be getting more work (as a criminal lawyer) than I could poke a stick at.

  15. Malcolm- interesting idea to consider.

    Surely, there’s a bit of Bushy in all of us. This type of bias is, in part, what drives this website, and much of the conversation we love about footy and sport.

    Who really wants dispassionate and balanced opinion? Bah. I can get this from any number of media pundits.

    Of course, I imagine that he’d drive you mad in a minute, but I’d rather talk with the Bushies of this world than a plodding politician of the footy world.

    At least he’d say something memorable.

  16. Luke Reynolds says

    Reminds me of a Geelong supporter at my cricket club. Made the mistake of taking him to a Collingwood v Geelong game a few years back, sitting amongst an area full of Magpie members, he was obnoxious, every umpiring decision was wrong and he got into several arguments with other spectators. Thankfully, Collingwood won.
    Very entertaining read Malcolm.

  17. The world needs more Bushys. Good on him.

  18. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks folks Raj v soft . Damian maths a tad out,2030 by that rule mind you a distinct possibility.Hardman good balanced comment.Halfwoman amusing just a fraction overboard. Campbell might be a bit lower than 9th. Daddsy interesting point yes re some people I totally agree with you on the fear point, re crows and power I no as many who are as bad as each other, your last point you could write a article about that would be fascinating. Mickey agreed there is some bias in all of us personally not a fan of another planet bias agreed tho, Bushy’s comments are quite often memorable and do provide a lot of laughter. Luke does that person now play the odd game for Pembroke and scare the opposition ? Dips heaven help us re more,Bushy’s !

  19. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Daddsy, on your behalf, I should clarify that you practice criminal law, rather than being a criminal and a lawyer.

  20. Appreciate that, thanks Swish

  21. Lovely Lisa says

    There’s a lot of people out there with only one eye, me thinks!

  22. Dan Hansen says

    Being a South Australian living outside South Australia for 25 years all I can say is that when it comes to one eyed parochialism South Australians in general take the cake. The paranoia coming out of SA even has some of the people in NSW amused.

  23. Dan Hansen says

    On another thought, one of the funniest one eyed supporters I’ve ever met was a Port supporter. One day at the SCG I was sitting next to a lovely little old dear who’s bias was astonishing. I can’t remember all the silly things she said but she produced one memorable pearler. She told me that Michael Pettigrew would win the Brownlow. Like meeting a political zealot, a Grateful Dead fan or a member of the Flat Earth Society I simply agreed and went to the standing room only area.

    Michael Pettigrew’s career was so cruelly culled by injury.

  24. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Great pick up Swish and amusing the line will be used against , Daddsy.thank you and agreed,Lovely Lisa from China.Danny Pettigrew to win the Brownlow on a par with
    Chaplin to be all aust ? Thanks folks

  25. Shano Anthony says

    So true. Lol. I love my tigers but I truly hope I am unbiased. I actually think I am. Its just a pity so many fans blindly follow their club and overlook the bleeding obvious deficiencies. Unfortunately our boys and club have a LONG way to go.

  26. Michael van Halen says

    Malcolm, sit with Connie in the western stand for a match at the Parade. Then you will know one eyed. BTW, she is a lovely lady that can piss off other supporters and is probably has the longest membership of any football club of any code in the world, having become a member of the ‘Legs in 1925.

  27. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Michael Connie is a lovely lady and is entertaining to say the least in a game involving our beloved redlegs but once the siren goes,Connie comes back to planet earth and normality unlike,Bushy and Connie is a mild in front re footy knowledge

  28. Go tigers I will love them until the day I die. I am very fortunate with two family members playing at the top level (Jonathan Brown & Marty Gleeson) this is something rule book is very jealous of.

  29. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Most amusing Bushy

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