The Tigers of old…

How's this for a bunch of Richmond diehards?

Danika Elliott


By Cheryl Critchley

HOW’S this for a bunch of Richmond diehards? These dedicated Tigers boast 835 years between them, almost 500 years of membership and 73 premierships in their combined lifetimes. Ranging in age from eight weeks to 86, the feisty group of grannies and a few ring-ins have met monthly for about a year, watching their team’s fortunes slowly turn around – sort of.

The oldest is Lil Wood, whose son Bryan played in four Grand Finals with Richmond and won three flags (1973, 1974, 1980) before moving to Essendon. Another stalwart, Margaret Scott, grew up in Richmond and bought her first home in Chestnut St from Tom Hafey’s dad. “He went to school with my father,” she said.

Ms Scott also used to go to the footy with Dick Schwab, father of the late Alan and grandfather of Brendan and Cameron.”We’ve had functions where we’ve all drunk out of the premiership cup,” she said.

The group literally takes over their regular Forest Hill haunt, Café Talea, which always has a Richmond scarf on show courtesy of owner Cameron Lucas. Last week the girls went BYO to celebrate the win over St Kilda. Eight week old Danika Elliott, who has been to the footy with mum Simone Brooks, 29, also got in on the act in her cute Tiger jump suit.

The group is part of Alice Will’s Richmond Supporters Group, which Alice formed almost 50 years ago. A club legend, Alice also helped a bunch of Richmond teenagers start the Official Richmond Cheer Squad a few years earlier. It was one of the league’s first official squads and still produces the best banners in the AFL.

At 92, Alice doesn’t get to games but she is there in spirit whenever the Tiger grannies meet, reminiscing about the glory days and looking forward to their team becoming a force again. No matter how bad things get, they never give up.

Most of the girls were out in force when Richmond took on Fremantle at the MCG on Saturday. They left deflated, after a tight fought contest which saw Freo handle the wet much better. It was disappointing but not as bad as recent years when their team didn’t always see the game out.

As for the Tigers’ chances this year, these seasoned campaigners are trying to keep a lid on it. But the thought of finals action after 11 years couldn’t be contained at last week’s lunch, with at least one rowdy rendition of the club theme song.

“We’ve had a lot of fun with them this year, it doesn’t matter (if we make the finals), Ms Scott said. “I’m satisfied with them.” Added Tossie Ford, 79, “I think now they are determined, the players are determined and they’re following the game plan.”


  1. Those 73 premierships are very dangerous ground you are treading Cheryl.

    If Eddie reads it he will want the same amount for Pies supporters and on his usual ‘we support and vote’ arguement is also likely to demand that they be officially recorded. The two flags they have won in the last sixty years will explode out by a factor of several hundred thousand.

    (Where do you get those little tiger suits?)

  2. Cheryl Critchley says

    Not sure where the suit is from but I wouldn’t mind one either on those cold wet days like last Saturday!

  3. Haje Halabi says

    bloody great- good on you ladies and cheryl- I am tipping I wont be a grandfather til we get our next flag and I am hoping these ladies will continue to wave their scarves for many a year….

  4. Lovely piece Cheryl, they’re some impressive numbers! My late nana wouldn’t have been out of place, grew up in Richmond, ended up in Forest Hill, to me, Tiger territory.

    And Phantom, I believe Danika borrowed the Tiger suit of Push up King…it’s in his contract that whenever he’s suspended he fills the match day mascot role.

  5. Simone Brooks says

    The tiger suit was from Best and Less :)

    We look out for anything with tigers on it !!!

    Go Tigers.

  6. Dear Cheryl, am looking forward to meeting all the Tiger fans this Friday at the lunch. I’m bringing lots of camera action as well. See you there


  7. Cheryl
    Supporters like this are absolutely inspiring.

    I’ll be there in spirit but sadly will be working on Friday. (Note to Almanac Admin – the theory of a long Friday lunch is great but doesn’t work for all of us. Perhaps consider some other times for these functions?)

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