Vale Tommy

There are many who will pause to remember the “good old days” with the news of the passing of Tommy Hafey.

Tommy just loved footy.

Two things should be “retired” in memoriam…

The Adidas t-shirt and the letter “g.”

No finessin’!


  1. cowshedend says

    Throw in the Patra orange juice, Pelaco shirts,Ballantyne Cheese and the Terence Marini haircut

  2. Stainless says

    I reckon the coach of your team when you first follow them becomes the archetypal coach for the rest of your life. Tommy is mine.

  3. Stainless,I had a little smile when the TV obits mentioned Tom’s retirement in 1988 – I reckon tomorrow’s the first day he’s not been up for a coaching job!
    Despite 4 VFL clubs, Tommy’s always Richmond (and a bit Shep)

  4. aussie80s says

    Another of my childhood heroes from the 70’s. I didn’t care what club they came from, they were all heroes. Jack Dyer, Bob Davis, Darrell Baldock. If they had a revered name in football I was in awe. I remember getting Geoff Leek’s autograph at VFL Park one day in the 80’s, not often a Hawthorn fan got an Essendon signature.

    I have footage of Tom Hafey playing for Shepparton in 1962 which I gave to The Local Footy Show to air on C31 a couple of years ago.

    They should create a bay swim, similar to Pier To Pub style, and name it the Tom Hafey Classic.

  5. Dr Rocket says

    There was a lot of Shepp in Tommy – he loved his time at the Maroons.

    The three Shepp premiership team photos he coached were up on the wall – along with the four Richmond ones – in his prized billiard room at his house in Clovelly when I went over for dinner back when he was coaching the Swans.

    He told me that Shepp president Jack Edwards would “buy and sell” any VFL club president he had ever worked under.

    We had a lot of fun recalling the feats of his Shepp boys – Redda Noonan, Dessie Brisbane, Colin McCarten, Tony Zappia et al.

    As a young boy from Kyabram I had suffered the ignominy of Tommy’s teams beating Ky in three successive grand finals, 1963-65.

    The Albion pub used to hang an effigy of Tommy from the top verandah every year. Alas, to no avail even with Dickie Clay and Rossie Dillon we couldn’t beat Shepp

  6. Dr Rocket, what ever happened to Ross Dillon ?


  7. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Ross Dillon played in , Norwood 1975 Premiership side ( came 3rd I think in the ,
    Magarey medal ) playing coach of , Nwds res, Premiership side in , 78 and has been in the , Newsagency and book etc business for a considerable time currently has ,
    Dillons book shop on the , Parade in , Sa and is involved in the , Norwood foundation set up to help ex players with various problems .

  8. Ta Malcolm.

    Getting back to Tommy, as a youngster the Richmond side of the early 1970’s hold a special place in my memory. I’m too young to recall 67 & 69, but 73, 74, are clear in my recollection, similarly their upset defeat in 72. Hart, Bartlett, Walsh, Clay, Sproule, Balme, McLean, Richardson, Stewart, the list of house hold names is almost endless. They were a tough, skilled side, and in my memories i rate them the best i’ve seen. That is not to diminsh the great Hawthorn sides of the 80’s , or Brisbane or Geelong in the current century, but the Richmond teams Tommy coached hold a very special place for me. Vale Tommy.


  9. matt watson says

    I think Collingwood should do more to recognise Tommy Hafey’s contribution in the seventies and eighties.
    He coached them into five grand finals for one draw and four losses.
    On each occasion the Magpies were underdogs.
    He presided over a great era at Victoria Park. Such a shame he didn’t win a premiership there.
    It is fair that he is remembered as a Richmond man, but his influence was greater than that.

  10. DBalassone says

    Matt, I agree with you. To quote Stainless above ” I reckon the coach of your team when you first follow them becomes the archetypal coach for the rest of your life”. Tommy was mine as well. Tommy Hafey WAS Collingwood back in those days. To a 7-year old Magpie, the 4 Richmond flags 67-74 were the stuff of another lifetime – Hafey seemed to breathe black and white. I remember after he was sacked in mid-82 (player revolt let by P.Moore from memory), when he returned to Vic Park for the first time in Round 2 as Geelong coach, the usually hostile Magpie faithful gave him a standing ovation as he walked across the ground to the coaches box. They loved him. Hafey shed a tear.

  11. aussie80s says

    I have uploaded some footage of Shepparton v Kyabram from 1962 onto YouTube in case anyone is interested,, it includes an interview with Tom Hafey after the game.

  12. “There’s nothin’ as tiger-ish as a bloody tiger.”

  13. Shed a tear in Jakarta for Tommy. Tommy was a great coach, but he was a far better man. Thanks for inspiring so many kids with health, fitness and a simple message of if you dedicate yourself, anything is possible (even for Back pocket Plumbers).

  14. Aussie80s,
    Thanks for posting that footage.

    My Dad was playing in that game (Big Frankie Peck, as the commentator referred to him).

    We sat down last night and watched it together. I was a great thrill for him and me. He played lots of footy for Shep and for Numurkah but had never seen any footage himself playing. I think he was pretty chuffed that it was one of his good games.

    He reckons the date is wrong though. He played in a premiership at Uni Blues in 1962, so it couldn’t have been that year. He thinks it is 1965 (that last Tommy’s three premierships with Shep).

    Thanks again. I’d love to know how you got your hands on the footage.

  15. Dr Rocket says

    Thanks Aussie 80 for the you tube clip.
    Terrific stuff!

    However I think you may have the year wrong…
    it can’t be 1962 because Rossie Dillon would have been only 15!.
    Also Mac Harness did not come to teach in Ky until 1963…

    Tony Bull was capt-coach in 1962 – no sign of him.
    Charlie Stewart is coach and interviewed after the match with Tommy.
    Charlie took over as coach in 1964 after winning the Morison medal in 1964.
    I played under Charlie at Stanhope in the early 70s.

    I took Charlie to a game in Sydney once when Tommy was coaching the Swans.
    We went into the rooms before the game and Tommy greeted Charlie like a long lost friend – even though Ky and Shepp were bitter rivals in this period.

    I reckon the year is 1964 – and I was probably at the game!

    Really, really enjoyed the clip – thanks for sharing it with us.

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