6 things you need to know about the Richmond Football Club

The Royal Hotel, where Richmond FC made it official in 1885. Picture: Public domain, Wikimedia Commons

1. They were briefly known as the Wasps.

2. Although it has no continuous link with the current club, the original Richmond club was founded and captained by Tom Wills in 1860. Wills is the inventor of the modern game, so Richmond fans can actually say they were into footy before anyone else was, and it would be true. (It still took them 60 years to win a premiership.)

3. 18 years previously, the Tigers missed out on three consecutive grand final wins in an unusual three-year stretch. In 1902, it won the VFA without playing in a grand final because there wasn’t one – minor premier was awarded the flag. Richmond won it when Port Melbourne lost its last game to Williamstown. The VFA introduced a grand final the following year, but Richmond lost it after winning the minor premiership. And in 1904, Richmond made the grand final but refused to play in it because they thought the umpire was too dodgy.

4. Yes, the Tigers are – to their non-fans – hilariously unlucky. Jack Titus still holds the club’s record for playing in the most grand finals without a win (6). And when they went into the 1972 grand final against Carlton as the red-hot favourite, Richmond put on the-then record highest score in a grand final of 22.18 (150). But were still beaten by the new record high score of 28.9 (177).

Bondy eventually backed a winner. Picture: Getty Images

5. Along with not playing grand finals because they didn’t like the umpire, other things Richmond invented are sacking players for using bad language, the drop punt used in rugby union, rugby leage and American football and women as CEOs of AFL clubs.

6. They briefly appointed Alan Bond as president in 1986. As a result, the Tigers were nearly listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and shifted to Brisbane. At the time, things were so bad at the club it nearly lost its 1973 and 1974 premierships cups to debt collectors.

BONUS ITEM: In the 80s, Michael Roach was such a star high-flyer that World of Sport had to feature him three times in a single Mark of the Day segment:

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