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    Saturday, November 29, 2008

    NAB Draft in a nutshell

    Richmond select 3 players in the 2008 NAB AFL Draft.

    Pick 8: Tyrone Vickery from Sandringham Dragons

    Pick 26: Jaydyn Post from Western Jets.

    Pick 58: Tom Hislop from Essendon FC

    Pick 70: Pass


    It is worth nothing that if Vickery does end up playing League Football , he will become only the 5th Richmond player whose surname begins with a 'V', out of 1,077 Richmond players.
    (George Valentine 1924-1926, Stan Vandersluys 1953, Royce Vardy 2000-2003, Daryl Vernon 1981, 1985)

    We have had a HISLOP play with us before, Gordon Hislop (1923-1924) and Max Hislop (1917-24, 1927).

    Wednesday, November 26, 2008

    Vale Mr Max Oppy

    Max Oppy, one of the club's great rovers, has passed away at the age of 84.
    He was one of the last remaining 1943 Richmond Premiership players.

    Oppy was born Wiliam Max, grew up in Maryborough and barracked for Essendon.
    The great Dick Reynolds was his cousin. In the 1943 Grand Final- Oppy was only 18 years ago, and given the job of tagging the Essendon champion.

    If I was given a job to do I would do it to the best of my ability. They talk about taggers or whatever today, virtually that was my job for the day. Didn’t matter where he went on the field, whether he went off the ball, I went to the back pocket. Didn’t matter where dick Reynolds went , it was to keep him out of the play, because at that time he was the match winning rover and probably the best rover of the league at that time. That was the job , to blanket him and keep him out of the game.
    Dick got about 6 stitches in his eyes but that was alright, he snuck into my fist.
    - interview with Rhett Bartlett in Aug 2004.

    Richmond won that day, and Oppy was applauded by spectators and the media for his role.
    The following year, the Tigers lost the 1944 Grand Final to Fitzroy.

    Oppy played 185 games for Richmond, became a Life Member, and was inducted into the Richmond Hall of Fame, on the same night his life long friend, Des Rowe, was inducted. That had met each other when they were 15 years old, when Oppy's Richmond locker was next to his.

    His last game of football was Rd 18 1954 vs Collingwood- he was chaired off the ground, and later admitted that it bought him to tears.

    He also captained Richmond twice, both times when Des Rowe was unavailable. Coincidentally, both times were against Collingwood, and both times Richmond won.
    'My record as captain is the best at Richmond, tell you now' - he told me. He is right- 100% strike rate.

    He also coached the club in 1956, replacing Alby Pannam. Oppy coached for just that one year, winning 6 of the 18 games.
    As a coach I think Ill forget about it. I always say I am one of the sacked coaches. As Jack Dyer said there’s only two types of coaches, the sacked ones and the ones that are going to get sacked.

    In later life, he excelled at golf, winning a club chapmionship, and representated Australia at a Sportsman Event in England, the day after the British Open.

    When I met him for our interview 4 years ago, he was living in Sorrento, in a small house , by himself.
    He had scrapbooks on the table, easily recalled his first game of football, and was unfazed by a heart attack he had suffered earlier in the year.
    After our interview he led me outside to my car, across the road was an old cemetery, no more than 30 metres from his house.
    'Look on the bright side Rhett', he said ' when I die, I don't have far to go'

    RIP Mr Oppy.

    - Rhett Bartlett

    Saturday, November 15, 2008

    Belated Condolences

    I have only recently received notification of the passing of several Richmond footballers during the 2008 season.
    So I feel it necessary to list them here with a short bio

    1. Mr Frank Hughes Jnr
    Frank, was the son of Richmond 1932 Premiership Coach 'Checker' Hughes.
    I was lucky enough to meet Frank Hughes in 2003, whereby our interview formed the entire basis of the 'Checker' Hughes chapter in my book RICHMOND FC: A Century of League Football.
    You can read Frank's story from page 58- 61

    He had a great understanding of the key role his father played in Richmond's history, and Frank himself, played for Richmond in 1944 for 3 games (and later Melbourne 1945 8 games).
    Frank accepted his the award for his father's induction into the Richmond Hall of Fame.

    He passed away 1 April 2008 at the age of 86 years old.

    2. Mr Peter Sherman

    Peter died on July 30th 2008 at the age of 83 years.

    I interviewed Peter on 27 October 2001 at his home in the Sth East Suburbs.
    Of the interview, only 1 paragraph made it into my Richmond publication- page 74, Peter's wonderful description of the physical specimen Dyer was, once stripped in the dressing rooms.

    Peter played for Richmond in 1947 for only 2 games. However was a member of Richmond's 1946 Reserves Premiership.
    I recall he had wonderful knowledge regarding the Australian Navy, and its role during World War 2.

    On a side note, he is the only person I have interviewed, who bought along his own tape recorder for the interview.
    His suggestions on how to prepare for an interview (based on his history when creating an oral history of the Navy), is something I am grateful to have learnt.

    Friday, November 7, 2008

    Richmond FC: 'The Tigers' Publication signed by KB!

    Available for purchase, the reprint of the Richmond Centenary Publication
    'Richmond FC- The Tigers- A Century of League Football'

    The first edition of this book has sold out, and as a result, a second edition has been printed (but not alot of copies!).
    This version includes updated player guernsey numbers at the back of the book.

    It will come personally signed with a message from the author (including any special dedication you want) and the signature of Richmond Immortal Kevin Bartlett

    A great gift idea for any football or Richmond supporter as we approach Christmas.

    This publication costs only $65 (which includes postage and handling anywhere in australia, as well as signed by the author.)

    You can purchase the book directly and securely by credit card through the Buy Now option below (via PayPal), or contact me for alternate payment methods at

    Your purchase is safe and secure and I will personally email you to confirm receipt of your payment.
    - Rhett Bartlett