As a born and bred Melburnian (Melbournite?), it’s a given that I follow an AFL footy team.

As a little girl I was happily immersed in my world of pink, Barbie dolls, Cabbage Patch Kids and jazz ballet. Following a football team was not something I planned but I kinda knew I would. After all, dad loved the Tigers. Mum did too. There was no choice for the kids in this family but to be one-eyed yellow and black.

I was born in 1979, in the middle of a very successful era for the Richmond Football Club. The Tigers won the flag in 1980. Dad still talks about it. Time has shown us that this success is yet to be repeated. Sigh. We move on…

I’d go along to matches with dad and my brother Matt to grounds like Windy Hill where it was either dusty and hot or cold and wet.

Matt was kitted out in his Richmond jumper, footy Record in hand and was VERY excited – he was a good little player in VicKick (now Auskick) and couldn’t wait to see his idols run out onto the field. I wasn’t really sure what I was doing there.

The years went by and with each one I grew to like and understand the game more and more. My teenage years arrived and a healthy crush on Matthew Richardson helped notch up my attendance to Tigers games.

I’m now a Gold Richmond FC member and just love my footy. There’s been tremendous joy, times where I’ve lost my voice, tears and disbelief.

Just your typical footy fan

When Millie was born, I knew that she’d be a little Tiger.

She was gifted a black & yellow onesie with a sash, a beanie, a Richmond Tiger teddy and Richmond socks.

We dressed her up last September for Richmond’s first finals appearance since 2001.

Millie has a full yellow and black ensemble

Millie only had to wait a few weeks for her team to make the finals, while her mother had been cheering them on for more than 30 years and had only seen them compete in finals twice. I was hopeful for Millie’s sake that the game was the start of a new era of ongoing success for the Tigers. It was not to be. Sigh. We move on…

Following the Tigers means there will be plenty more days like this

Millie, I apologise in advance for making encouraging you to be a little Tiger. There will be wins – it’s not all bad – but there will be disappointment.

But every Tiger has its day and I hope that your mum, dad, uncle and Grandpa are by your side when the mighty Tiges prove they can be ‘strong and bold’ and win the premiership cup.

Did your family influence your choice of sports team?

5 Comments on Oh, you’re from Tigerland? I’m so sorry.

  1. I heard a cute story recently from a new mum in my mothers group. Her team was competing against hubbies team. Winning team would be the team that new mr baby would support. Mums team won ;-).

  2. Natalie, I remember that 1980 flag! You could hear Millie’s Great Grandpa screaming with joy two blocks away. Bailey is 14 & has left many a game at half time & every year Frank tells him “this is our year” . David Cloke was my crush the day, let’s hope we see those glory days again.

  3. Pretty much my story too Whitey…to the letter. Actually, except the bit where I passed on the Tiges tradition to my kids. They get their father’s Blues…I think that’s worse

  4. We were debating which team our son would support (as we both follow different teams)… But hubby’s footy team won the grand final the year that our son was born, so the decision was made!

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