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The book about Richmond- The Hafey Years

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#1 Caveman


    Arthur Olliver

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 09:39 PM

I finally (last Friday January 6th 2012) got around to buying the book that deals with the story of Richmond during the Tom Hafey years.

This is the second Richmond book I have bought in the last few months- the Kevin Bartlett autobiography was the previous one.

The Hafey book is a beauty as I assumed that it might have been.

One football myth you keep hearing ad nauseum is completely turned on its head in this book. That is the school of thought that a football club's board must always be 100% united. There is no room for dissenters and there must be total unquestioning loyalty towards those in control.

Richmond was having a massive punch on behind the scenes at board level during 1969. Their two main men in the club- President Ray Dunn and arch 'powerbroker' Graeme Richmond were having their own war with each other. Yet who were Premiers in 1969? Yes Richmond of course.

There must be at least one more book on Richmond from that era and it has to be about the man they called GR- Graeme Richmond. He died in September 1991- over 20 years ago but surely someone can write a book on him. He was arguably the most influential and controversial administrator from any VFL/AFL club in the last 50 years. The title of the book would be easy- no thinking needed at all about what to call it- just label it what he was- metaphorically and literally-

Mr Richmond.

#2 Rodc


    Arthur 'Nance' Williams

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 03:50 PM

Couldn't agree more. Caveman. It is a great read and the players/officials interviewed give some pretty honest and blunt opinions at times. This is very refreshing because generally for every good footy book you read there are about ten duds. Generally you learn nothing particularly new in most footy books but this one is an exception. They must have been pretty ruthless at Tigerland in those times but they certainly put the score on the board.
I'm with you - a book on Graeme Richmond would make a good read. I also think that a book on the great Bobby Skilton is warranted, too. Most of the legends of the game have had books written on them. I can think of books on Whitten, Ablett, Coleman, Baldock, Farmer, Hart, (although many years ago and written by himself). There is the recent one on Bartlett and a few years back one written on Skilton's mentor, Tommy Lahiff. Then there's Leigh Matthews, Barassi, Norm Smith and Jock Mchale.
What do you think? Any other suggestions?
From a Footscray point of view, who would warrant a good book? Maybe John Schultz or Gary Dempsey?

#3 Caveman


    Arthur Olliver

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 08:49 AM

What stands out so obviously is how well the Hafey Years book is written. The author Elliot Cartledge is a Richmond fan- yet his book isn't full of "aren't we the greatest" hyperbole that you see in some biographies of teams or individuals. This makes it miles better, because it is clinical and rational.

The other thing to admire about Elliott Cartledge is that he hasn't gone down the history revisionism path that happens so regularly now with people who write about Footscray BEFORE 1997.

For example if he was writing about Richmond's opponents- he would have it as-

Essendon, Hawthorn, Footscray, Collingwood, South Melbourne, Geelong and St Kilda,

Whereas others would write the same line as-

Essendon, Hawthorn, the Bulldogs, Collingwood, the Swans, Geelong and St Kilda

At no stage in the book does he call us 'The Bulldogs' unnecessarily. So for that Elliot Cartledge gets 10/10 for that point.

As for new books Rodc- any proposed one about GaryDempsey would be fantastic because his story would be massively interesting. He achieved so much despite NOT playing in a Grand Final. John Schulz also would be a good story- another boy from the bush who made good in Melbourne.

There is going to be another edition to 'The Bulldog Heritage' book. It may come out in 2013 and I believe that Gary Dempsey is going to be one of the men mentioned (his story was not in the original one) John Schultz was a leading light in getting 'The Bulldog Heritage' book off the ground.

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