Jack Riewoldt: A great club man

Beardan Roar Guru

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    I just want to start off by declaring I love sport but I don’t like AFL.

    As an Australian from Sydney, VFL (now AFL) was there growing up, but never taken too seriously. Because I liked the Canterbury Bulldogs, I followed the Footscray Bulldogs but nothing more than seeing what their score was on the Saturday evening news.

    North Melbourne were blue and white and so were Canterbury, so I also liked them too. Warwick Capper in Sydney drew many to have a look, but there was no passion there. Winning or losing didn’t matter much. None of that has really changed.

    However being an Australian always meant you had some idea what was going on with the sport. It was so big in the southern states that it occupied news time in the northern states. This was often used to channel surf, or to go to the fridge, and if you did go to the fridge, you could hear what was happening in the background in case there was sort of half interesting news, or talk of who were on flying high on the ladder.

    One team that never got mentioned when talk of leading the table was Richmond. As an outsider looking in, I had heard about a huge army of supporters but never seen them win anything, or pretty much get close to winning anything. Not in my lifetime anyway.

    One player I had noticed playing for them was a player called Jack Riewoldt. A forward who seemed to be there every year. The best player they have, and a very good player in a team of average ones.

    Maybe there were other players who had played as long as him, who were great clubmen like he clearly was, but they didn’t stand out. This guy did.

    Jack Riewoldt is that player that draws the sportslover to sport. Not selling out to the highest bidder and palming it off as ‘looking after my family’. The loyal clubman, that win or lose, and often it would be lose, he would be there year in year out for the Richmond Tigers.

    Jack Riewoldt Richmond Tigers Grand Final AFL 2017

    (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

    Often these types of players can end without a premiership. South Sydney Rabbitohs supporters would remember a player like Michael Andrews. A true workhorse who didn’t get to play in any grand finals for Souths, but was a fantastic club man.

    North Sydney had the legendary Greg Florimo.

    Tony Hibbert played for Everton for 15 years and made 265 appearances. He didn’t win a single trophy, nor did he score a single goal. But he was loved by the supporters, and will remain loved by the club for the rest of his life, and beyond that.

    I don’t know enough about the sport, but I’m sure St. Kilda fans could rattle off plenty of great clubmen who didn’t win a single thing with the club. Jack Riewoldt’s cousin would most likely be one of them.

    These types of loyal sports people are loved by their clubs. They are the working mans sport people.

    This was Jack Riewoldt. The Richmond player there year in, year out, contributing a lot but destined to never win a premiership flag.

    Not quite right.

    Riewoldt and Richmond not only won the flag, but did it comprehensively. His celebration of singing Mr Brightside with rock band The Killers will long be remembered in Australian sporting history. It was great to watch.

    Well done to Jack Riewoldt. A great club man.