When a letter arrives at the Grigg household addressed to ‘S Grigg’ it must create some confusion, as it could be for Shaun, Sarah, Sonny or Spencer – but any mail received over the next month or so will surely be from grateful Tigers fans thanking Shaun for his role helping bring the premiership to Richmond in 2017.
Shaun is the second premiership player to retire midyear following from the example set by Bulldogs Liam Picken, who is a member of the Western Bulldogs victorious 2016 team, and I have no doubt both will be remembered for the parts they played in ensuring their respective teams made it to the finals and giving them the opportunity to go all the way.
Grigg started his career at Carlton as the club’s No. 2 pick and No. 19 overall in 2006 after representing Country Victoria in the under-18 championships and being selected as an All Australian junior.
A Ballarat boy who played for Redan and then for the North Ballarat Rebels in the Ballarat league, he made his debut for Carlton in Round 14, 2007, against Melbourne and played a further four games for the season, all of which Carlton lost. At 190 centimetres and 85 kilograms, he played as a midfielder or defender throughout his career.
After a disappointing four seasons at the Blues during which he played only 43 games due to injury and lack of opportunity he was traded to Richmond. The reversal of his fortunes was immediate. He played from Round 1, and in only one season (2014) of his eight years at the Tigers did he play fewer than 20 games. In his last four seasons he played a total of 90 games, including 25 in the premiership year of 2017. Not a noted goal scorer, in the final home-and-away game of that year he kicked three goals against St Kilda, having done it only once before in Round 7, 2012, against Sydney.
In the premiership year he ran sixth in the Tigers best and fairest and fifth on two other occasions.
If he had fronted up in 2019 he would have been the oldest player on the Tigers list, but as he was unable to play competitive football at any level, his career ended at the end of 2018.
He finished on Richmond’s top 100 elite game-players list in 48th position on 171 club games, wedged between Andrew Kellaway and 1940s champion Leo Merrett, both of whom were best and fairest winners at the Tigers, with Merrett winning twice (1942 and 1944) and Kellaway winning in 2000.
His 86 goals were enough to see him achieve 83rd place on the Tigers top 100 goal-kicking list, so there is no doubt he will be an invitee to the club’s top 100 functions for many years to come and will share the stage with other legends of the 2017 premiership.
Well done, Shaun Grigg.