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Life for all Tiger premiership players

Tony Greenberg,  May 17, 2017 5:06 PM

Every Richmond senior premiership team member, regardless of length of tenure at Tigerland, or number of games played, will now be awarded Club life membership.

The decision to bestow life membership upon each Richmond premiership player was made by the Club’s Board at its March meeting.

This life membership eligibility change occurred because of the Board’s desire to reaffirm that premierships are the ultimate measure of success at the Club.

Previously, the life membership honour was not available to those Tigers who had been part of a single premiership side with the Club, unless they also had played a minimum of 100 games.

As a result of this change, however, Richmond will welcome more than 40 one-time premiership players as new life members, at a special function (details yet to be confirmed) later in the year.

One of those players – 1967 premiership team member John Perry – received his life membership at last Friday’s Richmond life members’ luncheon, which celebrated the Club’s drought-breaking ’67 flag.

Perry, a skilful, left-foot wingman, was recruited by Richmond from Wodonga and made his senior debut with the Tigers in 1964.

His six-season stint at Tigerland was interrupted by a serious shoulder injury, a bout of hepatitis and National Service duties.

But in the Club’s 1967 year, Perry was a valuable contributor for Richmond, putting together 13 games.

His best performance throughout the ‘67 season was a 30-disposal match against Melbourne at the MCG in Round 10.  Interestingly, it was the highest number of disposals recorded in a game by a Tigers player that year.

On Grand Final day, Perry was on the bench as the team’s 19th man, and didn’t get a chance to be involved in the on-field action until during the frenetic final quarter, when he replaced ruck-rover Alan ‘Bull’ Richardson.

He picked up only a couple of disposals, but was delighted, overall, to be part of that drought-breaking Richmond premiership side.  And it was made even more special for him because of the fact he shared the glorious triumph with his cousin, Geoff Strang, who was a dashing half-back in the Tigers’ line-up.

Perry departed Punt Road for Arden Street (North Melbourne) after the 1969 season, with just 26 senior appearances to his credit, but having etched his name into immortality at Richmond as a premiership player.