Richmond is mourning the passing of wonderful Club servant Alice Wills.
Alice, 93, died in her sleep this morning following a long battle with illness.
For more than 50 years, Alice was involved with the Club in a voluntary capacity, and her unstinting devotion to the Tigers was legendary.
Alice formed the Richmond Cheer Squad in 1959 and a few years later established the Supporters’ Group, which was an organisation that helped the Club with crucial fund-raising and players’ sponsorship.
In 1988, Alice’s remarkable contributions at Tigerland were officially recognised, when she was awarded Life Membership of the Club.
Two years later (1990), with Richmond facing extinction, due to a dire financial crisis, it was Alice Wills who successfully rallied the troops during the famous Save Our Skins campaign.
The management of volunteers, collection tins and letter mail-outs, all came under Alice’s jurisdiction.
She worked tirelessly in the background throughout the SOS campaign, seeking no personal accolades or publicity.
The end result was all Alice wanted – her beloved Tigers were saved.
In 2002, Alice was further honoured by the Club, being one of the inaugural inductees into Richmond’s Hall of Fame. To this day, she is the only female Life Member and Hall of Fame inductee in the Tigers’ history.
In 2008, when the Club celebrated its league football centenary, Alice was named as one of the Tigers’ all-time top 10 servants.
Alice Wills would go on doing what she could to help Richmond, in any way, shape or form, for the rest of her life, despite her failing health over the past few years.
“The legacy that Alice Wills leaves behind at Tigerland is enormous,” said Richmond’s CEO Brendon Gale.
“It’s fair to say that Alice was the matriarch of our club, such was her incredible influence throughout so many years.
“On behalf of the Club, I extend deepest sympathy to Alice’s family, and the numerous friends she made through her tremendous connection to the Tigers.”