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Andrew Kellaway a Homecoming Hero

Homecoming Hero: Kellaway Jack Dyer medalist, Andrew Kellaway is the Round 5 Homecoming Hero
Andrew Kellaway of the Tigers in action during the round nine AFL match between the Geelong Cats and the Richmond Tigers at Skilled Stadium on May 27, 2006 in Geelong, Australia.
Andrew Kellaway in action against Geelong in 2006

Andrew Kellaway is Richmond’s second Homecoming Hero for 2015 . . .

The Tigers will honor Kellaway in the pre-game build-up at this Saturday afternoon’s Round 5 clash with Geelong at the MCG.

Kellaway, who was held in such high esteem during a nine-year playing career at Tigerland for his courage, determination, dedication, discipline and durability, will walk to the Punt Road end of the ground to receive the plaudits of the Yellow and Black faithful.

Find out what’s happening pre-game, for this Saturday’s Round 5 match at the MCG

He will then proceed to kick a ceremonial goal, before signing the football and presenting it to a Richmond fan in the crowd.

Highlights of Kellaway’s fine career with the Tigers also will be shown on the MCG’s screens.

Andrew Kellaway’s rise to prominence at Richmond is one of the great Tiger tales of the modern football era . . .

The younger brother of Richmond’s brave defender, Duncan Kellaway, went from a player unlikely to even make it on to a league club’s list, to an All-Australian, a Jack Dyer Medallist, and one of the first picked in the Tiger team each week!

Kellaway had been playing for VFA club Sandringham, when he received an invitation from Richmond to go on to its supplementary list.

The league’s supplementary list preceded the rookie list, but players could only make the jump to a club’s primary list from there, via the Draft.

It was still a gateway to football’s big time, and Kellaway was more than happy to seize his opportunity with the Tigers.

At that stage, so-called astute judges still considered it a long shot that Kellaway would even win a promotion to Richmond’s main playing list.

Slowly, but surely, Kellaway adapted to the tempo of the league’s reserve-grade competition, in his role as a key defender.

He thrived on the challenge of nullifying the effectiveness of the opposition’s most dangerous tall forwards.

In 1997, Kellaway was one of the best players for the Tiger ‘twos’ in their Grand Final win against Hawthorn.

So impressed was Richmond with young Kellaway’s development, it decided to make room for him on the senior playing list.

At the end of the ’97 season, the Tigers traded defender Jamie Tape and ruckman Brad Smith to Collingwood, in exchange for pick 71 in the National Draft.

Buy tickets for this Saturday afternoon’s Round 5 clash with Geelong

They subsequently used that pick 71 to upgrade Kellaway from their supplementary list.

Kellaway made his senior league debut in Round 7, 1998 (against Melbourne at the MCG), but it wasn’t until 2000 that he became an integral part of the Richmond line-up.

That season, Kellaway played every game, in a key defensive role, took the most marks at the Club, and capped off his impressive efforts by winning the Jack Dyer Medal, as well as earning All-Australian selection.

There was no fuss or fanfare with the way Andrew Kellaway went about his football over nine seasons at Richmond . . . indeed, he shunned publicity.

He played 118 games in-a-row from early 1999 to mid-2004, and was a first-rate, consistent contributor for the Tigers.

Kellaway’s total focus, always, was doing whatever he could to help the team achieve success, and he approached each on-field contest with an utterly fearless, relentless attitude.

It was that warrior-like attitude, which so endeared Kellaway to the Richmond faithful, and made him such a valuable member of the Tigers’ line-up.

Andrew Kellaway Fact File

Born:  23/11/1975
Height:  190cm
Playing weight:  90kg
Recruited to Richmond from:  Sandringham
Guernsey number at Richmond:  No. 39
Games at Richmond (1998-2006):  172
Goals:  30
Honors at Richmond:  Jack Dyer Medal winner in 2000; All-Australian representative in 2000