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Welcome back, ‘Pickers’

Homecoming Hero: Michael Pickering Michael Pickering will be the Homecoming Hero for Richmond's Round 23 clash against Brisbane.

Michael Pickering is Richmond’s final Homecoming Hero for the 2019 season.

The Tigers are set to pay tribute to Pickering in the lead-up to Sunday afternoon’s big Round 23 clash with Brisbane at the MCG.

THANK YOU Join us at Sunday's Round 23 'Thank you Tiger Army' match against the Brisbane Lions

Pickering will walk to the Punt Road end of the ground, where he’s bound to receive a warm reception from the Tiger Army.

He’ll kick a ceremonial goal, then sign the football and present it to a Richmond fan in the crowd.

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

Michael Pickering was recruited by Richmond from Melbourne suburban club Vermont.

He started off with the Club’s under 19s in 1981, won their best and fairest award the following year, and went on to make his senior debut for the Tigers in the opening round of the 1984 season against Footscray at the Whitten Oval.

It was an impressive first-up performance at the game’s highest level by the then 20-year-old – 19 disposals, eight marks and three goals in his role up forward.

Pickering made 12 senior appearances all-up that season, kicking 17 goals and winning Richmond’s Best First Year Player award.

The following season, he played 14 games and booted 35 goals, including his best return in a match for the Tigers of six against Geelong at Waverley Park (Round 21).

Over the next few years, Pickering provided Richmond with excellent service, playing across the forward line, plus stints on a wing and as a ruck-rover.

His career at Tigerland was defined by his running ability, marking prowess, durability and copious courage.

Despite having a relatively slender build, he consistently displayed great bravery in hurling himself into packs to compete for marks.

Pickering was fearless in pursuit of the ball, either at aerial or ground level, and he absorbed plenty of punishment on-field without ever flinching.

He was an excellent mark and, although not quick, covered plenty of ground during matches due to his elite endurance.

The individual highlight of Pickering’s time with the Tigers came in 1988, when he won the Jack Dyer Medal. That year, he averaged 22.5 disposals and 7.2 marks per game and kicked 26 goals.

TICKETS Don't miss Sunday's blockbuster clash against current ladder-leaders Brisbane at the MCG

In 1989, he was appointed Richmond’s vice-captain, and he led the team on several occasions when regular skipper Dale Weightman was out injured.

Pickering left Tigerland at the end of the 1991 season after a first-rate 136-game, 160-goal career and subsequently had two years with Melbourne.

Michael Pickering profile

Born: November 30, 1963

Height: 187cm

Playing weight: 76kg

Recruited by Richmond from: Vermont

Guernsey number at Richmond: No. 35

Senior debut at Richmond: Round 1, 1984 v Footscray, Whitten Oval

Games at Richmond (1984-1991): 136

Goals at Richmond: 160

Honours at Richmond: Jack Dyer Medal winner in 1988, Club vice-captain 1989

Here is a list of Richmond's Homecoming Heroes since 2014...

. . .
2014, Rd 2: Michael Green 2014, Rd 4: Kevin Bartlett 2014, Rd 6: Bryan Wood
2014, Rd 13: Kevin Morris 2014, Rd 14: Wayne Walsh 2014, Rd 16: Barry Richardson
2014, Rd 19: Rex Hunt 2014, Rd 20: Francis Bourke 2015, Rd 2: Bill Barrot
2015, Rd 5: Andrew Kellaway 2015, Rd 7: Mark Lee 2015, Rd 9: Derek Peardon 
2015, R12: Dale Weightman 2015, R15: Matthew Richardson 2015, R17: Dick Clay
2015, R20: Barry Rowlings 2016, R6: Matthew Rogers 2016, R7: Jake King
2016, R8: Nick Daffy 2016, R12: Nathan Foley 2016, R14: Dan Jackson 
2016, R17: Scott Turner 2016, R20: Jim Jess 2016, R21: John Ronaldson
2016, R22: Graeme Bond 2017, R2: Roger Dean   2017, R3: Richard Clay
2017, R8: Mick Malthouse 2017, R10: Michael Mitchell 2017, R13: Shane Tuck
2017, R14: Paul Broderick 2017, R18: Stephen Mount 2017, R20: Graham Burgin
2017, R23: Trevor Poole 2018, R3: Michael Roach 2018, R4: Michael Gale
2018, R7: Craig Lambert 2018, R10: Stephen Rae 2018, R16: Chris Naish
2018, R19: Tony Jewell 2018, R20: Gareth Andrews 2018, R22: Mark Eustice
2018, R23: Nathan Brown 2019, R2: Geoff Raines 2019, R9: Darren Gaspar
2019, R10: Andrew Krakouer 2019, R12: Jeff Hogg 2019, R17: Greg Tivendale
2019, R18: Ivan Maric 2019, R21: Tony Free 2019, R22: Merv Keane
2019, R23: Michael Pickering