Nathan Brown is Richmond’s final Homecoming Hero for the 2018 season.
The Tigers are set to pay tribute to Brown in the lead-up to Saturday afternoon’s Round 23 clash with the Western Bulldogs at the MCG.
Brown will walk to the Punt Road end of the ground, where he’ll receive due recognition 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 Brown’s career with the Tigers also will be shown on the MCG’s big screens.
Nathan Brown was one of the highest-profile players from a rival league club to make the switch to Richmond.
Brown’s decision to quit the Western Bulldogs, where he had played 137 games and kicked 206 goals in a stellar career from 1997-2003, attracted plenty of publicity throughout the football world.
After considering offers from several clubs, Brown opted to continue his league career at Tigerland.
Initially, the Dogs were reluctant to release the star forward, but they eventually relented, receiving National Draft picks 6 and 20 from Richmond in exchange for Brown’s services.
Brown had an instant impact with the Tigers, collecting the three Brownlow Medal votes for best afield in their big Round 1, 2004 victory over a Collingwood team coming off a Grand Final appearance in 2003.
The silky-skilled left-footer had a good debut season for Richmond, finishing with 26 goals in his 20 games and polling eight votes in the Brownlow Medal.
It was in the first half of the following season, however, where Brown took his game to a breathtaking level.
Going into the Round 10 clash with Melbourne at Etihad Stadium, Brown had 32 goals on the board - 19 of them coming in superb style during the previous four weeks.
Brown had booted six goals against Port Adelaide at Etihad Stadium in Round 6, four goals v Carlton at the MCG in Round 7, five goals (all in the last quarter in wet conditions) v Collingwood at the MCG in Round 8, and four goals v Brisbane at the Gabba in Round 9, to be widely acclaimed as the best player in the competition at that stage of the season.
His brilliance up forward provided the catalyst for Richmond to win all four of those games and, by the time the Melbourne game came around, the Tigers were third on the ladder with a 7-2 record.
Sadly, it all came to an abrupt halt that fateful late May Friday night under the Etihad Stadium roof . . .
Brown kicked two goals early in the game, before suffering a season-ending broken leg in an horrific incident.
Although Brown did return to the playing field in Round 1 one the following season, he was never the same player again, with subsequent complications from the broken leg hindering him for the rest of his AFL career.
Mind you, he did manage to kick 21 goals in 2007 and 35 goals in 2008, before retiring from league football in 2009.
Despite Brown’s nightmare injury run, he had thrilled the Tiger Army with his talented on-field exploits.
Nathan Brown profile
Playing weight: 80kg
Richmond draft history: Traded to the Tigers by the Western Bulldogs for picks 6 and 20 in the 2003 National Draft
Guernsey number at Richmond: No. 7
Debut at Richmond: Round 1, 2004 v Collingwood, MCG
Games at Richmond (2004-2009): 82
Goals at Richmond: 143
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 Gale||2018, R4: Michael Roach|
|2018, R7: Craig Lambert||2018, R10: Stephen Rae||2018, R16: Chris Naish|
|2018, R19: Tony Jewell||2018, R20: Gareth Andrews||2018, R22: Mark Eustice|