Michael Gale is Richmond’s second Homecoming Hero for the 2018 season.
The Tigers will pay tribute to Gale during the pre-game build-up at Saturday afternoon’s Round 4 clash with Brisbane at the MCG.
Gale will walk to the Punt Road end of the ground, where he’s sure to be warmly greeted by 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 Gale’s playing career with the Tigers also will be shown on the MCG’s big screens.
Michael Gale was part of what’s widely regarded as the best trade deal ever orchestrated by Richmond.
After playing just over 100 games for Fitzroy from 1985-1993, Gale was traded to the Tigers, along with Lion teammates Paul Broderick and Matthew Dundas, in exchange for Richmond captain Jeff Hogg.
While Gale and Broderick went on to have flourishing playing careers at Tigerland, Hogg, hampered by injuries, had little impact with Fitzroy.
Gale was pleased to be united with his younger brother, Brendon, who, at the time, was Richmond’s centre half-forward and relief ruckman.
Although considerably shorter than ‘Benny’ Gale, ‘Butch’, as he’s affectionately known, was strong overhead, tough as teak, and he possessed enormous courage.
He played most of his football with the Tigers on a wing or half-back flank, where he used those physical attributes, along with fine running ability and efficient disposal, to great effect for the team.
Despite missing several games during his 1994 debut season at Richmond because of a hamstring injury, Gale was a significant contributor, as the Tigers mounted a serious finals challenge for the first time in a decade.
Richmond narrowly missed the finals in ’94, but the next year made it through to the preliminary final, with M. Gale again providing consistently solid value throughout.
What you saw was what you got with Michael Gale - tough, hard, uncompromising, no-frills football.
He added some important steel to Richmond’s make-up, and was a well-respected, popular figure around the Club throughout his five-season stint.
Further injury problems (broken collarbone and knee) hampered Gale along the way at Punt Road, but through his exemplary work ethic, he was able to shrug them off and produce his trademark robust, valuable, team-first football for the Tigers.
Michael Gale profile
Playing weight: 93kg
Richmond trade history: Traded to the Tigers by Fitzroy as part of the deal for Jeff Hogg in late 1993
Guernsey number at Richmond: No. 11 and No. 1
Debut at Richmond: Round 1, 1994 v Footscray, Whitten Oval
Games at Richmond (1994-1998): 91
Goals at Richmond: 20