On Saturday, September 23, 1967, Richmond broke what, until then, had been the longest premiership drought in the Club’s league football history.

On a perfect spring afternoon in late September of 1967, the Tigers defeated Geelong by nine points (16.18 to 15.15) in a classic Grand Final, to claim their first flag since 1943.

1967 Grand Final details

Richmond  4.3  9.10  12.15  16.18.114
Geelong    3.3   7.6    13.7   15.15.105

Goals – Richmond: Ronaldson 3, Hart 3, Brown 3, Bartlett 3, Barrot, A. Richardson, B. Richardson, Guinane.
Best – Richmond: Barrot, Hart, Brown, A. Richardson, Dean, Bartlett.


The 1967 premiership team

Backs R Dean F Swift T Jewell
Half Backs G Burgin M Perry G Strang
Centres F Bourke B Barrot D Clay
Half Forwards J Northey P Guinane B Richardson
Forwards J Ronaldson R Hart B Brown
Ruck M Patterson A Richardson K Bartlett
Reserve J Perry M Green  
Coach T Hafey    

1967 Grand Final review

1st quarter: This game was played in magnificent conditions before a crowd of 109,396 people.  Richmond went into this match without the services of champion ruckman Neville Crowe, who had been suspended after the second semi-final on a dubious striking charge. The game began at a fast and furious pace. Geelong attacked from the first bounce, but it took six minutes before Hynes scored its first point.  Shortly after, Sharrock goaled after taking a courageous mark. Geelong continued to attack and Wade missed after marking close to goal.  

Richmond’s first goal came after Ronaldson was awarded a free kick in the forward pocket. His kick went off the side of his boot and Royce Hart anticipated well to take an easy chest mark and goal. The Cats replied quickly and it appeared that their smaller players were too fast for Richmond. Goggin highlighted this by roving the ball off a pack at top pace, and drop-kicking a superb goal.  Richmond fought back with goals to “Bull” Richardson and Brown, both from free kicks. Tempers became a little frayed as Burgin turned Geelong out twice, the second time with a fine mark.  

Barrot was playing well and kicking long distances. Patterson was also doing well in the ruck. Richmond hit the front when Bull Richardson handballed to Bartlett, who steadied to kick a goal. Players from both sides became frustrated and the quarter ended with Geelong’s Wade and West both having their numbers taken for very minor incidents.

2nd quarter: Bull Richardson had a chance to goal in the first minute, after receiving a free kick, but he missed. Geelong also struggled as Mitchell kicked out on the full from close in. Shortly after, Eales made amends with a goal from a free kick.  Bill Brown then snapped a fine goal after roving the ball off a pack.  Geelong added further points through Goggin and Wade. Sharrock kicked Geelong’s next goal after Swift was penalised for holding the ball. Guinane was awardes a dubious mark and his kick registered only a point.  

Richmond broke through for a goal as Royce Hart roved the ball off the pack and handballed to Ronaldson, who steered it through. Geelong appeared the better side, but it was Richmond, who led by nine points. Guinane kicked the Tigers’ seventh after a strong mark and shortly after this had another chance, but he played on after marking and subsequently lost the ball. Geelong quickly moved into attack, where Sharrock’s long kick missed. Shortly after, Wade marked and goaled. Richmond replied immediately when Royce Hart took a fine mark and kicked truly.  From the centre bounce, Richmond went straight into attack, where Barry Richardson brilliantly gathered in the loose ball and goaled. Geelong’s Bill Goggin answered with a goal right on the half-time siren.


3rd quarter: Richmond took a 16-point lead into the third quarter, however, the Cats’ rover, Goggin, goaled shortly after play re-started. Andrews then followed with a long goal, which seemed to swing back at the last moment. The Cats hit the front when Wade goaled from the boundary after receiving a free kick. Geelong was playing excellent football as Farmer palmed the ball to Goggin, who in turn passed to the dangerous Sharrock. He gathered the ball, then executed a blind turn, swung on to his left foot and hit Wade on the chest with a bullet-like stab pass, which resulted in another goal. Richmond replied after Hart took a fine mark and converted.  Guinane bowled over Sharrock, causing an angry gathering of players on Geelong’s outer half-forward flank.  

Shortly after, Ryan marked strongly, but his kick was astray. Hynes gave Geelong a nine-point lead when he kicked truly. Mike Perry, with strong, dashing play kicked to the goal square, where Patterson gathered the ball, but his snap was touched.  Sharrock gave Geelong a 14-point lead when he goaled after a mark.  The Tigers seemed to be struggling until courageous rover Billy Brown kicked a goal after receiving a free for a high tackle. Barrot scored an inspirational goal after a fine passage of play where he harassed his Geelong opponent until the ball spilt free, allowing him to gather it and run into an open goal. Newland took a fine high mark nearing the end of the quarter. Two late rushed points to the Tigers saw them lead by that margin at the last change.

4th quarter: The last quarter was one of the most memorable in Grand Final history.  Richmond kicked the first goal through Kevin Bartlett after he brilliantly roved a Ronaldson tap and snapped truly. Play moved up and down the ground at a fast pace as both teams strived for a break. Brown received a free kick for the Tigers, but his shot missed. Ryan kicked Geelong’s 14th goal after a strong mark and he levelled the scores a minute later when he snapped a point. Fred Swift’s subsequent kick-in landed in the centre of the ground. Shortly after, Sharrock tried to soccer through a goal, but the goal umpire declared that the ball had already rolled through for a point. 

Swift’s kick-in actually travelled past the centre circle on this occasion.  Eales added another point for the Cats as Richmond replaced Bull Richardson on the ground with John Perry. Roger Dean epitomised courage when he wrapped himself around the goal post in order to mark and prevent Geelong scoring. Richmond attacked, but could manage only a rushed behind. Geelong again went forward after good play from Farmer and Polinelli and the ball finished with Sharrock, who steadied a booted a fine goal from the forward pocket. The Cats continued to attack, but were twice repelled by the dashing Geoff Strang.  

At the 18-minute mark, enter John Ronaldson . . . He had played most of the game in a forward pocket, gathering just four kicks. He received a pass from Barry Richardson and marked at full stretch in front of the members’ stand. He then let fly with a long drop kick goal to level the scores. Geelong went forward and Wade snapped a point. Hart marked strongly between two Geelong opponents and sent Richmond forward for Guinane to take a fine mark, but his kicked was off line and the scores were level again.  From Roy West’s kick-in, Hart soared above Geelong’s Peter Walker to take the Mark of the Year (and one of the most famous of all time). As time-on started, Farmer infringed against Ronaldson at a boundary throw-in in the outer forward pocket. Ronaldson again was equal to the task, and his goal gave the Tigers the lead. Geelong had a chance to reply through 19th man Graham, however, his shot was astray.  


The atmosphere was electric as Bartlett, after sharking a boundary throw-in, backed out of a pack and goaled. Geelong then had its chances with points to Ryan and Polinelli. A superb mark right on the goal line by skipper Swift helped to keep the Cats at bay. The siren rang as a kick from Polinelli went through for a behind.  Richmond thoroughly deserved its premiership win, which broke a 24-year drought. The nine-point triumph signalled the start of a bold, new, successful era for the Club.


1967 newspaper
Click to enlarge