Graeme Bond is Richmond’s final Homecoming Hero for 2016.
The Tigers will pay tribute to Bond during the pre-game build-up at this Saturday afternoon’s Round 22 clash with St Kilda at the MCG.
Bond, who played 115 games and kicked 60 goals during a decade-long senior career with Richmond from 1967-1973 and 1975-1977, including the 1969 premiership, will walk to the Punt Road end of the ground, where he’ll 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 Bond’s playing career with the Tigers also will be shown on the MCG’s screens.
Graeme Bond, a small, lightning fast, determined, versatile player, was recruited by Richmond from suburban club Burwood United and worked his way up through the ranks at Tigerland. He started with the under-19s in 1966, progressed to the reserves in 1967, and made his senior league debut that same year – Round 10 v Melbourne at the MCG.
Bond made only three senior appearances in the ’67 season and just a further eight in 1968.
The following year, however, was to be the highlight of Bond’s time at Tigerland.
He played 17 games in Richmond’s main team throughout the 1969 season, including the glorious Grand Final triumph over arch-rival Carlton.
Bond was selected on the bench as 19th man for the premiership-decider, sitting alongside the player that would become his long-time friend and 3AW work colleague, Rex Hunt (the Tigers’ 20th man on the day).
During the last quarter, Bond came on to the field as a replacement for Eric Moore at full-forward.
At the start of the time-on period, with Richmond a couple of goals ahead, Bond took a mark in the goal-square and kicked truly to seal the result for the Tigers.
Although not a particularly difficult shot, it was to be the most important goal of Bond’s league career at Richmond.
Graeme Bond would go on to play 68 of a possible 72 games in the three seasons following the ’69 premiership, including the 1972 Grand Final loss to Carlton.
But after struggling for form during the early rounds of 1973, Bond transferred to then strong VFA club Dandenong.
He played out the ’73 season with Dandenong and then joined suburban club Vermont in 1974.
At the end of that year, Bond returned to Richmond, but he found it difficult to re-establish himself as a permanent member of the Tigers’ senior side over the ensuing couple of seasons.
After managing only 14 more senior appearances with Richmond, Bond was cleared to St Kilda early in the 1977 season.
He went on to play 56 games with the Saints, until announcing his retirement from league football at the end of 1980.
Bond then served as the Sydney Swans’ runner from 1983-84, before going back to Richmond as football manager in 1985.
Later that decade, Bond started what was to be a long, successful stint as a football statistician and commentator with top-rating Melbourne radio station 3AW.
During his playing career with the Tigers, Bond was used effectively in a variety of roles, including wing, rover, half-back and half-forward.
At all times, pace was Bond’s greatest asset.
It’s doubtful if there has ever been a quicker player to represent Richmond.
Nicknamed ‘Race Horse’ by Tiger fans, Bond confirmed just how fast he was by competing as a professional runner off-season and winning the Maryborough, Dandenong and Leongatha Gifts.
Graeme Bond Fact File
Playing weight: 76kg
Recruited from: Burwood United
Guernsey number at Richmond: No. 44, No. 24, No. 45 and No. 34
Games at Richmond (1967-1973 and 1975-1977): 115
Goals at Richmond: 60
Honours at Richmond: Member of the Tigers’ 1969 premiership side
Comment: One of the quickest players to ever wear the Yellow and Black. Was a Tommy Hafey disciple. Followed Tommy’s example in terms of fitness and never smoked or drank alcohol. Tommy had a massive influence on his life.
Previous Homecoming Heroes:
|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|