Respected veteran Chris Newman has spoken passionately about Richmond’s guernsey on the eve of the 2014 season, in which the Tigers will celebrate the 100th anniversary of their famous yellow- sashed jumper.
Richmond made its debut in the then Victorian Football League competition in 1908, wearing yellow and black vertical stripes. In 1914, however, the yellow sash appeared on the front and back of the black guernsey.
Initially, it ran from right to left over the shoulder, but the alignment was changed from left to right in 1919.
The sash struck an immediate chord with Richmond fans and, a century on, it has iconic status at Tigerland.
‘Our Jumper’ is a key trademark of the Club’s current playing group.
“When we were trying to determine a trademark that really meant something to us, we automatically thought the jumper was that thing,” Newman said.
“Our history is right up there with the best in the competition and for the players that have come before us and worn our jumper, I think it’s a special bond that we all share, and something that we feel is a responsibility once we put that jumper on . . .
“We owe it to the players before us, who have worn that jumper, and also the supporters that come out and show their respect each week.
“That’s the beauty of our jumper – it has stood the test of time. The yellow sash will always be there, and the crowd will always be signing “Yellow and Black” in our song.
“You see generations past, they’re wearing the same jumper as we are, and that means a lot to us.
“I think it’s so important to players because the jumper is such a huge part of this club.
“There’s so much history attached to the jumper and I think the big thing now, with wearing the jumper, is it’s earned. You’re not just given the opportunity to play in the jumper.
“We always make sure we respect the jumper, so we never let it hit the ground, and we never wear our sash in any game other than the season proper. The jumper is really put on a pedestal for Round 1.”
An endearing on-field image of Newman, a few seasons ago, was him proudly grabbing the jumper after kicking a timely goal. Other Tigers, such as young gun Dustin Martin, have followed suit . . .
“When we grab the jumper, it’s more of an inspirational gesture. You probably see that done when the game’s on the line,” Newman said.
“I think it’s symbolic of how much we love the jumper.
“It’s a way of letting the team know, the supporters know, that this jumper means so much to us. It’s something that really gets you going and inspires you to finish off the game well.”
In the Richmond rooms, pre-game, the Tiger players like to change into their jumpers together.
“We feel like that’s symbolic of putting armour on and about to go out to a war,” Newman said.
“It’s a special feeling that I think most boys strive for, and to be a part of. We’re really proud of the fact we’ve got that.
“To wear the Yellow and Black in front of all the fans in the crowd is special. They’ve always turned up with the jumper on, and it’s always great to look out and see the crowd, as one, wearing that sash.
“It means a lot to us.”