Full Name: BARNEY HERBERT
Date of Birth: 20/02/1889
Height: 188 cm ( 6-2 )
Weight: 96 kg ( 15-1 )
Debut: 01/05/1909, Round 1, Melbourne
Last Game: 15/10/1921, Round GF, Carlton
Total Games: 192
Total Goals: 90
Honours: Premiership 1920-21, Victorian Representative Team Games 4 Goals 1.
Bernie was a champion ruckman who led the Richmond following division for over a decade. He took some time to find his feet in VFL company but when he did he developed into a champion. He teamed well with rovers Clarrie Hall and Checker Hughes to form one of the best first ruck combinations of that era. He was a lionhearted performer who led by example. Bernie was a big man who was well respected as both a footballer and administrator. It is strange that he was born and bred in Collingwood yet he played with Richmond, particularly as VFL clubs recruited very heavily from their own suburbs during that era.
His missed the entirety of the 1913 season with an illness, and at one point spent several weeks in hospital with an injury to his face. In the practice matches of 1913, he was goal umpire. His father, John Michael Herbert, a policeman, died late in 1913, and the players wore black arm bands for him in the Rd 16 match vs Carlton.
Late in 1913, Herbert played for the Police side against the Gippsland Association and was one of the best players afield.
In the 1920 Pre Season - Herbert trained with Brunswick, merely out of convenience, as he was stationed at Brunswick Police Station. (RB)
A right footer, he was a member of the 1920 and 1921 Premiership sides and the 1919 Grand Final side. He represented Victoria four times and won the club Best and Fairest award in 1918 and 1919. He was awarded Life Membership in 1917. In 1916. His highest individual goal tally was 5 against Essendon in 1915. After leaving Richmond he coached a combined Ballarat League side to victory over a VFL Representative side, in 1922. He then returned to the city to coach Brunswick for one season before retiring. He later served as Richmond’s President between 1932 and 1935, and again in 1939.
He is recorded as the player who shouted to an excited Richmond crowd, “What did we do?” To which the crowd replied, “We Ate ‘Em Alive”, after the Tiger’s first Premiership win. This started a catch cry that is still heard seven decades later.
Away from football, he was a policeman for 40 years attaining the rank of Inspector, in the Victoria Police Force. In 1913, he won the Valour Award for bravery whilst on duty. While on a bicycle patrol he heard a woman screaming after she had been shot by a male intruder. Bernie, although unarmed, disarmed and arrested the intruder then administered first aid to the woman which eventually saved her life. Bernie died in 1949, shortly after his retirement from the Force.
Abbotsford Juniors 1904-05 ; Collingwood Trades 1906-08 ( Honours - Premiership 1907 ) ; Beverleys 1908.
Ballarat Imperials Captain/Coach 1922 ( Honours - Premiership 1922, Coach Ballarat League Representative Team 1922 ) ; Brunswick Captain/Coach 1923, Games 14, Goals 6.