Senior Life Memberships
The earliest known list of RFC Life Members was published in the Richmond Football Club’s 1896 Annual Report.
The 1912 Annual Report includes the earliest known attempt to associate each RFC Life Member with the year in which he received the honour. Unfortunately contemporary documents do not support/confirm many of the booklet’s dates (Charles 1895, Eastman 1896, Stewart 1897, Elder 1898, Egan 1899, Backhouse 1904, and Whittaker 1910).
Further, deceased RFC Life Members Bahen and Wright were omitted. It was probably felt that there was no practical need to recognise them. Unfortunately these mistakes and oversights were published in other official documents throughout much of the Twentieth Century. Rhett Bartlett was largely responsible for correcting these mistakes and oversights in 2001.
Jimmy Charles is universally recognised as Richmond’s first Life Member though the date when he received it is conjectural. Charles claimed that he was honoured with life membership in 1885 (first acknowledged in the club’s 1919 annual report) and this is the date I have used below.
The year in which John Egan was honoured with RFC Life Membership is unconfirmed but it is likely that it was 1894.
Alf. “Punch” Elder was added to the list of RFC Life Members during a three year period from 1897 to 1899 but the exact year cannot yet be determined through the primary documents available. The year 1898 is used in the 1912 annual report and shown on the RFC Life Membership medal he received in February 1914. This year is consistent with the timeline.
In 1903 Billy Brown (1901) was removed from the list of RFC Life Members because he had neglected to pay an amount owing to the club. In January 1928, following Brown’s death, the committee enquired why Brown’s name was omitted from the list but it does not result in the reinstating of his name. In 2001 Brown was quietly reinstated to the list of RFC Life Members.
Frank Wright passed away months after being elected a RFC Life Member in 1907. In 1908 it seems that his Life Membership was accepted by his four year old son, Francis Wright Jr., who was listed as a RFC Life Member in his father‘s place in Richmond’s annual reports from 1908 to 1911.
In 1912 the committee decided to grant Charles “Fishy” Taylor and Jack Fayle RFC Life Memberships, but before the decision was honoured the committee lost office and a “Reform” committee was installed. The “Reform” committee was hostile to Taylor and Fayle (both were linked to the old committee) and refused to confirm Taylor’s and Fayle’s Life Memberships.
Bill Maybury and Jack Archer were honoured as RFC Life Members in their place. Fayle was later given RFC Life Membership in 1925 but Taylor has never been recognised. (note: Charles Taylor’s son Ernest was granted Life Membership in 1927).
Gold medallions were first presented to RFC Life Members in February 1914. The medallions were awarded retrospectively to the 16 living and officially recognised RFC Life Members. The recipients were: Jimmy Charles, John Egan, Jack Stewart, Jimmy Eastman, Alf Elder, Billy Malone, Billy Bicknell, Charles Backhouse, Archibald McNair, George Peckham-Beachcroft, Alec. Edmond, Andrew Manzie, Charles Whittaker, Hugh Slattery, Jack Archer, and Bill Maybury.
In 1919 it was decided that any player receiving a ten year long service certificate is entitled to RFC Life Membership (the years that a player’s service was interrupted by WWI were also counted).
Deceased RFC Life Members were first acknowledged in a list of life members in the 1926 Annual Report. However, Chris Bahen (1904), Frank Wright (1907) and Hugh Slattery (1911) were overlooked in the edition.
At the Dec 1961 AGM, it was decided that life membership was to be awarded for 8 years of service instead of 10 years.
In 1974 a resolution at a Special Meeting now required a senior player to complete ten years' service instead of the previous eight.
In recent times, a player reaching 150 games for Richmond is entitled to Life Membership. The same applies to a committeeman of 10 years or more.
The only years of the Twentieth Century that RFC Life Memberships were not presented were 1910, 1913, 1918, 1936 and 1982.
Three pairs of brothers have been honoured with RFC Life Membership. They are Alec. and Bruce Edmond (1908 and 1932), Jos. and Percy Langdon (1931 and 1944), and Duncan and Andrew Kellaway (2001 and 2005).
Alice Wills (1988) was the first female RFC Life Member. Maureen Hafey (2015) and Peggy O'Neal (2015) subsequently both receiving the accolade at the 2015 AGM.
Dan Minogue (2003) is the first RFC Life Member to be honoured posthumously (RFC Life Memberships awarded posthumously are indicated with an asterix).
Brett Deledio (2011) at 24 years and 139 days is the youngest person to receive RFC Life Membership.
RFC physiotherapist Ian MacIndoe’s Life Membership was bestowed in May 2013 (rather than at the AGM).
From 2013 players automatically qualify as RFC Life Members if they have been members of multiple premierships, or have played in a single premiership and a minimum of 100 senior games. This led to an induction of 18 premiership players as well as RFC board member John Matthies at the December 11, 2013 AGM. This was the largest number of Life Members inducted on a single evening (10 former players were inducted posthumously – these are indicated with asterix).
|1908||Alec. Edmond||1902 and 1905 Premiership player (as captain)|
|1923||Frank “Checker” Hughes|
|Jack Smith||Assistant Treasurer|
|1941||Charlie Callander||22 years as property steward|
|Arthur Daws||Committeeman of 7 years|
|1947||Pat Kennelly||Vice-President of the club|
|Charlie Priestley||10 year player|
|1948||Jim Joyce||Richmond 2nds secretary, Delegate to senior club|
|William Quinn||Committeeman and selector|
|1950||Les Goring||Office bearer for 10 years|
|Jim Sheehan||Office bearer for 10 years|
|1952||Dr. Pat L Grogan||15 years as club doctor|
|Les Sinclair||First time a cricket club representative has received Life Membership.|
|1954||Robert Knapp||Richmond 2nds president|
|William Stanbrough||17 years honorary timekeeper|
|1964||Neville Crowe||8 playing seasons|
|Roger Dean||8 playing seasons|
|Ron Garraway||11 years on Richmond Committee|
|Dr. Brian Davie|
|1974||Ron Carson||10 years on committee|
|1975||Ian Wilson||10 years on committee|
|1980||Roy Watkins||Timekeeper for 29 years|
|1983||Des Martin||43 years of service as player / recruiting / FP and O|
|1984||Lyall Johnson||27 years as trainer|
|1985||Jim Jess||Played from 1976 onwards|
|Robert Loughnan||25 years on social committee/room steward|
|Max Watson||Trainer since 1961|
|Roy Webb||Door steward since 1959|
|1986||Mark Lee||10 year player|
|Doug McKenzie||30 years+ fund raising, marketing, Board of Director.|
|Michael Roach||10 year player|
|Ron Ward||Trainer since 1966|
|1987||Tom Allen||Former player, Coached Richmond Fourths to 5 premierships, RFP&O secretary|
|Dr. Alex Ivanyi||22 years club dentist|
|Greg Strachan||10 year player|
|Dale Weightman||10 year player|
|1988||Alice Wills||35 years with cheer squad / supporters group|
|Keith Miles||26 years on social committee|
|Barry Rowlings||10 year player|
|1990||David Cloke||10 year player|
|John O’Brien||30 years behind the scenes involvement. Little League coach/ Assistant time keeper|
|Leo “Dusty” O’Brien||25 years property steward|
|2002||Dr. Chris Bradshaw|
|Dan Minogue *|
|A. “Max” Hislop*||Posthumously, two-time Premiership player|
|Robert Weatherill*||Posthumously, two-time Premiership player|
|Robert Carew*||Posthumously, two-time Premiership player|
|Bert Foster*||Posthumously, two-time Premiership player|
|Fred “Fritz” Heifner*||Posthumously two-time Premiership player|
|Eric Zschech*||Posthumously, two-time Premiership player|
|Gordon Strang*||Posthumously, two-time Premiership player|
|Bert Edwards*||Posthumously, two-time Premiership player|
|Robert Bawden*||Posthumously, two-time Premiership player|
|Geoff Strang*||Posthumously, two-time Premiership player|
|John Ronaldson||Two-time Premiership player|
|Rex Hunt||Two-time Premiership player|
|* George Bownas||Posthumously, 1902 and 1905 Premiership player|
|* William Carkeek||Posthumously, 1902 and 1905 Premiership player|
|* Ernest McDonald||Posthumously, 1902 and 1905 Premiership player|
|*Charlie Williams||Posthumously, 1902 and 1905 Premiership player|
|2015||Jeff Hogg||144 games, 360 goals|
|Maureen Hafey||Lifetime supporter to familes, coaches,players.|
|Bob Phillips||7 years as board member. 30 years volunteer service|
|Trent Cotchin||150 games.|
|Peggy O'Neal||10 years on Richmond board.|
|2016||Dustin Martin||150 games|
|Alex Rance||150 games|
|Trevor Poole||99 games + Football Ops Manager + RFP&O committee|