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 Whitaker 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 was elected to Life Membership on March 26 1907. However he passed away on August 9 1907 before he could receive the physical medallion. In 1908 it seems that his Life Membership was accepted by his four year old son, Francis Wright Jr., who was listed (erroneously) 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 was not recognised. It took until 2017, as part of the club's decision to award former premiership players life membership, that Taylor finally received his award. (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 Whitaker, 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).
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.
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.
At their March 2017 board meeting, it was resolved that ALL Richmond senior premiership players will automatically qualify as a Life Member (this includes posthumously, living, and future from 1885 to present). As a result, 78 players were inducted.
Of note, this included Bill James who played 1 game - the 1920 Grand Final. (Marlion PIckett would equal this after his 2019 flag win). For the 1902 Premiership, where there was no Grand Final match, all players listed as playing that season are currently recognised as Life Members. When the club received their premiership medals in May 1903, there's no record as to how many were received, or if there was a rule in place as to which players during the season would receive the medal. We know that James Douglas received a medal (this has been sighted), and he played only 7 games in 1902.
The premiership = life membership resolution was later put to the club members at the 2017 AGM held on Dec 11, and was passed. By a happy coincidence, Richmond won the 2017 premiership, thereby elevating a further 17 players to the honour.
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.
In 1932, Nov 8. the club made F.J.Costello a life member, despite some committee members speaking up against the nomination. However on Dec 6 special meeting, Costello decided to "resign in favour of Mr W Baker". (Baker had been the club time keeper for 22 years). Costello was congratulated for his "sporting action". In 1933 he was one of three names up for life membership consideration, however was not selected. It does not appear that Costello was appointed life member anytime in the subsequent years
The only years of the Twentieth Century that RFC Life Memberships were not presented were 1910, 1913, 1918, 1936 and 1982.
Brothers honoured with RFC Life Membership. Alec. and Bruce Edmond (1908 and 1932), Jos. and Percy Langdon (1931 and 1944), Duncan and Andrew Kellaway (2001 and 2005). Gordon and Doug Strang (2013 and 2017), Robert and George Weatherill (2013 and 2017).
Father/Sons honoured with RFC Life Membership. Michael and Joel Bowden (2017 and 2004), Charlie and Ernie Taylor (1927 and 2017), Alan and Matthew Richardson (1966 and 2002), Len Williams (1994) and Ian Williams (2000), Bill and Percy Maybury (1912 and 1917)
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) was the second RFC Life Member to be honoured posthumously, after Frank Wright. (RFC Life Memberships awarded posthumously are indicated with an asterix).
Brett Deledio (2011) at 24 years and 139 days was the youngest person to receive RFC Life Membership, until the Premiership=Life Membership resolution was passed, which saw Jack Graham awarded Life Membership at age 19.
(Side note: Frank Wright Jnr was listed as a RFC Life Member in his father‘s place (he had died before receiving the award) in Richmond’s annual reports from 1908 to 1911. Frank Wright Jnr was 4 years old.)
RFC physiotherapist Ian MacIndoe’s Life Membership was bestowed in May 2013 (rather than at the AGM).
John Perry's Life Membership was bestowed at the 1967 Reunion/Life Membership function in May 2017 (rather than the AGM)
Jack Scott's posthumous life membership was accepted by Bill Scott Jnr on Friday August 4 2017 at the Jack Dyer Foundation Function. Scott's received his father's certificate and medallion again at the July 20 2018 function for posthumous recipients
Daryl Freame, Noel Carter were presented with their Life Membership prior to Richmond training over in Perth on 19 August 2017.
Rob Wiley was presented with his Life Membership at a WA Supporters dinner on 19 August 2017 over in Perth.
Colin Beard, Laurie Fowler , Ian Owen, and Gareth Andrews received their Life Memberships at the premiership reunion dinner on 27 September 2017.
The 2017 premiership players (who were not already life members) received their award on Feb 3 2018 at the Punt Road Oval.
Eric Moore (1969), Craig McKellar (1973), Stephen Rae (1973), David Thorpe (1974), Daryl Cumming (1974), Cameron Clayton (1974) and Stephen Mount (1980) received theirs at the same event. Mike Bowden's (1969) life membership was received by Patrick Bowden, in his absence. As coach as the 2017 premiership side, Damien Hardwick also received his on this date.
On July 20 2018 a gathering of descendants of deceased Richmond 1902,1905,1920,1921,1932,1943, 1980 premiership players were held at the club. In total approximately 40 medallions were presented.
Ian Hull and Jack Cotter's posthumous life memberships were presented at pre-match function on April 24 2019 (Anzac Eve match). It was to recognise that both player's life membership eligibility was impacted by significant war service.
Walter Sykes posthumous life membership was received by his family, including that of his son (Walter fathered him when he was 74), on Aug 16, 2019.
Francis Jackson, recruitment manager was announced at the 2019 AGM as a Life Member. He wasn't present, so he award was presented to him at a later date.
The Notes column will identify what the role the recipient had UP TO the year of their recognition.
|1885||James "Jimmy" Charles||b: 1851, Newcastle on Tyne, England.||d: 20 Dec 1939, Melb . Aged 88||Regarded as the Founder of the club.|
|1894||John Howard Egan||b: 1865, Richmond||d: 3 September 1925, Hawthorn, aged 60||In the AR, the club only placed him as deceased in their 1935 AR.|
|1895||John James "Jack" Stewart||d: 2 September 1940 perhaps||Nickname "Bosco". VFA player 1885-1893,95. Assistant Secretary 1895. Secretary 1896-1898. Committee: 1886-1896, 1901-04, 06-11|
|1896||James Henry Frederick “Jimmy”||b: 9 Feb 1861||d: 15 June 1934, aged 73||Committee 1889. Secretary 1890 - 1895|
|1898||Alfred John "Punch" Elder||b: 1868||d: 16 Sept 1935, Richmond, aged 67||VFA player 1888, 1890-99|
|1900||William "Billy" Malone||b: 1851||d: 23 January 1925, Malvern, aged 74||Vice President 1887 - 1909, 1912 - 1914.|
|1901||William "Billy" Foster Brown||B: 1863||D: 26 Nov 1927, West Brunswick, aged 64||VFA player 1888-1889, 1891. Committee 1891, 1898 - 1902.|
|1902||William "Billy" Isaac Bicknell||b: 1854||d: 15 Aug 1931, Ascot Vale, aged 77||Foundation member. Committee 1893 - 1903, 1906 - 1909 . Vice President 1904-05.|
|1903||Charles Roger Backhouse||b:1871, Emerald||d: 5 August 1925, East Melb. Aged 54||VFA player 1891-1905|
|1904||Chris Simon Bahen||b: 1872||d: 16 Sept 1912, Richmond , aged 40||VFA player 1893-1902. Committee 1899-1903|
|1905||Archibald MacIndoe McNair||B: 29 August 1880 ,Richmond||D: 1960 Kew, aged 79||VFA player 1900-1904, Player rep on Committee. Treasurer 1902 -1911. Oldest living LM at time of death.|
|1906||George Richard Peckham-Beachcroft||B: 1871, Richmond||D: 24 June 1941, Richmond, aged 70||Secretary 1900 - 1905, 1912 -1913|
|1907||Francis "Frank" Campbell Wright||b: 1856||d: 9 August 1907, Carlton Nth aged 51||Committee 1900 - 1906.|
|1908||Alexander "Alec" James Edmond||b: 1878||d: 8 Jan 1950, aged 72||1902 and 1905 Premiership player (as captain)|
|1909||Andrew Arthur Albert Manzie||b: 30 Nov 1863||d: 9 Sept 1943, aged 79||Committee 1902 - 1905. Finance Commitee 1903 - 1905 Secretary 1906 - 1911|
|1911||Charles Norman Whitaker||b: 1880, Richmond||d: 16 March 1925, Balwyn, aged 45||Committee 1907-1910. Timekeeper 1910-1911.|
|Hugh John Slattery||b: 1870||d: 1919, Richmond, aged 49||One of our oldest members, and many years member of the Committee (1919AR). Committee 1901-1910. Vice President 1906-1907.|
|1912||John "Jack" Harry Archer||b: 1881||d: 11 May 1939, Richmond, aged 58||Committee member (1907 - 1910, 1912 ), chairman, and other capacities. Treasurer 1913-1920. President 1924-1931.|
|William "Bill" Augustus "Dad" Maybury||b: 1859||d: 25 Oct 1932, Richmond, 73||Hon Secretary, Chairman of committee, VFA delegate. 'Connected with club since Frank Hyde, Bob Mitchell, Frank Harcourt, Jim McCoughtry' Committee 1891 - 1894, 1896 - 1898, 1909 - 1916. Secretary 1896, 1917 - 1923. Assistant Secretary 1927. Vice President 1926-1927.|
|1913||All prev recipients got a Gold Medal.|
|1914||Alfred Tietgens||b:1865, Collingwood||d: 6 July 1943, Surrey Hills, aged 78||Committee 1891. Vice President 1896 - 1900, 1912 - 1923|
|1915||John Hugh "Hughie" James||b: 4 May 1890||d: 23 April 1967, aged 77||VFL player 1909–1916, 1919–1923|
|George McIntosh||b: 1866, Woods Point||d: 19 November 1929, South Yarra, aged 63 (Annual Report)||Committee 1914-1919. Assistant Secretary 1912 - 1919|
|1916||Richard "Dick" Terrence Kelly||b: 1870||d: 27 December 1941||Richmond VFA 1895-1897. Committee 1894, 1896 - 1899, 1912 - 1918|
|William Henry Lohse||b: 1881 Goornong||d: May 1955, Werribee, aged 74||Secretary 1913 - 1916. Committee 1913, 1917|
|1917||Bernard Vincent "Barney" Herbert||b: 20 Feb 1889||d: 14 Dec 1949, aged 60||VFL player 1909-1921. President 1932-35, 39|
|Percy Maybury||b: 24 Sept 1891||d: 8 May 1963, aged 71||VFL player 1910-1919. Vice President 1929-1931.|
|1919||Sydney William Reeves||b: 29 Aug 1891, Williamstown||d: 22 May 1962, Victoria, aged 70||VFL Player 1910-1919|
|Vic Thorp||b: 25 October 1890||d: 1 Oct 1941, aged 50||VFL Player 1910-1925,|
|1920||Clarrie Hall||b: 18 January 1890||d: 3 September 1976 , aged 86||Richmond VFA 1907, Richmond VFL 1912-22, 24|
|David Henry||Vice President 1915-1923. was he proprietor of Richmond Sports Depot ?|
|1921||Abe Aarons||b: 1880?||d: 25 January 1959 ?, aged 79.||Committee 1912 - 1913, 1915 - 1920. Treasurer 1921-1924. Was he a Pawnbroker in Nth Richmond ?|
|Tom Delaney||b: 1875, Ireland||d: 1951, Richmond||Committee 1915 - 1923 , Uniform Steward 1919-1923|
|1922||Arthur Bettles||b: 25 March 1891||d: 10 July 1971, aged 80||9 years as a player|
|Benjamin James Goodwin||b: 1873 , Richmond||d: 30 July 1940, Richmond, aged 67||VFA Player 1892 Patron 1919 - 1923|
|1923||Frank “Checker” Hughes||b: 26 February 1894||d: 23 January 1978, aged 83||1914-1923 player|
|Alfred Wood||b: 1864||(d: 1 January 1931, Brighton, 67).||Widow info Flags at half mast. Vice President 1916-1918. Finance Committee 1918. President 1919-1923|
|1924||Frank Harley||b: 29 June 1895||d: 14 December 1978 , aged 83||1915-17, 1919-1925 player|
|Joseph Watson||b: 1873 in Dunedin New Zealand||d: May 27 1943, East Melbourne aged 70||Richmond VFA 1898-99, Head Trainer 1931. Trainer: 1901 - 1910, 1912 - 1930, 1932 - 1936|
|1925||Ernest John “Jack” “Chick” Fayle||b: 1879||d: 15 June 1929, aged 50||Committeeman, Asst Secretary|
|Oscar Mitchell||b: 1889, Sunbury||d: Sept 14 1926, Punt Road - struck by car as he crossed the street on way to a Richmond Football Club meeting. Aged 37||Committee 1922-1923, Vice President 1924 - 1926, Finance 1925, Social Secretary 1924|
|1926||Donald Don||b: 17 August 1900||d: 31 May 1982, aged 81|
|Jimmy Smith||b: 25 January 1899||d: 11 January 1974, aged 74|
|1927||Harry Dyke||b:||d: 1967|
|Ernie Taylor||b: 10 June 1898||d: 23 November 1980, aged 82|
|1928||Doug Hayes||b: 16 September 1896||d: 5 June 1985, aged 88|
|Ray Stanley||b: 1890||d: 12 October 1932, Fitzroy, aged 42||He appeared in mid 1932 at game in wheelchair and receive cheers|
|1929||William Gosch (d: 1961)|
|Lou Roberts||d: 27 July 1945, aged 64||Also made a VFL Life Member in 1934|
|Jack Smith||Assistant Treasurer|
|1931||Joscelyn David Langdon||b: 1886||d: 22 March 1937, aged 51|
|1932||Wally Baker||.||Timekeeper for 23 years. Retired in 1940|
|Bruce Edmond||b: 1884||d: 30 June 1952||Committee 1928 - 1936 , Assistant Secretary 1932 - 1933, 1935 , Vice President 1937|
|1933||Bert Cox||b:||d: Dec 1959|
|1939||Martin Bolger||10 years as player. Also Players' rep on committee|
|Kevin O’Neill||10 years as player. Also Players' rep on committee|
|1941||Charlie Callander||22 years as property steward|
|Arthur Daws||Committeeman of 7 years|
|1944||Percy Langdon||d: 1963. The Age, May 5, 1955, pg 12 published apology for incorrectly reporting he had died.|
|Ernie Saunders||d: 20 February 1951, East Brunswick, aged 73|
|Robert Davall (d: 1960)||Caricature|
|1947||Patrick John Kennelly||b: 3 June 1900,Northcote||d: 12 December 1981, RIchmond||Vice-President.|
|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||b: 24 July 1885, Castlemaine||d: 10 April 1967||Vice President for 10 years. Senator for Vic.|
|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|
|1956||William McDonald (d: 1962)|
|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*, Robert Weatherill*, Robert Carew*, Bert Foster*, Fred “Fritz” Heifner*, Eric Zschech*, Gordon Strang* , Bert Edwards*, Robert Bawden* ,Geoff Strang*||Posthumously, two-time VFL Premiership player|
|John Ronaldson, Rex Hunt , Robert McGhie, Kevin Morris, Paul Sproule,||Two-time Premiership player|
|Mick Malthouse, Bruce Monteath, Geoff Raines||Single premiership and a minimum of 100 senior games.|
|* George Bownas, * William Carkeek, * Ernest McDonald, *Charlie Williams||Posthumously, 1902 and 1905 Premiership players|
|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|
|2017||Reg Hede*, Bill James*, Dave Moffatt*, Stan Morris*, George Parkinson*, George Bayliss*, Norm McIntosh*, Mel Morris*, Norm Turnbull*, George Weatherill*, Jack Anderson*, Doug Strang* Jack Twyford*, Dave Baxter*, Horace Edmonds*, Len Ablett*, Arthur Barr-Kemp*, Jack Broadstock*, Laurie Cahill*, Roy Quinn*, Brian Randall*, Ron Durham*, Ray Hunt*, Leo Maguire*, Jack Scott*, Ray Steele*, Bernie Waldron*, Terry Smith*||Deceased VFL premiership players who were not Life Members|
|Jack Cathie, Arthur Cleghorn, Alfred Davidson, James Douglas, Roland Duncan, Tom Gault, Percy Gibb, Patrick Gibney, Tim Hardiman, K Hardy, Jack Hutchinson, George Johnson, Ernie Justins, Joe Justins, Dick Knell, Bill Lang, Edward Leach, Bert Lithgow, Ernest Main, Jack Main, Manning, Jack Megson, William McCance, Richard Pirrie, Archie Richardson, Charlie Ricketts, Harry Rigby, Ernest Rudd, Ernie Rudduck, Jack Smith, Walter Sykes, Charlie Taylor , Dave Watson, Tom Williams, Wilson||Deceased VFA premiership players who were not Life Members|
|Craig McKellar, Robert Wiley, Daryl Cumming, Eric Moore, Michael Bowden, Cameron Clayton, Noel Carter, Laurie Fowler, Colin Beard, Ian Owen, Gareth Andrews, Stephen Mount, David Thorpe, John Perry, Daryl Freame, Stephen Rae||Living VFL premiership players who were not Life Members|
|David Astbury, Nathan Broad, Dan Butler, Josh Caddy, Jason Castagna, Brandon Ellis, Jack Graham, Shaun Grigg, Dylan Grimes, Bachar Houli, Kane Lambert, Kamdyn McIntosh, Toby Nankervis, Dion Prestia, Daniel Rioli, Jacob Townsend, Nick Vlastuin||AFL Premiership players|
|Damien Hardwick||AFL Premiership coach|
|Tom O'Donnell||Trainer from 1965-1990|
|Peter Williams||25 years of service (player, committee, vice president, President of RFP&0)|
|Tony Greenberg||32 years of service (Contributor/editor Fighting Tiger magazine, website)|
|2018||Maurice Rioli*||118 games, 2 B+F, Maurice Rioli Room named in honour|
|Jimmy Parker*||VFA 1891-1900, 170+games. 10 years service|
|Bill Mahoney*||VFA and VFL 1906-1911, 1913-1915, 1920. 10 years service.|
|George Bennett*||1887-1908 President|
|2019||Jack Cotter*||1935-1941 player. Career interrupted by war service|
|Ian Hull*||1935-1945 player. Career interrupted by war service|
|Jayden Short, Shai Bolton, Tom Lynch, Liam Baker, Ivan Soldo, Marlion Pickett||Premiership players|
|Francis Jackson||Recruiting manager|
|2020||Noah Balta||AFL Premiership player|
|Alan McDonald*||4 years as player, and 3 years war service interruption, 4 years as coach.|