Why is there a Fitzroy board?

smy1305

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Jan 27, 2011
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I have no idea how Mark went to South Melbourne , but Paul Roos went to Fitzroy.

I remember a chap named Doug who was a runner and a first aid bloke at Beverly Hills (I have old timers disease and have forgotten Doug's sir name I apoligise) but I ran into him when I 'd finished a couple of years later and he said to me, "you want to see this new kid we have at the club",

he could be any thing he wants!

Well he coached Sydney to a flag, was a champion Fitzroy boy, and a Sydney Swan champ as well.

Gee seems like centuries ago. We have to be very careful how we handle our unique Aussie football.

So the memories keep on coming.

Father/son was the reason for Mark going to Swans
 

Roylion

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If you cant buy your B&F winner a medal then there are serious cash flow issues (and priorities)
Roos was in fact given a replica medal on the night of the presentation and was told the real one would be ready shortly after. The Club had in fact misplaced the mould.
 

western royboy

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Do Fitzroy people have any resentment towards Port as we were the club you got shafted for? It'd be more than understandable if you did. It's just a question that's always made me curious.
Yeah there was a bit at the start, but obviously that has dissipated over time - the afl created the situation - it wasn't Ports fault
 

Groo2

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Yeah there was a bit at the start, but obviously that has dissipated over time - the afl created the situation - it wasn't Ports fault
Don't remember that. The team I most disliked coming out of the whole saga was actually Richmond - time heals all wounds I guess.

Roylion can probably remember better than me, but IIRC they seemed to be heavily involved in scuttling the proposed North merger.
 

FitzroyPete

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Jan 22, 2018
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Hi Guy's .

Not sure where I should post this so I'm in here.

Just wanted some feedback from anyone on a past Fitzroy player in Laurie Richards. He stated at West Perth in '66 and went to Fitzroy in '71 for 3 or so years.

He played footy for my WAFL team (West Perth) but he also played a couple of seasons for my local Sunday footy team (Wanneroo ) in his thirties.

What I remember most about him when he played for West Perth and Wanneroo is he was a superb athlete and his marking was ******* spectacular.

What I can't believe is there doesn't seem to be any footage of him taking grabs in WA. I'm not exaggerating when I say he would take mark of the year almost every week, he was a freak. He was so good that after playing 3 years of Sunday footy in WA after he retired from the WAFL, he returned to Woodville in SA to play one last season in 1981.

So my question is, does anyone on this board remember him ? did he take the big grabs for the Lions? and why did he leave the Lions?
Being an East Perth diehard and a sworn enemy of West Perth, I certainly remember Laurie Richards, passmark.
He caused my beloved Royals grief in the 1969 WAFL Grand Final and could certainly take a speccie.
I recall seeing Richards play for the Cardinals/Falcons at Leederville Oval in Round 21, 1978 (showing my age), a game East Perth won en route to the premiership (not forgetting that 1978 also saw the Mighty Roys win the VFL night premiership).
East Perth had four ex Roys playing that day - Wayne Duke, Ian McCulloch (started his career with EP), Ian Miller and Glenn Robertson - while Richards and John Duckworth were in West Perth's line-up.
 

passmark

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Being an East Perth diehard and a sworn enemy of West Perth, I certainly remember Laurie Richards, passmark.
He caused my beloved Royals grief in the 1969 WAFL Grand Final and could certainly take a speccie.
I recall seeing Richards play for the Cardinals/Falcons at Leederville Oval in Round 21, 1978 (showing my age), a game East Perth won en route to the premiership (not forgetting that 1978 also saw the Mighty Roys win the VFL night premiership).
East Perth had four ex Roys playing that day - Wayne Duke, Ian McCulloch (started his career with EP), Ian Miller and Glenn Robertson - while Richards and John Duckworth were in West Perth's line-up.
Thanks RoyPete,

Fair bit of traffic between the states in that time it seems.

Still haven't found a Fitzroy supporter who remembers him in their famous colours though, which I find surprising because he shone like a star everywhere else.
 

FitzroyPete

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Thanks RoyPete,

Fair bit of traffic between the states in that time it seems.

Still haven't found a Fitzroy supporter who remembers him in their famous colours though, which I find surprising because he shone like a star everywhere else.
I certainly do remember Laurie Richards wearing the maroon, blue and white, passmark.
Being here in Perth, the only footage I saw of Richards playing for Fitzroy was on the VFL replays (one quarter of two different games) on the ABC late on Sunday night (this was pre "The Winners").
From memory, Richards moved to Woodville in 1975 (I don't think Laurie can be blamed for both Fitzroy and Woodville being swallowed up/merged).
 

western royboy

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Don't remember that. The team I most disliked coming out of the whole saga was actually Richmond - time heals all wounds I guess.

Roylion can probably remember better than me, but IIRC they seemed to be heavily involved in scuttling the proposed North merger.
Leon Daphne was President of Richmond and he was scared of the merged entity becoming a super club because of the proposed allowances that North CEO had negotiated.
 

Len S

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Jun 29, 2015
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Thanks RoyPete,

Fair bit of traffic between the states in that time it seems.

Still haven't found a Fitzroy supporter who remembers him in their famous colours though, which I find surprising because he shone like a star everywhere else.
Well here's a story you may enjoy. I worked in W.A for a couple of years,about 68/69,and followed The Royals.I recall watching them easily account for The Cardinals at Leederville,and also Richards!On returning to Melbourne, and a year or two after,I was watching Fitzroy playing a practice match at Albert Park. I detected Richards playing....no I.D, and no media attention. I asked Arthur Wilson if it was in fact Richards,he confirmed it was,and swore me to secrecy.They were concerned other clubs might cut in before they signed him.They had his signature shortly after I think.For some reason they initially played him in the centre.His first game may have been at Princes Park.Jesulenko made a mess of him,and Laurie was switched during the game,and became a ruck-rover as it then was.Fitzroy only just lost that game.They had enough good players,but lousy coaches and admin.They could beat anyone on their day,but until Campbell came in,didnt capitalise on the talent...sadly Graeme returned to Perth after one season with the seniors,havin6won the reserves,and the night final,and setting up a very strong side.
 

FitzroyPete

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That's a great cloak-and-dagger story (and hats off also to Arthur Wilson), Len, and I'm glad you followed the Mighty Royals while you were over here.
Given Laurie Richards kicked 82 goals for West Perth, including seven in the unfortunate WAFL Grand Final of 1969, it's surprising he wasn't played up forward more often at Fitzroy.
We seem to be plagued by closes losses in the 1970s, particularly 1975, 1976 and 1978, so a renowned goalkicker might've made the difference.
 

mountain roy

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I will be buying a Fitzroy membership in 2018.
Love your jumper, your clubsong and your history.
thanks scray72.
i let my membership lapse last year, so of course blame myself for relegation to c grade. very happy when you won in 2016. if we were still around we would have played finals and won finals games, something i missed as a royboy from 89 onwards. bit of trivia. After the ridiculous fitzroy bulldogs merger fell through fitzroy never won another game against footscray.
 

SCRAY72

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thanks scray72.
i let my membership lapse last year, so of course blame myself for relegation to c grade. very happy when you won in 2016. if we were still around we would have played finals and won finals games, something i missed as a royboy from 89 onwards. bit of trivia. After the ridiculous fitzroy bulldogs merger fell through fitzroy never won another game against footscray.
Cheers. Wont be doing it online either. **** that. Going to Brunswick street. Get to watch some pure footy.
Good luck, hopefully back to B grade quickly.
 

Fat Pizza

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I certainly do remember Laurie Richards wearing the maroon, blue and white, passmark.
Being here in Perth, the only footage I saw of Richards playing for Fitzroy was on the VFL replays (one quarter of two different games) on the ABC late on Sunday night (this was pre "The Winners").
From memory, Richards moved to Woodville in 1975 (I don't think Laurie can be blamed for both Fitzroy and Woodville being swallowed up/merged).
I was only young when Laurie Richards played for the Roys. I remember liking his style. He played with a lot of flair. His marking was a highlight. He used to practise marking by jumping on a trampoline.

I met Laurie after Fitzroy's last game in 1996. A few years later, Laurie & his wife took me out for dinner & a tour of Perth, including visiting John Duckworth & Ian McCulloch, who both had pubs. Then we went back to the Richards' house, where Laurie showed me through his scrapbooks. I can't speak highly enough of the man.
 

FitzroyPete

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I was only young when Laurie Richards played for the Roys. I remember liking his style. He played with a lot of flair. His marking was a highlight. He used to practise marking by jumping on a trampoline.

I met Laurie after Fitzroy's last game in 1996. A few years later, Laurie & his wife took me out for dinner & a tour of Perth, including visiting John Duckworth & Ian McCulloch, who both had pubs. Then we went back to the Richards' house, where Laurie showed me through his scrapbooks. I can't speak highly enough of the man.
That's a wonderful story and Laurie Richards certainly seems like a great bloke, Fat Pizza.
I briefly met Ian McCulloch one night many years ago at the Brisbane Hotel he used to own in Highgate, a good John Duckworth torpedo punt from Perth Oval, the former home ground of Macca's mighty East Perth Royals (Laurie and John used to play for the enemy, West Perth).
It's ironic that Macca owned the Brisbane, given how the AFL shunted Fitzroy off to the Queensland capital.
 

Fizzler

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Not sure where else to post this, but I figure some of you guys might know (and this is a stickied thread too.)
How much did the AFL offer to merged entities during the 90s as an incentive to merge? How much money did Fitzroy/Brisbane Lions get for merging?
 

boncer34

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$6 million per merger.

In 1996, the AFL had on offer $12 million for a Melbourne Hawks merger and a Fitzroy merger but couldn't spare $1 million to keep Fitzroy in the competition.
Where would Fitzroy fit in the AFL now do you think? Would you have rejuvenated your supporter base like Hawthorn? Would you be middle of the road? As bad as North? Worse?

Genuinely interested in your view on the hypothetical.
 

Roylion

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Where would Fitzroy fit in the AFL now do you think? Would you have rejuvenated your supporter base like Hawthorn? Would you be middle of the road? As bad as North? Worse?
As bad as North?

Fitzroy could have survived and prospered. Fitzroy in 1992-93 was a very competitive side. Crowds of 50,000 and above for some Fitzroy games in 1992 and 1993, as well as crowds of above 25,000 for pre-season games showed that the club could attract spectators, if competitive. The club actually made a profit in 1993, they'd finally got a social club that was making money through the Fitzroy Club Hotel (purchased in March 1992) and were making plans to return to the Brunswick Street Oval (just up the road from the Fitzroy Club Hotel) as a training and administration base. The club had actually gained approval from the Council in 1992 to do just that, but just couldn't find the spare $250,000 to renovate the old heritage grandstand and build a modern gymnasium over the existing community rooms.

Fitzroy actually made a small annual profit from 1993-95, courtesy of their social club just up from the BSO.

Fitzroy chairman Dyson Hore-Lacy stated quite categorically on a number of occasions that if Fitzroy had been able to access an extra million dollars from sponsors or some other source in 1996, they would not have sought a merger with North Melbourne, Brisbane or anyone else. Since then, beginning in 2002, other Melbourne based clubs have received tens of millions of dollars from the Competitive Balance Fund and other AFL sources.

A selection of figures for example:
2002: Western Bulldogs - $1 million
2003: Western Bulldogs - $1 million, North Melbourne - $1 million
2004: Western Bulldogs - $1.5 million, North Melbourne - $1 million
2005: Melbourne $1.5 million + $1.5 million retrospectively, Western Bulldogs $1.5 million, North Melbourne $1 million.
2006: Carlton - $2.1 million
2007: Western Bulldogs $1.7 million, North Melbourne $1.4 million, Melbourne $1 million, Sydney Swans $0.7 million, Richmond $0.4 million, Hawthorn $0.25 million, Port Adelaide $0.25 million
2008: Melbourne - $250,000, Western Bulldogs $1.7 million, North Melbourne $1.4 million
2009: Melbourne - $1 million, Port Adelaide - $1 million

Totals 2002-2009
Western Bulldogs - $8.4 million
North Melbourne - $5.8 million
Melbourne - $5.25 million
Carlton - $2.1 million

Had Fitzroy received the same amount of money in 1996 as any of the above four clubs they would:
1. have NOT sought a merger and continued to field a team independently in the AFL.
2. have paid off their only secured creditor - Nauru - to whom they owed $1.25 million - which meant an administrator would not have been appointed
3. have redeveloped Brunswick Street Oval as a permanent training base. (As i already said, this step already had the approval of the Fitzroy Council and needed $250,000 to bring it to fruition).
4. have paid 100% of the cap - thereby being able to retain their players and remain competitive.
5. have developed their recruiting zone out Balwyn and Doncaster way, thereby developing a significant supporter base and increasing their membership (particularly if they were competitive).

Not having a home ground to make money from hurt a lot. In 1993, Fitzroy made nothing from Princes Park, their home ground and in fact were billed $6,000 by Carlton for use of the ground. The compulsory ground rationalisation of the 80's was an event that really hurt Fitzroy and prevented them from being more competitive.

So a move to the Docklands might have helped Fitzroy's bottom line as well.

So with some financial aid, Fitzroy could have secured a permanent training base at the BSO, moved to the Docklands as their home ground and maybe also played some home games interstate either in Canberra or Tasmania as well as rebuilding their list through the draft, while continuing to make profits courtesy of their social club.
 
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