All of what we do on this forum is voluntary. We donate our time and expenses because we want to contribute, and because we want to create something that creates a community. Maybe it’s a fanciful pursuit, but we think it’s worth trying.
For now, there are three ways you can help us.
1. Share Tiger Tiger Burning Bright with all other fans of football.
2. Give Chris some (paid) work.
He is a graphic designer. Being a freelancer, he is always looking for contract work. If you have any jobs for him, or know of anybody who might, please look at his portfolio and make contact with him. Cards, invitations, corporate branding, book covers, marketing, whatever it may be. In his spare time, he has also designed some wonderfully nostalgic football T-shirts. Spread the news about his range, and buy one of his T-shirts for somebody you love.
3. Give Dugald a ticket to the football.
Here is some of my story: Many years ago, working as a freelance writer in Sydney – a chancy business with an unreliable income – I bought a Richmond Football Club membership knowing fully I’d never attend a game. Like many others, here was my charitable donation to something I believed in and that gave me times of great pleasure. I wanted to help my club; I wanted to help my team. Maybe I was homesick.
Last season, in January’s last gasp, I wrote and posted a letter to the coach and chief executive of the Richmond Football Club that said, among other things, how I once ran into the elbow of former Tigers’ ruckman Greg Dear while playing football in the lee of Norfolk Island pines at Lakes Entrance. I won a free for my troubles. The letter said also how I had returned recently to Melbourne, with my partner and our young son (with another baby on its way) and wanted to write a love letter to Richmond.
What came of this was a blog. All my words and time were voluntary. And to my undying disappointment, the football club I have always followed and always will, never fully embraced what I tried to do. I was not part of their business plan.
My work history is as a reporter. I joined The Age and travelled north for a job at The Sydney Morning Herald, before becoming disillusioned with newspapers and how they were run and what they were trying to do. I quit, to labour on building sites. I moved to the country, to labour on farms and in a timber mill, and to play football for country teams. After a while, I returned to Sydney needing money. I worked in an office. I hated it. I resigned after a year. I went and climbed mountains.
I did once find happiness running an oral history project for public housing tenants in the inner-city suburb of Glebe. That was my best job.
Now back in Melbourne, I am again at a crossroads. Last season, I thought to write about football and Richmond and hoped it might lead to a job. It didn’t. My choices this season were to give up, and go and look for another office job maybe doing corporate communications.
Or I could trust in what I believe in, and do what I enjoy, and hope in other ways at other times it may reward me.
For now, I cannot justify the cost of a membership or price of admission to games, to my partner and our two boys. At other times I have given regularly to charities (hello Oxfam, hello Bush Heritage Australia!) far more important than a football club. Now I hope others can visit charity upon me.
If you have a spare ticket to any Richmond game this year, please contact me. It’s a great way for me to meet people in the crowd, to share company with them, and to collect stories. I don’t have any paid work at the moment, so need to keep costs down. My first name, it rhymes with frugal. I ride my bicycle to training sessions at Punt Road. I no longer drink at the football, but don’t mind if you do. (Years ago I often smuggled a bottle of wine into games, on the rationale of it being a decent drop). Generally, I take my own food (have you seen the prices!).
I also wear a rather daggy homemade ‘Tiger’ T-shirt and lurid yellow tracksuit top. Be warned. But apart from that, I like to think of myself as generous company.
Please contact me and let me know if you have a spare ticket to any upcoming games. I would be much obliged.