YOU only need to take a glance at David Goodwin’s beard to quickly realise just how passionate he is about Richmond.
As the Tigers’ famous club song goes, Goodwin’s beard is “yellow and black” and become his trademark.
Given it has been 35 years since Richmond last played in a grand final, Goodwin is soaking up all the excitement this week as his beloved Tigers prepare to take on Adelaide for the AFL flag on Saturday.
“I’m absolutely jumping out of my skin… I can’t wait to see it happen on Saturday,” Goodwin said on Thursday.
Goodwin is 59, meaning he was 24 when Richmond last played in a grand final in 1982, and 22 when the Tigers won their last flag in 1980 by smashing Collingwood by a then grand final record of 81 points.
“I had a ticket to the 1980 grand final, but I got sick, so I gave it to my mate,” Goodwin said.
“I couldn’t get one in 1982, but I didn’t miss much that day (Richmond lost to Carlton by 18 points).
“When I missed out on a ticket in 1982 I thought, ‘well, I’ll get another chance next year or the year after’, but it obviously hasn’t happened again until this year.
“It’s just amazing that they will be back in it on Saturday.”
Goodwin has been a Richmond member for more than 40 years, but has missed out on a ticket for Saturday’s clash against the Crows at the MCG.
Goodwin recalls his passion for Richmond was ignited at a family Christmas one year when he met Dick Clay.
Clay was a Richmond star – he played in four Tigers’ flags in 1967, 1969, 1973 and 1974 and is a member of the club’s Team of the Century.
“My uncle Richard Williams was married to Dick Clay’s sister, and when Dick walked in that day at Christmas, that just cemented Richmond for me,” Goodwin said.
As for the beard: “It started out as a goatee, but I’ve always had it coloured,” Goodwin said.
“I decided I was sick of shaving, and so I’ve grown it and this is it… it’s grey underneath, but I’m too young to be going grey, so I put the black and yellow in it for every game.”
Goodwin says he doesn’t have a favourite Tigers player… they are all his favourites.
“I’m a Richmond supporter, so they are all my favourites,” said Goodwin, a member of the Bendigo Richmond Supporters Group.
“On the day I’ll have a favourite when someone does something spectacular, but if you’re a Richmond player then you’re all my favourites.
“I’m really confident about Saturday. I’ve gone into games where I haven’t had a good feeling about it and I’ve usually been right and we’ve been beaten.
“But I’ve got a really good feeling about this week… hopefully, I’m right.”