Bendigo family of Richmond fans shows off Tigers-inspired decorations ahead of AFL grand final

Meet Steve Baxter and Darcy Gath: the Tigers fan too nervous for the MCG and his grandson who giving up a grand final ticket. 

White Hills resident Mr Baxter, who admitted to feeling jittery all week, hoped 2017 was the year his beloved Tigers turned around their fortunes.

“We’ve had a lot of bad seasons,” he said on Saturday.

But he would watch the match from home; sitting in the stands would be nerve-wracking to bear, he said.   

Chatting in their backyard on the morning before the big game, Mr Baxter and grandson Darcy stood in front of a garage door emblazoned with a painting of a Tiger’s head.

The mural was completed after a victorious cricket grand final in 1987 and its stayed on proud display ever since.

It was also the logo used in the club’s Save Our Skins campaign of the 1990s, a fundraising effort that helped the Tigers avoid AFL extinction. 

Mr Baxter has this week adorned his front fence with a complementary banner that reads ‘Yellow and Black. Go Tigers’. 

Win or lose, he planned on keeping the decorations in place, a decision he suspected would earn the wrath of neighbouring Magpies fans.

Despite her house being a shrine to the AFL club, Steve’s wife, Sharon, is “anti-football”. 

“I’m just totally not interested,” she said, explaining whenever family members descended on her home to watch football, she would go in search of sanctuary.

“We have a noisy household every time the Tigers are playing,” she said.

Another reason for the Baxters to celebrate this weekend was the selflessness of their grandson, Darcy.  

Once the owner of a hotly contested grand final ticket, Darcy gave up his seat so his uncle, Matthew, could attend the MCG.  

At just 14 years of age, the Weeroona College student is hoping there’s more success to come. 

Asked for his prediction about result, Darcy backed the Tigers by three goals and thought Daniel Rioli had the goods to win the Norm Smith medal.