Tom Hafey AFL legend has died of cancer at the age of 82. Richmond confirmed in a statement on the club website that their four-time premiership coach died today.
Hafey played for Richmond between 1953 and 1958 “This is an extremely sad day in Richmond’s history, to have lost a giant of the club in Tommy Hafey,” Richmond CEO Brendon Gale said.
He was named the coach for Richmond’s team of the century and is one of five club immortals. Hafey’s performance had drawn the attention of Tiger secretary Graeme Richmond. When Richmond faced a coaching dilemma in 1965, the club appointed Jack Titus to serve as a stand-in until a replacement could be found.
Hafey was encouraged to apply, and the decision came down to two candidates—Hafey, or former club captain Ron Branton, now coaching at Myrtleford.
The two men had started at Richmond at the same time, but Branton went onto great success that included three best and fairest awards and a runner-up placing in the Brownlow medal. Many expected Branton to get the job. However, Graeme Richmond saw something special in Hafey and he was appointed coach for the 1966 season, according to Wiki.
The Tigers will honour Hafey at Saturday’s clash against Melbourne at the MCG, with details to be confirmed.
Carlton coach Mick Malthouse said “Tommy coached me for half a season, but that half a season established a bond that was alive and well up until this afternoon. He was an amazing man. IMAGE / AFL FILE