Date aside, Tigers get Jack's number

November 13 is a historic date for Richmond Football Club because it is duly recorded as the birthday of Jack Dyer. The Tiger legend, who died in August, would have been 90 today.

So what better timing for the club to be making "a major announcement in front of the Jack Dyer statue", a decision that we believe is for future captains, present skipper Wayne Campbell included, to wear Captain Blood's famous No. 17.

Alas, what would otherwise have been a moving moment at Punt Road Oval this morning will be somewhat tarnished when the Tigers discover that the great man was not born on November 13 at all - his 90th birthday would have fallen on Saturday, November 15.

"It's an error that has been made in all the official footy publications and one that has been perpetrated by some newspapers (not this one, we hasten to add)," Dyer's son, Jack Dyer jnr, said last night.

And while Jack jnr was hardly flustered that people had got his father's birthday wrong, he was pleased to learn of the pending "major announcement" involving his dad.

Tiger officials failed to return our calls last night, the club no doubt wanting to keep details of the purpose of the news conference a secret until 11.30am, but the word we hear is the announcement is directly linked to the famous Dyer guernsey.

Dyer wore No. 17 for every one of his 312 games from 1931 to 1949, and the number was briefly reunited with the name when Jack jnr, now 62, played three games for the club in 1960.

Any decision that Tiger captains wear No. 17 certainly would not have got any argument from the present captain. Last year, when the Tigers decided to bestow each Richmond player with numbered ties in the order in which they made their debuts, Campbell not only was a prime mover in the concept, but he insisted he take Dyer's numbered tie - 324 - to his home and present it to him personally.

Remarkably, Campbell will become the 17th Tiger to wear No. 17, when he switches from No. 9.

TIGERS WHO HAVE WORN NO. 17
Mick Maguire, Percy Ellingsen, Will Collopy, Donald Don, Tom Dunne, Jack Dyer, Fred Clarke, Bob Dummett, Jack Dyer jnr, Brian McMillan, Barry Richardson, Allan Edwards, Maurice Rioli, Craig Smith, Paul Broderick, Paul Hudson.

Date aside, Tigers get Jack's number
By Geoff McClure
November 13 2003

Source: theage.com.au




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