Richards: Jack a great mate
23 August 2003 Sunday Herald Sun
By LOU RICHARDS
I MET Jack Dyer about
60 years ago when he was a big, bruising ruckman for Richmond and I was a
cheeky, young rover for Collingwood.
We first crossed paths when Collingwood didn't have a ruckman to contest a boundary throw-in, so I jumped up behind Jack and hit him near the ear – an accidental blow, of course.
Jack turned around and clipped me behind the ear. I told him to pick on somebody his size.
Jack taught me a valuable lesson that day. He told me if I couldn't hack it, to pick up my schoolbag and go home. There were no favours given in League footy.
I am saddened by Jack's passing. As mates, we shared many wonderful moments. He was a genuine legend of the game. Or as he would put it, "A legion in his lifetime".
He should be given a State funeral. And a statue should be erected in Richmond where he grew up and became the most famous name the suburb has known.
I loved Teddy Whitten. If a State funeral was fitting for him, it certainly is for Captain Blood.
Jack certainly was a great player – fast for a big bloke and a magnificent kick. He took credit for inventing the drop punt.
He liked to tell footy stories – like the one when he had the final kick as the Tigers were a goal down on the siren. He gave it a tremendous boot and as the ball sailed towards the goal the stitching split. The bladder went through the goal and the skin through for a point. Jack boasted he was given seven points and won a further game for his beloved Tigers.
Jack was a great man for football and a gentle giant. He respected women and was a gentleman, even when he met blokes a few hours after he had terrorised them on the footy field.
Jack also was highly respected. Although he used to bluff and bluster his way through interviews on World Of Sport, he always had the ear of coaches and players. They admired him, respected his opinions and loved chatting with him. That usually took place over a few ales in the make-up room.
I remember one day when Jack told a packed room nobody could be considered a champion unless he had played at least 100 games. When it was pointed out John Coleman played only 99, Jack shot back that there always was an exception.
Jack and I carried on in the media like it was an extension of our first meeting – he a big buffoon, me a cheeky little guy. That was part of our act, and anyone who knew us appreciated that.
We had a barrel of laughs over the years, particularly during our days on World of Sport and League Teams, both of which involved our great mate Bob Davis. The three of us tried to put a bit of fun into footy.
Eddie McGuire and Sam Newman will tell you they have imitated many of the World of Sport and League Teams segments for The Footy Show. And they have tried to put the same fun into it as we did all those years ago.
Jack and I did commercials for Four 'N Twenty Pies and Maxwell Radios, and every year we had a ball when he helped promote the Salvos. The sillier we acted, the more response we received.
Our union was capped off when Richmond and Collingwood began playing for the Dyer-Richards Medal. That was a real honour and I know that Captain Blood could think of nothing better than knocking off Collingwood, and vice versa.
I will miss Jack and all his antics. But I will remember him as a marvellous man, a wonderful character and a legend.
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