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“A Tribute To Jack – Captain Blood”

There have been some great footballers to play the game such as Dick Reynolds, John Coleman, Royce Hart, and also some of the more recent retirees, Tony Lockett, Brendan Gale and Matthew Knights; but there was no better and well known footballer than ‘Jack Dyer’.

John Raymond Dyer was born on the 13th November, 1913 in the South-Eastern Melbourne suburb of Oakleigh.  Little did we know that on that day a ‘Star’ was born.  As a baby, Jack moved to inner suburban Richmond where he came to love the town and the football club.  Jack was noticed as being a talented and tough footballer playing for the Richmond Hill Football Club in the Metropolitan Junior League.  Due to his football ability, he won scholarships to St. Ignatious College in Richmond and then De La Salle College in Malvern.

Jack made his senior debut with Richmond in round two, May 9th, 1931 against North Melbourne.  On that same day, Richmond full-forward Doug Strang kicked a club record of fourteen goals.  After debuting and showing off his silky skills and the way he attacked the football, he was always an automatic inclusion for the yellow and black.

In just his second year of his Victorian Football League (VFL) career, he had a stellar season and was awarded Richmond’s Best and Fairest of 1932.  Richmond also had a terrific season taking out the premiership.  Unfortunately, Jack missed Richmond’s 1932 premiership success over arch rival Carlton due to a serious knee injury.

Not only a Richmond icon, Jack was also a well respected policeman.  During the time of the depression and later on during World War II, he lifted spirits and gave society something to cheer, smile and talk about both on and off the football field.

Jack’s first taste of premiership success was in 1934 when the mighty tigers ran over the top of South Melbourne to secure their second premiership in three years.

A few years later, in 1937, Jack really started to shine.  He was the tigers Best and Fairest four times running in 1937, 1938, 1939 and 1940.

He was then announced Captain-Coach in 1941, which he saw as “his greatest honour”.

The year 1943 saw Jack Dyer as a premiership Captain-Coach after an astounding Grand Final victory over arch-rivals Essendon.

In 1946 he was awarded his sixth and last Richmond Best and Fairest and was also Richmond’s leading goal kicker in 1947 and 1948 before he announced his retirement as player and captain at the end of the 1949 season.  A fairy-tale finish to Jack’s career, (which he very well deserved) saw Jack Dyer slot through a goal with his final kick in league football.

At the end of the 1952 season he also resigned as Richmond coach, which brought an end of an era for the Richmond Football Club.

 During his sensational career he played 312 games, kicked 443 goals and represented Victoria on fourteen different occasions.  He was reported five times, but suspended just once, receiving a four week penalty.

Due to his courage, strength and leadership, he was known as “Captain Blood”.

He was dubbed “the greatest player in the history of Richmond, he was and still is the icon of the club, the force behind the club and the spirit of Richmond”.

After his footballing career he made a name as a humorous commentator and was noted for his unique expressions and misplaced use of words.  Jack was also a regular panel member on channel 7’s World Of Sport along with Bob Davis and Lou Richards, another two great footballers of their time.

The awards kept coming for Jack. He was awarded as an Inaugural Legend of the AFL Hall of Fame and also was named as the Captain of Richmond’s Team of the Century.

With Jack’s six Richmond Best and Fairest awards, the award was named after the great man, now called the ‘Jack Dyer’ medal.

On August 11th 2003, John Raymond Dyer passed away in the Box Hill Hospital after developing a bad case of Pneumonia, aged 89 years old.  Jack will be “remembered forever” as a man who bought greatness to both the Richmond Football Club and the game in general.

“Jack played at a time where players played for the love of the game, and the game loved Jack Dyer”.  John Raymond Dyer……”Simply the Best”

 

 Thanks to PRE member Bunnerz85 for writing this article in memory of Jack on the second anniversary of his sad passing away.