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Life tribute to Dyer

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Mr T.

Staff member
Aug 11, 2007
Life tribute to Dyer
By SHAUN PHILLIPS and MICHAEL WARNER, 25 August 2003, Herald Sun

JACK Dyer will be honoured with a public church service, a reunion of past Richmond champions - and a striking 3-metre bronze statue.

Hundreds of mourners are expected to pack St Ignatius Catholic Church at 10am on Wednesday to mourn the footy legend dubbed Captain Blood.

A wake is expected to be held at the club's Punt Rd home later that day.

Visitors to Tigerland will soon be forever reminded of Dyer's greatness, with the bronze sculpture to be unveiled outside the club's Punt Rd headquarters within weeks.

The statue is modelled on a famous action shot of Dyer now used as the logo of Channel Nine's The Footy Show.

Richmond officials will meet Dyer family members this morning to plan a week of tributes culminating in a player reunion at the MCG during Richmond's clash with Hawthorn next Sunday.

A minute's silence will be held on the ground before the opening bounce.

Richmond president Clinton Casey said the Tigers would have pushed for Dyer to become the second footballer honoured with a state funeral - the first was Ted Whitten in 1995 - if his family had so desired.

But Jack Dyer Jr said the family decided the memorial service at St Ignatius on Wednesday would give the wider community the chance to say farewell to Dyer, who died on Saturday aged 89.

The only player to pull on a Richmond jumper more often than Dyer, Kevin Bartlett, has been asked to deliver a eulogy.

Geelong champion Bob Davis, who with Dyer and Lou Richards became the first footballing multimedia stars, has also been asked to speak.

St Ignatius, in Richmond, can hold 800 people, but hundreds more may have to stand outside to honour Captain Blood.

Current-day Tigers used Dyer's memory as a spur in yesterday's clash with league-leaders Port Adelaide at Telstra Dome.

They wore black arm bands in honour of the six-time best and fairest winner and seemed determined to do him proud.

Injured skipper Wayne Campbell said the players were desperate to produce a performance worthy of commemorating Dyer's life.

But after a gallant effort, the Power prevailed 18.19 (124) to 16.8 (104).

The Tigers watched footage of Dyer - dubbed Captain Blood for his ruthless on-field behaviour - before taking the field.

A sombre Tigers coach Danny Frawley said: "We tried to pay respect to the Dyer name and club as best we could."

Football's biggest names yesterday lined up to honour Dyer.

Campbell - a former winner of the Jack Dyer Medal, Richmond's best and fairest award - put the No. 17's standing in perspective.

"It's amazing - he retired in 1949 and yet even now, when you think of Richmond footy club, you think of Jack Dyer," Campbell said.

"A couple of years ago when the Hall of Fame committee met to decide on the first immortal, they didn't meet for too long. He was alway going to be that first one."

Clinton Casey said Dyer was Richmond.

"Jack Dyer was the embodiment of that ruthless, win-at-all cost, eat-'em-alive spirit that is famous at Tigerland," he said.

"It's going to be a big Jack Dyer week. We're doing a special tribute at the MCG next weekend, where Jack would have loved it to be.

"It will be the last time the players run down the race from our clubrooms, because they are to be demolished.

"We're getting the five premiership teams ... who used those rooms to come back."

Richmond commissioned the bronze statue of Dyer about four months ago.

It will stand outside the Punt Rd Oval, modelled on a famous newspaper picture taken during the 1944 preliminary final - a day Dyer scored nine goals.

It is the work of Mitch Mitchell, who also created the famous Ted Whitten sculpture at Whitten Oval and the John Landy/Ron Clarke Sportsmanship tribute that sits outside Vodafone Arena.
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