EbeneNews – AU – ‘Here are the pigeons’: the little-known tale of the Woosha Squad of Richmond


    John’ Tiger ‘Turner had two great passions in his life – ???? the Richmond Football Club and the pigeons

    During a gloriously absurd time in the early 1980s, these two loves combined in the motley group known as the Woosha Squad

    The squad was made up of fanatic Tigers fans, who prided themselves on arriving early to games to support the reserves, and idolized old-fashioned players like Peter ‘Woosha’ Welsh, who played 46 games at Punt Road, including the prime minister of 1980

    « We chose the player who worked 100% He was brave and relentless And that’s the reason we chose Woosha »

    It’s not uncommon for fan groups to have cult favorites, but the Woosha Squad have gone further than most, expressing their dedication through carrier pigeons.

    « It started in school Everybody had pigeons in the 1950s, and it was just a craze, a fad that went out of fashion, but I kept the pigeons, » said Turner

    In the early 1980s, these pigeons also started going to football, in brown cardboard boxes

    Now 70, Turner vividly remembers a suspicious security guard at the CWM who was convinced he and his companions were trying to smuggle grog

    While alcohol was a problem, birds were apparently fair game, and from Lakeside Oval to Punt Road to the MCG, the Woosha Squad let their feathers fly

    The rules were simple, after Richmond’s first goal came to an end, it was time to open the boxes

    « The pigeons weren’t just flying away, they were circling before they got home, then after the football I would come home and they would be sitting in the loft waiting for me, » Turner said. / p>

    Team Woosha’s exploits might well have faded from memory without Richmond club historian Rhett Bartlett, who was looking for ways to stay busy during the coronavirus lockdown in Melbourne

    He appealed on social media for fans to share their old football video tapes, so he can then digitize and share them

    « I was dismissed from my post so I had to keep my mind busy, » he said

    A woman named Linda sent her a 1985 reserve game between Essendon and Richmond at Lakeside Oval, which airs on Channel 7

    « I was just excited it was a reserve match I hit record on my little DVD burner and about 15 minutes into [commentator] Sandy Roberts says they’re ready to free the pigeons ! And I think I almost fell off my couch « 

    The pictures offer rich selections for 1980s football aficionados We first see the Woosha team with their tight shorts and polo shirts, a visor here, a woolen Guernsey there, a Choose t-shirt Life and a topless child with St Kilda socks pulled up to the knees

    John Klug, another fan favorite who was part of the inaugural AFL team in Adelaide, eventually scores the goal that leads to the release of the birds

    Without missing a beat, Gary Dempsey’s gritty voice praises Klug’s performance, comparing him to Neale Daniher, before Peter McKenna wonders if Klug could « carry some weight »

    « I just sat there stunned I had never heard of this in Richmond games, » Bartlett said

    « It’s actually a snapshot of a bygone era of football celebrations, which I find quite charming »

    Turner is still passionate about his pigeons, but now they stay at home, much like he has done since the lockdown was imposed

    « I understand that the lockdown is crucial and I understand all the values ​​of that, but as a supporter it’s really hard not to be with your friends, » he said

    Like thousands of Richmond fans, Turner will watch Friday night’s preliminary final from his living room.He is worried about Richmond’s chances, but has found solace in driving his car and listening to reruns of previous radio shows Richmond Premiers

    The Woosha Squad no longer meets in Richmond matches, but many former members remain close friends If they were still active today, Turner said they would likely find a new hero in Defender of flint Liam Baker

    « He’s brave, relentless, uncompromising, and he embodies everything Woosha did all those years ago »

    « People had VHS tapes at home, Super 8 footage that they took themselves when they went to play, it’s just dust There is a lot of football footage that isn’t not online, ”he said

    This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service which is copyrighted and may not be reproduced

    AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time, which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

    Richmond Football Club, Australian Football League, Essendon Football Club

    EbeneNews – AU – « There go the pigeons »: the little-known story of the Woosha team from Richmond

    SOURCE: https://www.w24news.com/news/ebenenews-au-here-are-the-pigeons-the-little-known-tale-of-the-woosha-squad-of-richmond/?remotepost=423602


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