Player Sponsor Experiences – Hawthorn Hall of Fame 2022

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We at Talking Hawks want to give Hawthorn fans an experience. This account from one of our player sponsor group members (John) is an example of such an experience. Enjoy the night through John’s eyes.

Join our player sponsor group to help us sponsor a Hawthorn AFLW player and you may find yourself on an MCG tour with Hawthorn players, at the Peter Crimmins Medal Hawks Best and Fairest and will enjoy our closed interviews with Jai Newcombe and Denver G-B.

Thanks to my part in the Talking Hawks player sponsorship group I had the chance to experience a night that I will long remember; mixing with past and present Hawthorn royalty.

My amazing night started when I walked in the door, as the first person I bumped into was one of the inductees Darrin Pritchard (one of the most humble footballers you could ever meet) who was excited and humbled to join the hall of fame of the club he supported as a child.

As I walked into the palatial plaza ballroom, I saw not one, but two Hawthorn Hall of Fame legends in David Parkin and Peter Knights. They gathered around new inductee Rodney Eade laughing about their playing days. Knightsy and Parko were happy to chat to a mad Hawthorn fan like myself.

As the night wore on I was able to mingle amongst Hawthorn royalty and even get to hold the premiership cups that were situated on the inductees tables.

Peter Hudson and Leigh Matthews | Hawthorn Hall of Fame 2022

In a surreal moment, I had the opportunity to sit and talk with not only Peter Hudson, but his table mate Leigh Matthews.

Other Hawthorn players I met and spoke with included the always humble and friendly Andrew Collins, the self effacing Darrin Pritchard, who spent most of his speech talking up his teammates, and one of my favourite Hawthorn past players Terry Wallace, who always makes fans feel that they are the only person in room.

One of the unexpected highlights of an unforgettable night was walking around the ballroom with dual premiership player Russell Greene as we both gathered signatures and photos with past players. Showing that even ex teammates get star struck.

Russell Greene and Terry Wallace | Hawthorn Hall of Fame 2022

The speeches and introductions from teammates were moving and also hilarious.

David Parkin introduced Terry Wallace and Plough talked of being turned down by his local junior club,then by Fitzroy U19s and the Reserves before Hawthorn invited him down to club after he moved to Camberwell (VFA).

After having his first practice match appearance was delayed due to his father having a heart attack, Wallace was shocked to receive a phone call after he played well in a HFC Reserves vs RFC Reserves practice match. 

Wallace was suspicious of the caller due to his debut game being held on April Fools Day. Plough also remarked that he was excited to be in a close knit midfield team of Matthews, Scott and Tuck. Only to discover  that after training a couple of times he realised that Scott and Matthews weren’t talking and that he could barely get a word out of Tuck.

Darrin Pritchard was introduced by his great mate Tony Hall who talked of the time Pritch had to save them all after a drunken escapade in Toronto on a footy trip.

Pritchard being the humble person he is, talked about his teammates achievements more than his own but said it was a thrill as a Hawthorn fan who broke his families couch emulating his Peter Knights only to end up at Hawthorn. 

Pritchard talked about the thrill of being visited twice by David Parkin who tried to recruit him to Fitzroy, and his childhood memories of watching Peter Hudson kick bags for Glenorchy.

Rodney Eade, Darrin Pritchard, Andrew Collins and Nick Holland | Hawthorn Hall of Fame 2022

Andrew Collins was the next inductee and spoke of the thrill of being recruited by his childhood team that his family spent weekends cheering on at Glenferrie and Princess Park.

Collo jokingly talked of the childhood heroes who told him he was too soft or slow to make it before he proved people wrong. He returned to Sandringham to coach a flag after being cut by Hawthorn. He said the greatest honour of his career was to be asked by the Crimmins family to wear the number 5 guernsey, even more so because Peter Crimmins was his boyhood hero.

Rodney Eade was introduced by the always humorous Peter Schwab who on a serious note touted Rocket as being ahead of his time as a wingman. Eade spoke proudly of his football journey beginning under Peter Hudson and of his extreme pride in wearing the number 26.

Unfortunately Don Scott didn’t attend and instead sat for an interview earlier with David Parkin. Scott spoke of the great Hawthorn fans and officials who helped save the club.

Scott shared that the AFL gave both the Hawthorn and Melbourne pro merger forces $100,000 to counter the anti merger forces. He was immensely proud to state that Operation Payback raised 1 million on a 19k budget as part of it’s mission.

With the upcoming game scheduled in Tasmania, sadly only a couple of current Hawthorn players were in attendance, but it was a great group who did. Changkuoth Jiath was in attendance and was thrilled to hear that a Talking Hawks member was in attendance and raved about the group.

Changuoth Jiath and Daniel Harford | Hawthorn Hall of Fame 2022

CJ was with Lachie Bramble who discussed with me his remarkable footy journey (which he said he still pinches himself about). As I was talking with that exciting pair, the MC of the evening Daniel Harford wandered over and volunteered to join the photo opportunity.

The night was an excellent celebration of the great Hawthorn players and the friendliness of the family club who made this fan feel so welcome.

Thank you to Talking Hawks for the opportunity to attend Hawthorn’s Hall of Fame dinner with my wife through my involvement in the player sponsor group.  The opportunity to be involved in meeting the players and attending events this year has been so memorable.

Go Hawks

From a proud Talking Hawks member John

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