Back in the 70s these three Tigers might have been discussing the price of gas and how the oil crisis had sent it soaring from 50 cents a gallon to almost $1. Wrong! Neil Balme Kevin Sheedy and Mal Brown were wondering whether the garage owner, Ron Carson, had opened the fridge inside!
The Swan Street petrol stop served a far finer drop than Mobil Super and those boys, as well as the rest of the Tiger players, knew they could drop in most times and top up with a glass or two of the foaming beverage.
Carson’s garage had a deserved reputation as a hideaway for Richmond players to do some bonding over a glass of liquid amber. Everyone at the club knew what the players did in the back room at Carson’s! Coach Tom Hafey knew and turned a blind eye. So did CEO Alan Schwab and even legendary supremo Graeme Richmond knew!
Ron Carson was treasurer of the Tigers at the time but fulfilled a second role pumping out beers inside for the boys while motorists waited outside for their Mobil at the pumps. When the players didn’t go to Carson’s for refreshment they slipped off to the London Tavern Hotel where publican Sammy had a private room set aside for them.
It was in Sammy’s where the Tigers hatched up many pranks to liven up the heavy training nights that Tommy set them. One was when they souvenired the bicycle of the legendary property steward Charlie Callander, who for 63 years had safeguarded the Tigers jumpers, shorts, socks, towels and footballs like they were a king’s treasure!
It’s said the players weren’t allowed to get a new pair of socks unless the old ones had at least three holes in them. He was miserly with everything and the players were all afraid to cross him or pinch anything from the shelves!
The players concocted a plan at Carson’s one night to get even with Charlie. They pinched his bicycle and wheeled it across the street and padlocked it to the fence of the local brothel!!. Nobody was game enough to look Charlie in the eye for more than a week! Those were the good old, ad old days!.