|Occupation:||Australian Rules Footballer|
|Birth Day:||August 5, 1931|
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
He got his start as a player with under-19 East Malvern team.
Tom Hafey was born and raised in Richmond. He began his football career with the East Malvern under 19 team before graduating to the senior side in 1950. He spent three years with the club, winning the best and fairest in 1952.
After the appointment of Alan McDonald as coach, Hafey was often relegated to the bench as Ken Ward played in the back pocket. The Tigers fell to the bottom part of the ladder. Playing a backup role for a poor team, Hafey decided to retire from the VFL at the end of 1958. Over six seasons, he had played in 67 games, starting 52 of them. In 1959, Hafey played for the local Richmond Amateurs who won the premiership that year.
After the 1959 season, Hafey left the city of Richmond, taking a job as playing coach of Shepparton in the Goulburn Valley area of northern Victoria. His tenacious attitude and devotion to fitness turned the club into a winner. Shepparton lost the Grand Final to Tongala in 1961, then won three straight from 1963 to 1965. Meanwhile, Hafey acted as a recruiting agent for the Tigers, recommending potential players from his region.
Hafey's performance drew the attention of Tiger secretary Graeme Richmond. When coach Len Smith had a heart attack in 1965, the club appointed Jack Titus to serve as interim coach until a replacement could be found. Hafey was encouraged to apply, and the decision came down to Hafey and former club captain Ron Branton. Many expected Branton to get the job. However, Graeme Richmond saw something special in Hafey and he was appointed coach for the 1966 season.
Richmond began 1966 strongly. A month before the finals, they hit the top of the ladder for the first time since 1951 and seemed certain to play in September. However, two losses dropped the Tigers to fifth place with thirteen wins and a draw. They became the best performing team to miss the finals since the inception of the McIntyre finals system in 1931. Richmond dismissed a number of players, replacing them with new players such as Royce Hart and Francis Bourke.
After missing the playoffs in 1970, Hafey took the Tigers to the finals for the next five years. Basing the team's strategy around all-out attack had drawbacks. Most famously, during the 1972 finals the team conceded the highest score ever, losing to Carlton in a shock upset. Hafey later said the defeat depressed him for many months, but it later became the motivation for back-to-back premierships in 1973 and 1974. By now, the aggressive attitude of the club both on and off the field had created resentment toward the club. A number of incidents during the 1973 Grand Final – the Windy Hill brawl, the attempted recruitment of John Pitura from South Melbourne and a poor reaction to Kevin Bartlett's failure to win the Brownlow medal – all focussed negative attention on the club. Hafey, however, used the resentment to his advantage, telling his players "it's Richmond against the world".
Richmond showed signs of ageing in 1975, when they lost in the preliminary final. A raft of player departures made for a poor 1976 season, with the Tigers finishing seventh, Hafey's worst ever result. He was reappointed for 1977, but not unanimously (he had no contract with Richmond, instead being appointed on a year-to-year basis). When it leaked that Graeme Richmond, the club's powerbroker, had voted against Hafey's reappointment Hafey immediately resigned.
Collingwood lost to North Melbourne in the 1978 Preliminary Final, leading to a number of personnel changes during the offseason. In 1979, the team returned to the Grand Final. After taking a second quarter led, Collingwood fell behind at the half. They ultimately lost by five points. In the 1980 Grand Final, Hafey took on his old team of Richmond. Kevin Bartlett won the Norm Smith medal as the Tigers won by a record margin. The Magpies again made the Grand Final in 1981. After holding a 21-point lead in the third, Collingwood gave up two late goals before the three quarter break. The resulting disharmony in the Magpie huddle allowed the Blues to dominate the fourth quarter and win the game.
Hafey was given a three-year contract to coach Geelong in 1983. However, he was unable to engender the type of team spirit he created at Collingwood and Richmond, and the team did not make the finals during his tenure. During 1985, it became clear that Hafey's contract would not be renewed.
During the 1985 season, the VFL had sold the Sydney Swans to controversial medical entrepreneur Geoffrey Edelsten to create the first privately owned club. Franchising, club licensing, player drafts and salary caps were all concepts that the VFL was attempting to import into Australian football at a time of financial crisis. Edelsten quickly signed numerous star players away from Melbourne clubs by offering large contracts. He wanted to hire Kevin Sheedy, who had just coached Essendon to successive premierships. Sheedy turned Edelsten down, but urged the Swans' owner to sign his old mentor, Tom Hafey. Edelsten took the advice and signed Hafey for three years.
Returning to Melbourne in 1989, Hafey was employed by ABC radio as a football commentator. Although often mentioned as a possible candidate by the media whenever a coaching position fell vacant in the AFL, no job materialised. Hafey came to be seen as one of the "old school" coaches, unsuited to the tactically sophisticated era. In his radio commentary, he rarely employed the jargon of the modern coach and believed that football is a simple game that had been over-complicated, that motivation comes from within and fitness is the basis for success.
An inaugural inductee to the Australian Football Hall of Fame 1996, Hafey was named coach of Richmond's team of the century in 1998. In 2003, the Tigers set up the "Tom Hafey club", a corporate networking group, in his honour.
In 2011, Hafey appeared in a TV commercial for Jeep Australia as part of their 70th Anniversary Campaign. The commercial shows him running and doing push-ups as part of his regular fitness routine.
In 2011, a book titled The Hafey Years – Reliving a golden era at Tigerland was published. It documents Hafey's involvement with Richmond as a player, and his run of success as a coach in the 1960s and 1970s. Hafey had previously resisted having a biography written about him; author Elliot Cartledge said he changed his stance "because The Hafey Years is not a biography but a chronicle of an era."
During AFL Grand Final week in 2011, Hafey was awarded the "Coaching Legend Award" by the AFL Coaches Association.
After a brief illness due to a secondary cancer, Hafey died at the age of 82 on 12 May 2014.
Celebrating Tom Hafey's birthday. Wishing him all the best!
Currently, Tom Hafey is 90 years, 0 months and 0 days old. Tom Hafey will celebrate 91st birthday on a Friday 5th of August 2022.
Find out about Tom Hafey birthday activities in timeline view here.