Child-sized duffle coat, Norwellan Bluey Junior brand (trademarked circa 1977), covered with Richmond Football Club player numbers and names, which were applied by the owner in 1981. This fan was clearly a Richmond supporter and the coat has the references to some of Richmond's most famous players of the day. Three Richmond supporter badges were also found in one of the pockets. On the front: Jim Jess (20), David Cloke (33), Francis Bourke (30), Mark Lee (1) with the names of Mark Lee, Terry Smith, David Cloke, Kim Kershaw and Greg Strachan listed on the chest; and Bryan Wood (1) occupying the back of the coat with the word Richmond, suggesting Bryan was this fan's favourite player. All these players (with the exception of Kim Kershaw) had played in Richmond's premiership team in 1980.

Duffle coats were worn frequently during winter by fans at footy matches as they were warm and inexpensive and the popular choice of garment to be transformed into a barrackers' uniform. Sewing the numbers and names of favourite footy players and club souvenir badges in the team colours was a popular way to overtly support the club and make the fans' club affiliations clear. It was also common to pin club buttons and badges to these coats.

Duffle coats were a common style of clothing, made from a coarse, thick woolen material with a hood and wooden toggles. The fabric originated in Duffel in Belgium and bags and coats were common across Europe by the 1850s. They became British Navy issue from the 1890s and widely issued in World War II. As military surplus the duffle coat became a popular item of civilian clothing, especially amongst students and versions were made by companies around the world. Norwellan Textiles had a mill in Stawell and offices in Port Melbourne. The style is still popular today, though made from softer fabrics for a more stylish market.

Physical Description

Youth/child size duffle coat - "Norwellan Bluey Junior Made in Australia size 32" - with numbers and names of favourite players ironed and stitched on to it. "Richmond" is displayed on back at top. Three Richmond supporter badges found in pocket: 1. Official Richmond Cheer Squad 1981 (9cm); 2: Official Richmond Cheer Squad 1983 3: "I'm a tiger lover" (5.5cm.)

More Information