A record number of fans that have been flocking to Richmond Football Club’s headquarters at Punt Road to sign up as new members are being warned to be cautious and stay alert after reports that a number of horses have escaped from an adjoining stable and are stampeding through nearby streets.
The Richmond Football Club are expected in the coming days to announce that they have broken the AFL record for the most club members for a season, even before the season has begun. These record numbers have come after the Tigers won the 2017 premiership - their first since 1980.
Nearby stable owner, Michael Rowe-Waver, has informed the club, however, that the large number of new members congregating by the club may be under threat after his entire stable of horses were able to escape his property moments before he was able to shut the gate to their paddocks.
“I’m worried they’re all going to get hurt,” said Rowe-Waver to ASW.
“I’ve been keeping horses for 37 years and I’ve never had them escape like this, and wouldn’t you know it, bloody Murphy’s Law, this large mob of people turn up just moments after all my horses bolted,” continued Rowe-Waver, slowly turning his head to look at the camera and shrug in a knowing fashion.
One new Richmond member, who asked not to be named, said they were unaware of the threat of imminent pain from being trampled, but were going to stay in line to sign up because they “loved the club that much”.
When asked why they hadn’t signed up at the beginning of the previous year, when they could have enjoyed and appreciated not being trampled, the fan simply said they were “busy”.
The Western Bulldogs have offered their clubrooms as sanctuary for any Richmond fans who are injured, saying that they have experience dealing with these types of injuries from a similar incident the year before.
Last year there were riots at the Western Bulldogs when some new supporters arrived to sign up the day after membership closed and without enough money, expecting membership fees to be $1 cheaper.
The AFL season begins on March 22 with Richmond facing Carlton at the MCG.