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Sport Richmond fans flock to Tigers' Punt Road base to cheer premiership heroes

04:40  01 october  2017
04:40  01 october  2017 Source:   theage.com.au

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In the Richmond Tigers ' heartland fans are still celebrating their fairytale premiership , flocking toward Punt Road Oval for a chance to see their heroes in the flesh. Send your tributes. Fans flock to Tigers ' Punt Road base .

Hey guys! Yesterday was an awesome day! I got to go to the Richmond Premiership Celebration/Family Day at the Punt Road Oval/Swinburne Centre, as well as

Fans heading to the Richmond Tigers family day at Punt Road Oval.© Daniel Pockett. Fans heading to the Richmond Tigers family day at Punt Road Oval. In the Richmond Tigers' heartland fans are still celebrating their fairytale premiership, flocking toward Punt Road Oval for a chance to see their heroes in the flesh.

At the oval with coffee in hand and still wearing his tiger suit and face paint, Paul Webb said he hadn't slept a wink last night.

"I did everything, you name it," the Bacchus Marsh man said. "Punt Road, Bridge Street, Swan Street, the London Tavern, the Cricketers Arms, the Royal … I was in every pub in Richmond."

And Mr. Webb said the party was set to continue. "We've got 365 days to celebrate," he said.

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Fans have flocked to Richmond 's spiritual home on the eve of AFL Grand Final. Melbourne's Punt Road Oval was a sea of yellow and black on Friday morning. Thousands packed out ground for Tigers ' last training session before decider.

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The electoral commission worker said he had the foresight to take Monday off work – but warned colleagues they would not escape his reveling.

"I'll sleep tomorrow, probably, but I'll be heading into work on Monday to give it to everybody who said we couldn't do it."

Fans are still celebrating their fairytale premiership.© Daniel Pockett Fans are still celebrating their fairytale premiership. Other fans are still in a state of disbelief.

Father and son Rick and Luke Rosenstengel from Colac are also among the crowd at the Tigers' spiritual home.

Luke was at the MCG for the game, but after celebrating the win he went home to watch a replay. "I'll watch it a few times again I reckon," Luke said.

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Tiger Army will move to the city for the official Grand Final Parade at midday Richmond 's last grand final was in 1982 and their last premiership was Security was forced to close the gates on Friday at Punt Road Oval adjacent to the MCG, as a sea of yellow-and-black clad fans watched the Tigers '

Cafes up and down Swan Street are packed with punters wearing the yellow and gold.

Mates Chris McKenzie and Andy Nobel are among those out for breakfast to soak up the excesses of the night before. "The hangover is fantastic," Mr Noble said.

Both were at the MCG on Saturday to see the historic game.

"After that we hung around in the bullring for another hour, just soaking up the atmosphere," Mr McKenzie said.

Fans are flocking to Tigers' heartland.© Daniel Pockett Fans are flocking to Tigers' heartland. Like thousands of fans, the Bayside pair headed down to Swan Street to celebrate afterward.

They described the atmosphere as "electric" – but other fans lamented how a festival atmosphere in Tigerland eventually "turned feral".

"It was fantastic until about midnight, then it just got out of hand," Richmond cafe owner and Tigers fan Peter Laliotis said.

"That's when the argy-bargy with police started and it was after six hours of partying – it was only going to turn ugly, and it did."

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Premiership Tigers with the cup at Punt Road Oval on Sunday. Earlier, jubilant Richmond fans have poured into Punt Road Oval as they continue to celebrate the success-starved club's first premiership in 37 long years.

No AFL Cheer Squad is as loud and dedicated as the Richmond Tigers Cheer Squad. Fan Love takes you to the iconic Punt Road oval as the Cheer Squad members

But before that, Mr Laliotis said Swan Street was like a festival.

"I was here [when Tigers last made the grandfinal] in '82, I was here last night and I've been here every grand final in between," he said.

"I've never seen anything like that before, not even Collingwood 2010 came close."

Most, though, are recounting the exploits of their heroes on the MCG and their own post-match antics.

Also on Sunday morning Cole Spender and his dog Fender were enjoying a walk along Swan Street, a day after Mr Spender went to the MCG to cheer his team onto premiership glory.

Fans look at a Dusty 'statue'.© Daniel Pockett Fans look at a Dusty 'statue'. But the highly-sought after tickets didn't come cheap.

Mr Spender, who works in healthcare technology, said as soon as tickets sold out he got onto the phone to everyone he knew to try and coax tickets for himself and a relative a ticket – at any cost. They've been going to Tigers games together for 22 years, Mr Spender said.

Eventually, he got hold of tickets -they were $750 each.

Mr Spender said he paid $1500 for the "once-in-a-lifetime" chance to see his beloved Tigers play their first grand-final in 35 years – and doesn't regret a thing.

The 34-year-old and dog Fender walk down Swan Street every day. But this day is not like every other day, even for Fender.

"He picks up all the uneaten Souvlaki and kebabs," Mr Spender said.

"So today is an extra special day for him too – because more drunk people means more spoils."

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