There were some standout stars at Friday night’s qualifying final between Richmond and Geelong, including Tigers Dustin Martin and Trent Cotchin.
But every time the cameras swung to the rather bonkers Richmond cheer squad after a goal, we thought, ‘who’s that woman in the Tigger costume’?
Her name name is Brenda Hilton, who would be a serious contender for 2017’s most fanatical Tigers supporter.
Ms Hilton, 55, has been to all but three Richmond games this year, including matches in Perth, Gold Coast and Sydney.
On her right shoulder, she has a Tiger tattoo. The tattooist was former Richmond player Jake King.
Ms Hilton is a bookkeeper from Cranbourne West.
In July, she and her partner Alan drove to Port Macquarie in northern NSW to purchase a car with a tiger print they found on Facebook.
The couple are a Tigers love story – divorcee Brenda met Alan in 2005 on a dating website, and was smitten by his Tiger arm tattoo.
Later, they realised they had lived in the same street as teenagers, and had dated (including at Richmond games) aged 20.
Today, their home is a happy riot of Tiger plush toys, rugs, plates, figurines and framed player guernseys.
Ms Hilton has been a Tiger all her life. Growing up in The Pines, in Frankston, she couldn’t afford a club membership and living so far away, only occasionally went to games.
Making up for lost time, she joined the cheer squad three years ago and is loving being “surrounded by same-type people”.
“A chap I know brings his wife and daughters and they have pale yellow onesies, and Trout from Woodend has his painted pants and yellow wig. “
Despite sticking with the Tigers in the years of losing and almost folding, she has never been to a Grand Final.
But she already tickets to this one, and she will wear her Tigger costume with pride.
She has noticed that it makes other people happy, with kids high-fiving her, and teenagers getting selfies with her.
No prizes as to who she is tipping for the flag.
She says Richmond is a much tighter outfit than last year. “They’re playing as a team, playing better football, not dropping their heads like they used to.
“I just have a feeling that we’re going to win.”