Richmond’s Gerald Tanner has passed away

Jasper BruceNCA NewsWire
Tanner played alongside Titus (pictured) and Dyer, who were both named in Richmond’s team of the century.
Camera IconTanner played alongside Titus (pictured) and Dyer, who were both named in Richmond’s team of the century. Credit: News Limited

Richmond’s oldest living footballer, Gerald Tanner, has died.

The club confirmed on Sunday that Mr. Tanner died on January 10, not long after becoming the third known Richmond player to live to be 100.

A talented country footballer, Tanner played one game for the Tigers in 1941 when the Second World War put regional leagues on hiatus.

Without a place to play, Tanner was invited to travel more than 250km from his home in Cobram to train with the Tigers.

He trained with the club in the 1941 pre-season and later that year, played on the wing in his VFL debut.

Alongside club greats such as Jack Titus and Jack Dyer, the 19-year-old Tanner helped Richmond to victory over Essendon at Punt Road.

“I was only a 19-year-old kid. I think my mother was expecting me to come home with my head under my arm. She was frightened I was going to get injured,” Tanner recalled in a 2019 interview with Richmond historian Rhett Bartlett.

Undated. Richmond footballer Jack Titus.
Camera IconTanner played alongside Titus (pictured) and Dyer, who were both named in Richmond’s team of the century. Credit: News Limited

Tanner was soon transferred to Wodonga as part of his job with the state railways, so never had the chance to add to his tally.

Tanner’s son Xavier followed in his footsteps and played 111 VFL games between the late 1970s and mid-1980s.

He kicked a goal in North Melbourne’s 1977 grand final win over Collingwood, which was the second premiership in the club’s history.

The younger Tanner joined Melbourne in 1984 for the last two seasons of his career.

Originally published as Richmond’s oldest living player Gerald Tanner has passed away

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