By Brendan Rees
There’s the Tiger army. Then there’s Brenda Hilton.
Meet one of Richmond’s most dedicated fans, whose love for the club goes beyond owning a gold membership.
If something comes in yellow and black, the chances are Brenda will have it – she even has a Tigers TV remote control.
“I don’t do what I do for attention. I love the Tigers,” says Brenda, of Cranbourne West.
Her home is filled with everything Tigers from photos, to wall art, framed memorabilia, caricatures, figurines, clocks, glassware, throws draped over couches and more.
“There’s stuff packed away. We just don’t have room for it,” she says.
And in all the bedrooms, Brenda says, are “bedspreads, linen is black and yellow, soft toys, and blankets.”
She says if people are short on ideas when it comes to buying birthday or other gifts for her “they buy something tigerish.”
A Richmond supporter since the age of four, Brenda was always destined to be a Tiger, adding “Dad followed Richmond and I was born in the year of the tiger.”
“I love the animal. They’re just a stunning animal. In 2012 I flew to Dreamworld just to sit with one. That was a Christmas present. That was beautiful – a 200-kilo white Tiger,” she says.
And her love doesn’t stop there. She recently bought a Tigers car.
Brenda admits she was won over when she saw the black and yellow striped paint.
She said her god-daughter found the car online and jokingly sent a message to her mum, saying “Here’s Aunty Brenda’s new car.”
Brenda later viewed the car and admits she was immediately won over by the black and yellow striped paint.
It wasn’t a hard decision for Brenda and her husband, Alan to drive to Port Macquarie where they bought the car for $300. “It’s a ’96 Suzuki Swift. Runs perfectly. We drove up and it started first go.”
“It’s not driven every day. I’m not fussed what people think or say. If we win the grand final I’ll probably drive it every day.”
She said all the Richmond players also signed the bonnet. “If we win the Grand Final, the bonnet will come off. Alan will take it off and put it in the man cave. We’ll put on another bonnet.”
Brendan says she’s “very hopeful” of winning the preliminary final: “At the end of the day I can’t do anything. It’s out of my control. I’ll go there to support the boys win, lose or draw. Obviously I’ll be a little disappointed if they don’t win but I’ll also be proud they’ve gotten as far as they have.”
“I’m liking how they’re playing. You can see it – they’re a different team. I’m happy with what I’ve seen.”
“I’ll be there on grand final day. We’ve already got our tickets. We’re in the cheer squad,” she says.
And she would proudly don her ‘Tigger’ onesie costume – the fictional tiger character from Winnie the Pooh – for the game.
All three of her children, to her dismay, however, are not Tigers supporters: “I scored none. I tried. I did try. I let them decide, I would never force them.”
“They know who their mum barracks for. They buy me Tiger stuff,” she says.
Brenda says if Richmond took out the premiership, she’ll would get: “Whatever they produce I will try and get it. Definitely.”