ERIC Phillips remembers running on to Glenferrie Oval in the 1920s, following his father — the 60th man to register as a Hawthorn player.
And yesterday as he got into the grand final spirit at Murray Gardens where he now lives by donning his late father’s Hawthorn tie, Mr Phillips, 90, shared his memories of the club’s team’s early, struggling days.
His father, Charlie Sherer, played for the club from 1926 to 1928 and those years have left him a lifelong fan.
“I used to play a lot of football on Glenferrie Oval after that,” he said.
“Looking at it now, it’s like a squashed sardine tin.”
Mr Phillip’s son Revell, whose middle name is Charles after his grandfather, said it was a wonder the team ever got off Glenferrie Oval alive.
Mr Phillips laughed as he remembered the condition of the old ground.
“It was nothing more than a mud heap,” he said.”
Revell said Hawthorn was the reason behind the family buying its first television set in 1961.
“My mother never wanted to get a television but she relented and let us have one to watch Hawthorn play the grand final,” he said.
“That was the first year they won the premiership.”
Mr Phillips said Hawthorn had originally been called the Mayblooms.
“Not many people know that they weren’t always called Hawthorn,” he said.
The Hawks were also known as the Mustard Pots for a few years in the 1930s.
Mr Phillips said he had been lucky enough to attend the last grand final the team won in 2008.
“I travelled to Melbourne to see them play,” he said.
“I got to the ground and there were about 100,000 people there.
“I remember thinking that I was probably the only one who had run on to the ground 80 years ago.”
Mr Phillips said while he would have liked to attend today’s decider against Fremantle, he would not miss any of the action as he stayed glued to the television.
“I think people would see it as a bit of a Cinderella story if Fremantle won,” he said.
“But I’ll tell you now that it’s not their year this year.”