One of the more unusual donations received since the Hawks Museum opened in 2004 is a Hawks bodysuit worn by John Platten and kindly donated by Glenferrie Gold Patron, Armin Richter during the Covid Lockdown. 

In 1993, Hawthorn was invited to trial the bodysuit, which was made by the Australian Football Clothing Company. It was to be introduced as the latest in advanced design for football playing apparel. Made from a slinky, space-age material and worn skin-tight, the suit was intended to make it almost impossible to be grabbed by an opponent when tackled.

To the great delight, mirth and disbelief of the supporters who witnessed that particular Thursday night training session at Glenferrie, the likes of John Platten, Chris Langford, Darrin Pritchard and fellow teammates strutted their stuff resplendent in these innovative bodysuits.

When interviewed after the training session, both Langford and Platten endeavoured to keep a straight face. Langford suggested that the suit didn’t offer as much leg or athletic support as bicycle shorts, but the snug upper body fit was more difficult to grab in a tackle.  Needless to say, the body suit never saw the light of day in a game.

Armin has been a loyal Hawk member since 1988. He joined the Friends of the Hawks Museum when it was established in 1995, becoming a Glenferrie Gold Life Patron in 2013.  He has a very strong interest in football history having assisted John Ure with his two recent publications on the Box Hill Football Club, The Charge of the White Horse Brigade, Parts 1 and 2.  Armin also played over 300 games with his local club, Monbulk and co-wrote that Club’s history with Jill A’Vard, Where the Hawks Fly 125 years of the Monbulk Football Netball Club published 2020.

Herb Zimmer, a club member now for 51 years, is like so many who reach retirement and choose to down-size and move into a smaller dwelling.  Contact was made to the Hawks Museum to see if we were interested in receiving two framed commemorative premiership montages.  Herb’s two montages, honouring the 2008 and the Back-to-Back flags of 2013-14, are in excellent condition and are superb additions to the Club Collection.

The 2008 Premiers montage features the team standing with the cup after the Final Siren, with smaller photos on either side of the large photo (left) Luke Hodge, Shane Crawford, Mark Williams Campbell Brown, (right) Chance Bateman, Jarryd Roughead, Shane Crawford, Robert Campbell and Lance Franklin.

The 2013 & 2014 Premiers montage features the team celebrating after the Grand Final with the cup and six smaller photos of Luke Breust, Cyril Rioli, Brian Lake, Luke Hodge, Jarryd Roughead and Sam Mitchell.

Herb first attended the footy to see the Hawks play at Glenferrie Oval with his father in 1963.  In 1964 he played football on Saturday mornings for his school, Marcellin College.  After the game he would journey to Glenferrie with a couple of his mates, armed with their floggers to urge the Hawks to victory.  Like so many fans of that era, he is still haunted by the memory of Hawthorn leading Melbourne deep in the last quarter when the Demons’ Hassa Mann kicked a freakish goal over his head to deprive the Hawks of making the final four.  To many, including David Parkin, who is of the belief that the Hawks were more than capable of avenging the 1963 Grand Final loss to Geelong, 1964 was an opportunity lost.

Herb’s job took him to the USA for a number of years in the late 1980s.  Such was his passion for the Hawks, he continued his membership relying on phone calls home to see how the team was faring.  He returned home during the 1991 season in time to see the Hawks win their 9th Premiership at Waverley Park and, much to his ongoing joy, the Clarkson era that followed.