End of an era as Pat Richards and Keith Galloway farewell Wests Tigers fans
August 30, 2015 - 6:45PM
It has been far from the season they would have liked to have gone out on, but as a goodbye to Wests Tigers fans Sunday’s farewell of Pat Richards and Keith Galloway could hardly have been scripted any better.
While the future of Robbie Farah remained undetermined, what is not in question is that both veterans will not be back next season, instead en route to the English Super League.
It was little wonder they were met with such warmth at Campbelltown Stadium after the 50-16 thumping of the New Zealand Warriors, a result that lifted the Tigers off the bottom of the ladder on for-and-against with one round remaining.
Both have been cult figures in their own way.
Richards as the premiership-winning winger who combined with Benji Marshall for that wonder try in the 2005 grand final and in his second coming launched kick-offs so high they became not just an obligation but an attacking weapon.
The giant Galloway, meanwhile, has been embraced for his uncompromising commitment to the cause and, of course, for that red hair. In 10 seasons at the Tigers he has played 172 games, in his last at home given the honour of a conversion attempt on full-time, which from the sideline it’s not surprising he missed.
“I didn’t want to do it, but everyone in the team egged me on to do it. Obviously I’m not a goal-kicker,” Galloway said.
“I sort of knew it was my last home game but it probably didn’t hit me until we were out there. I’ve had a great 10 years – I really enjoyed it.”
Richards, who has begun French lessons with his family before joining Catalans Dragons, played his 81st match for the Tigers on Sunday, compiled in two stints either side of a long and successful stay in England. It was fitting he finished up with a try, which he celebrated by awarding himself.
“I thought I’d just practise my (refereeing technique),” Richards said. "I don’t know why I did it, it just came off the cuff. We were just having a bit of fun out there, that’s what rugby league is all about.
"We really put a good performance in because we wanted to get off the bottom of the table. It’s been a tough week but the boys just turned up ready to play. It was a good send-off for me and Keithy.
“I just really enjoyed the last two years coming back in the NRL. I wanted to compete again – I left when I was 23 and thought I’d only be away for two years. I thought I’d never get another opportunity. So to take it like I have I’ve just really loved being back and playing at Leichhardt, Campbelltown and ANZ and playing amongst the fans again.”