Richmond Football Club superfan Yogi Thurairatnam has had quite a journey. Leaving his native war-torn Sri Lanka in 1995 for a chance at a happy life in Australia is a decision that he’ll never regret.
“It’s good to come to a country where you can wake up in the morning and know that your life is safe and secure.”
AFL is my religion
Until the start of the 2018 AFL season, Yogi hadn’t missed one single Richmond game in 14 years. That’s home and away by the way! How did he do it? One of Yogi’s tricks was to tell his employer that his religion doesn’t allow him to work on weekends. They were so respectful that they never actually asked what his religion was.
“If they have asked me what my religion is, my religion is called AFL.”
Yogi Richmond Superfan
Yogi takes following the Richmond Tigers to a whole other level. He’s an official member of the cheer squad. All his clothes are either yellow, black or a combination of both. His dog’s fur has tiger stripes and he also wears yellow and black clothing. And Yogi also has one of the biggest collections of Richmond memorabilia going around. He could even give Margaret Scott a run for her money!
AFL multicultural ambassador
Beneath his banner, clutching its poles, arms out-stretched, Yogi stands out in the crowd. But he’s also notable for his contributions as a multicultural ambassador for both his club and the league.
“We promote the AFL to non-AFL people, and we take it to the grassroots and do kids’ clinics. We basically try and introduce football to people who have never known the game.”
Fan Love – Yogi
In this episode of Fan Love, Yogi invites our producer Michael to his house. The viewers will get to see all of Yogi’s precious premiership memorabilia and listen to a bunch of incredible stories.
Episode Length: 6:33 minutes
Sport: Australian Rules Football (AFL)
Producer: Michael Lynch
Executive Producer: Edris Toussaint
Production Company: More Than A Game Productions
Published on May 24, 2018