By Matt Burgan
MELBOURNE has unveiled its new Demon named ‘Checker’, which pays tribute to the man who gave the club its nickname.
‘Checker’ points to a famous Melbourne quote made by coaching great Frank ‘Checker’ Hughes’.
Hughes, who coached Melbourne to the 1939-40-41 and 1948 premierships, was a fierce competitor, having also coached Richmond to the 1932 flag.
When he arrived at Melbourne in 1933, the club’s nickname ‘Fuchsias’ did not fit in with his vision for the red and blue. Soon, he told his players to “Lift your heads and play like Demons!”
Since then, the Demon identity has been embraced and remained via various logos and publications.
Now, the new design is an evolution of the club’s Demon, which pays particular reference to the clove-hoofed Demon of the 1960s
Early sketches show the formation of the clove-hoofed Demon, which was published for the first time in full during the 1960s.
‘Checker’ has been drawn from this Demon, along with other created along the journey.
The new Demon represents strength.
Melbourne has also introduced two other Demons named ‘Chuck’ and ‘Cheeky’ to represent all red and blue supporters.
Introducing the new Demons
In the 1930s, legendary coach Frank ‘Checker’ Hughes told his players “you are playing like a lot of flowers. Lift your heads and play like Demons.” Seventy years on, the club introduces Checker, a new mascot who Demon fans will also find very familiar. Checker loves to reflect on the club’s grand history, but is even more excited by the future. His number one goal in 2011 is to help Demon fans raise the roof of the MCG at every game.
Look for Chuck, who will be out and about in Melbourne in 2011. Born of Irish heritage, Chuck’s friends can’t remember the last time he wasn’t wearing Melbourne gear. As a kid, he wore the numbers of Brad Green and Jack Grimes on the back of his jumper, and in 2011 he can’t wait to wear his brand new number 24 guernsey (Liam Jurrah) to the ‘G.
Born in Berwick, Cheeky’s uncle bought him his first Melbourne jumper before he was even born. His uncle Checker, who watched Barassi running around in the 1960s, is proud to see Cheeky growing up wearing Barassi’s number which now belongs to fellow Berwick young gun Tom Scully. He is looking forward to starting Auskick in 2011 and is already kicking the footy around his backyard in preparation.
Checker, Chuck and Cheeky will all proudly wield the trident from our club emblem. The trio of mascots for the most part are friendly characters and love nothing more than spending time with other Demons, but the trident is a reminder that Demons are fierce and competitive.
The characteristics of a Demon are open to interpretation, but red horns are always a distinguishing feature. Likewise, Melbourne supporters vary in age and origin, but are brought together by their passion for the Demons. In 2011, all Melbourne members will be given a pair of flashing Demon horns that will unify and differentiate the red and blue army. Just as Checker, Cheeky and Chucky will, you can let your Demon out by wearing these horns to games.