Dipper is ripper!
When Dipper, aka Robert DiPierdomenico, famed Hawthorn footy player of old and moustache wearer extraordinaire, visited Port Hedland a couple of weeks back, kids and adults alike were treated to the great man’s warmth and wisdom.
In town as the Australian Football League’s national Auskick’s ambassador, Dipper not only encouraged children with his inspirational words on all things AFL, sport and being your best, but had the adults entertained with his humour and approachability.
In the Port Hedland Primary School staffroom, he responded to one staff member’s biting question, “Do you come here often,” with aplomb.
“Actually, not my first time here; I’ve been here a couple of times and things haven’t changed.
“I still love the place; it’s great.”
Dipper’s role as AFL Auskick ambassador has him travelling Australia four days a week, sharing his love of footy and encouraging children and young people to play to their best in sport and life.
“I was a very hyperactive young boy at school, but I also used to have a very bad stutter and I was one of those kids who got picked on because I had a stutter.”
Sports activity and footy became a great way for Dipper to mix, gain confidence and get out there amongst his peers enjoying things.
“To be able to go and play footy has helped me become the person I am today,” he said.
The legend player’s firm belief is that everyone can get out and have a kick without needing to be a superstar.
“It’s all about enjoying what you do.”
Dipper’s passion during his visit was evident in his upbeat and lively interactions.
“I just love to get up and enjoy talking about the greatest game in the world, which is footy.
“It’s an honest game, it’s a tough game, you need courage and fitness.”
Dipper began his AFL career with Hawthorn Football Club in 1975.
He played 240 games with the team, not retiring until 1991.
And that moustache is real.