Former Richmond great Matthew Richardson says he would be 'shattered' if East Devonport was no longer able to exist as a senior football entity due to its current player shortage.
While he is best remembered for his exploits at rival club Devonport in the TFL back in the early 1990's before being drafted to the Tigers, Richardson began his football journey at the Swans and has strong family ties to the club through his dad, Alan, who served as both captain-coach and president of the club.
"I played in the under 17's at East before heading to Devonport so I consider them to be my first football club," he said.
"We spent a fair bit of time up at Girdlestone Park because we lived in East Devonport and dad's business was just down the road.
"I had a pretty close bond with the club growing up and I would be shattered if that wasn't to be any longer."
Richardson is no stranger to club struggles, having been at the Tigers through a number of lean spells but ultimately staying loyal to the club that gave him his opportunity in the AFL.
After hearing about East Devonport's plight late last week, he called on the community to help out.
"If you have any affiliation or have had one in the past with the footy club, then this is the time where you can put your hand up and help them out, whether it be on or off the field," Richardson said.
"You wouldn't want to see a situation where they can't field a team next year."
The Swans took one step in the right direction on Sunday when they announced Grant Williams as their new coach.