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Getting to know the real Jack Riewoldt

Selfish, petulant, drama queen, prima donna. Jack Riewoldt has copped the lot.

But those close to the Richmond forward offer words like caring, compassionate and genuine when describing him.

At times, his passion on the field has been too much for some. Last year’s self-imposed media ban meant those in the media had something to use to whack him with.

“How Jack is on the field is completely different to the type of guy he is off it. He’s very caring. He’s just a really, really good guy.” – shaun hampson

Then there was the train station escape from the waiting press in 2014, following comments about the club’s game plan being a little off.

He knew he was wrong, admitted it to the coach, and sorted the issue where it really mattered – at Punt Road.

The on-field (and sometimes on-camera) version of Jack is very different to the man loved by teammates and by his tight-knit family.

Tigers ruckman Shaun Hampson this week told about the Jack Riewoldt he knows.

“How Jack is on the field is completely different to the type of guy he is off it,” Hampson said.

“He’s very caring. He’s just a really, really good guy.

“He can come across a bit coarse on the field sometimes, but he’s not like that at all.”

Jack and his cousin Nick, the St Kilda captain, have spent a lot of time together throughout their footy careers.

The boys were together again at Melbourne Zoo on Wednesday to promote Sunday’s ‘Maddie’s Match’, which will raise money and awareness for Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision and the fight against bone marrow failure.

Maddie, Nick’s sister, passed away from a long battle with the illness in February at the age of 26.

Nick is battling a calf injury and in doubt for the game. His absence would bolster Richmond’s chances of winning and keeping in touch with the top four.

Jack, though, wants his cousin to play. He knows how important the game is – it’s about more than four points.

“It would be fantastic – obviously for the Saints, for starters – but for the vision and the effort we’ve put into that, I would love to see him out there,” Jack said.

There’ll be some who think Jack’s just saying what people want to hear, but those close to him will know otherwise.

Shane Tuck was a teammate of Jack’s for seven years at Punt Road, and paints a picture of Jack similar to that described by Hampson.

“We were on a pre-season camp and there were eight blokes in a room and I was as crook as a dog. I got some sort of virus up in Cairns and I woke up through the night spewing and I spewed all over my bed,” Tuck told the Herald Sun last year.

“Jack was the only one who got up and helped me and we got down to the bathroom which was outside, 50 metres away. He sat with me during the night and got me something to eat and drink.

“I wasn’t expecting anyone to help me. How many blokes are willing to clean your spew up? He does have genuine care for his teammates and people misconstrue it because he’s a highly competitive person. I’ve seen him with kids, at clinics, at hospitals visiting people with cancer and people don’t put that in the papers sometimes.”

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Five dollars from every ticket purchased for ‘Maddie’s Match’ will go towards Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision. You can get your tickets here.