Jarryd Roughead gives Hawthorn fans a thumbs up after his last game. Picture: AAP Image/Daniel Pockett.
Jarryd Roughead gives Hawthorn fans a thumbs up after his last game. Picture: AAP Image/Daniel Pockett.

How Roughy said goodbye to Hawks

Exactly 14 mushrooms, salmon sashimi and a half-packet of Pods.

It's the fuel of champions.

Preparing for football was an exact science for former Hawthorn skipper Jarryd Roughead who was given his final farewell from the Hawks in a heartwarming and often hilarious tribute on Saturday night.

Ex-teammates Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis revealed the Coleman medallist's "OCD tendencies" in a video tribute, which range from shoe placement to how salt and pepper shakers are arranged and fixing the couch cushions once his wife Sarah had gone to bed.

And without hesitation, the champion forward - a self-confessed "stats man" - rattled off his exact weekly shop and even the exact order he would place at a Hawthorn Japanese restaurant to prepare for games at the top level.

"It got a lot better towards the end," Roughead smiled.

"If you want a brief rundown, I'd leave Waverley, drive straight to the corner of Glenferrie and Riversdale Roads (in Hawthorn). There's an IGA there.


"I'd walk in and I'd grab 14 mushrooms, a brown onion, a can of tomato soup, a can of crushed tomatoes, the heaviest mince at the time - which was about 500 to 550 grams - pasta, a couple of waters, a couple of waters, pay, then go to Samurai, have the same meal. I'd go home, cook it (the pasta), walk the dog, eat dinner.

"We had a routine, it was fair to say.

"(The order at Samurai was) entree salmon sashimi, gyoza, tofu curry, 10 piece California roll with teriyaki sauce."

Even Sarah was roped into the routine at one point, Roughead admitted, after sharing a treat with Lewis on an interstate trip produced a blistering performance.

"Jordan I roomed together for 12 years. We used to have snakes and 'Pods' before games," the 283-game star said.

"I played really well in Tassie one day - kicked eight. And the next week we played in Melbourne. Jordy and I used to share half a bag of Pods each, so I made Sarah eat the other half so I'd play well the next day on the Saturday."

And did it work?

"We're still sitting here aren't we?," he said, deadpan.

The tribute - led by former Hawks player Daniel Harford - encompassed every aspect of Roughead's career, from being drafted alongside Lewis and now-Swan Lance Franklin, to his melanoma diagnosis, recurrence and return to football as skipper.

The 32-year-old opened up on having to break the news to his wife that his cancer had returned in 2016 after spots had appeared on his lung.

And he said it was one of the most difficult conversations he had ever had to face.

"Not great … nah," he said.

"I'd delayed the conversation with Sarah a lot. She knew that I'd had a check-up with the specialist and she was saying 'why aren't you coming home, where are you?'. I was trying to delay it as much as possible.

Ben Stratton and Shaun Burgoyne chair Jarryd Roughead off after his last AFL game. Picture: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images.
Ben Stratton and Shaun Burgoyne chair Jarryd Roughead off after his last AFL game. Picture: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images.

"Jordan knew, so he rung (fellow ex-Hawk) Sammy Grimley who is soon to be my brother in law because he goes out with Sarah's sister.

"I saw their car parked at the bottom of our street as I was driving in, so I knew that they knew. I drove up and had to go in and tell Sar what was going on. It's not … it's probably the worst thing you're ever going to tell anyone, really. It wasn't great for the next hour or so but we moved on pretty quick and worked out what we needed to do."

He said being able to be at Waverley Park during his immunotherapy treatment and be "treated as normal" had been crucial.

"It was the safest place other than home where I could go," Roughead said.

"You go between hospital, Waverley and home … Waverley Park was the safest place for me going through what I was going through."

He was named captain of Hawthorn in January 2017, a month after he was given the all-clear from cancer, and admitted "I tried to be someone I'm not".

"Towards the end, I understood what it was like … just because you've got the 'C' next to your name doesn't mean you have to be any different," he said.

"I was still the same bloke that was first to call if you wanted to go for a beer or look after any of the boys if they were in trouble. I'd be first to text them and make sure they were all good."

Roughead - described at the event by Hawks skipper Ben Stratton as a "father figure" - said he hoped his legacy would that of a team man.

"I'd like to think that I was a great teammate that loved spending time with the boys. For 15 years that's all I've known," he said.

"I came out of Leongatha as a young boy. I leave as a grown up, dad, husband … I'm grateful that Hawthorn was able to mould me in to the person that I am."