“IT WAS actually amazing, to be honest.”

Carlton co-captain Patrick Cripps wasn’t surprised by the one-in, all-in approach of his teammates by Doing it for Doc a fortnight ago.

However, what blew him away was the widespread support and buy-in from the Carlton family. 

On the day of the 2021 John Nicholls Medal, it was announced that every player on Carlton's 2022 list had shaved their head in support of Sam Docherty, with the results there for all to see on the Zoom call that night.

What Cripps wasn’t expecting was the amount of money raised for the Peter Mac Foundation (currently over $185,000) and the weight in numbers of staff and supporters who similarly embraced the clippers for a good cause. 

Speaking on the night of the best and fairest, Cripps said he was aware of the full scope of what it meant to the Docherty family. 

“I know it meant a lot to ‘Doc’, to his wife Nat and his mum Annabel. It’s just a little way as a club that we showed our support for him,” Cripps said.

“I didn’t really want to get rid of the mullet, it took me a while to grow that! But a few of us were chatting at the back-end of the year saying that we’d love to share our heads for ‘Doc’ and do it to support him, and do it for a charity in the Peter Mac Foundation.

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JNM 2021 | Andy Maher's cross to Patrick Cripps

Co-captain Patrick Cripps speaks at the opening of the 2021 John Nicholls Medal.

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“To be honest, the support we got not only from all of the players, but the staff and even the Carlton family was unbelievable. 

“When I saw the amount of money we raised and some of the boys shave their locks - especially the ones with the long hair - was pretty impressive.”

For Cripps, it signified a tight-knit group and also marked the esteem in which Docherty is held in amongst the playing group. 

Speaking on his fellow co-captain, the triple John Nicholls Medallist said it was the kind of thing which Docherty would have no hesitation doing himself if the shoe was on the other foot.

“We all did it for him, but the character he is, I know if someone else was in the same position that he’d do the exact same for them,” he said.

“What Doc is going through puts into perspective what life is about, to get around a mate when they’re going through a tough time.

“You hear it all the time, but we really are a close group and we love hanging out with each other. I was so pumped to see of all of the boys [do it].”

Donations for the ‘Doing it for Doc’ fundraiser remain open, with all proceeds going to the Peter Mac Foundation. If you wish to donate, you can do so via the following link.