A former VFL hard man has moved to the region, 35&nbsp;years later than intended. Cameron Clayton, who remains one of only five to have played in a grand final at 17, in Richmond’s 1974 flag, signed as coach of Wangaratta in late 1982. “Kevin Sheedy got wind of it, and he said you’re too young to go bush yet,” Clayton said. “I had a meeting with Essendon, and said, ‘well, I’ve made a commitment to Wangaratta’ and Sheedy said, ‘don’t worry, I’ll look after it mate’.” So after four years with both the Tigers and Melbourne, the tough half-back headed to Essendon, where he wrote his name into VFL folklore by stealing Carlton favourite son Bruce Doull’s headband. “There was a scuffle and he came in, so I grabbed his headband, and pulled it off,” Clayton said. “I just threw to it to “Budgie” (Tony Buhagiar), he took off with it and threw it over the fence.” Coincidentally, it wasn’t the first time the two had&nbsp;crossed paths. “In 1973, when I came over (from Tasmania), I was sitting next to him on the aeroplane as he and his wife had been over there on their honeymoon,” he said. Clayton first grabbed the spotlight in the Australian Schoolboys carnival. He was enticed to Richmond on the promise of grand final tickets for the ‘72 decider against Carlton. “They said we’ll bring your mum and dad over and we might bring some of your family over, I said, ‘well hopefully you’ve got a big aeroplane because there’s 15 of us’,” he laughed. Clayton was fifth in the family of 10 girls and five boys. He debuted against Carlton in 1974, and was belted early by Blues’ legend John Nicholls. “I went to the centre bounce, up went the ball, it came down to the ground, and he (Nicholls) gave me a whack, and said,&nbsp;‘welcome to the VFL son’,” Clayton said. Six games later, he was a premiership player, in front of 113,839 people. “I was on the bench with The Whale (Brian Roberts), and I came on in the last quarter and had 10 minutes, which was&nbsp;great,” he said. The Tigers had superstars Kevin Bartlett and&nbsp;Royce Hart, while he later played with three-time Brownlow medallist Ian Stewart. He rated the trio, along with Malcolm Blight, as the best he saw. He also tackled some of the toughest, like the day he tangled with Hawthorn enforcer Robert DiPierdomenico. “He took a mark and I went in and tackled him, he didn’t like it getting roughed up too much,” Clayton said. “I was running back towards centre half-back and Ronny Andrews yelled out, ‘watch out, Rattler, he’s after you’, and I turned around and just went bang, the whole grandstand erupted.” The man dubbed ‘Rattler’ still keeps in contact with team-mates, with Terry Daniher and Paul Vander Haar attending his 60th&nbsp;birthday in Albury last weekend.