Larger-than-life AFL footballer Robert “Dipper” DiPierdomenico has joined the cast of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here.
Making his grand entrance on Monday, January 4, the 62-year-old entered the Aussie jungle in a Wild West-themed challenge.
Castmates Jess Eva and AFL player Travis Varcoe were tasked with rescuing the former Hawthorn player, while he was strapped to a trolley with a facemask over his head. Already a fan favourite due to his positive and outgoing demeanour, his entrance has cemented him as a firm favourite.
But for those who aren’t fans of Aussie rules footy, you may not be familiar with the player, who also represented Australia in 1984 and 1985.
DiPierdomenico played the sport for two decades from the 1970s until the 1990s. He is also one of the most successful Italian Australians to play the game and was recognised for his contribution to the game by selection in the VFL/AFL Italian Team of the Century.
His parents, Stefano and Antonietta, emigrated to Australia from Abbateggio, Italy after marrying over the phone.
DiPierdomenico or “Dipper” as he is fondly known, met his wife, Cheryl Bayley at Kew High in Victoria, before attending Swinburne Tech, where he fatefully met the man who would one day become his future Hawthorn coach, then headmaster, John Kennedy Senior.
During this time, he began his footy career, playing for East Hawthorn and North Kew, before heading to Hawthorn as a midfielder at the age of 18.
His career officially kicked off (pun intended) in 1978, when he won best-on-ground at the VFL Grand Final, cementing him as one of the club’s best players before winning the inaugural Brownlow Medal in 1986, tying with Sydney Swans player, Greg Williams.
Throughout his career, Dipper played 240 games and kicked 130 goals before retiring in 1991 and in 2007, he was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.
He has two kids, Dylan and Candice.
No doubt this football legend and cheeky character is going to be loved by all.