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Lou Richards

Lou Richards

1941-1955
21
Other Guernsey Nos.
1, 19, 2, 20, 24, 28

250CFC Games Played

423CFC Goals

Date of Birth
15 March 1923
Recruited From
Abbotsford
Collingwood Debut
Round 6, 1941
Height:
170cm
Weight:
76kg

Biography

Lou Richards is almost certainly the mostly widely known – and most loved – footballer that Collingwood has ever produced. Even those with little interest in football have heard of Little Louie, thanks to his career on radio, television and in the press.

In fact, he became so well known as a media personality that it was easy to forget what an outstanding playing career he’d enjoyed – 15 years, 250 games, 423 goals, four years as captain, including one flag, Victorian selection and thrice placed in the Copeland Trophy.

He was a gutsy, famously cheeky, rover with a keen eye for goal. And one of the best captains Collingwood has ever known.

“Lou was the best captain I’ve ever played under,” said Des Healey. “He was a magnificent team man and a real great Collingwood player — he could almost win matches for Collingwood on his own by getting the other players in.” Lou was simply a great leader said Thorold Merrett. “He was always firing you up, telling you to get up if you were hurt and urging you on from start to finish” he says.

One of the reasons he was such a success as skipper was that he was intensely passionate about Collingwood. That is hardly surprising, given he was following in the footsteps of his uncle Alby Pannam, plus Charlie Pannam Snr, Albert and Charlie Pannam Jnr.

But it wasn’t just those bloodlines, as good as they were. It was also because Lou was a local lad born and raised in Abbotsford, his first footy being played in the back streets of this most working class of suburbs. He attended the Lithgow Street State School before moving on to Collingwood Tech, the school which produced so many VFL footballers. These were difficult times in Collingwood; the depression was biting hard and it was a rough, tough neighborhood.

That grounding stood him in good stead at Collingwood Tech, where he had gone in the hope of continuing in the family electrical business. Despite being the smallest and youngest kid, he managed to get a game near the end of his first year there (1935). Placed in a forward pocket Lou (or “The Ant” as he was then known) kicked six goals and was chaired from the ground. The following week he played in one of the schoolboy curtain-raisers at Victoria Park and fell in love with the big match atmosphere. Now, more than ever, he was determined to follow the path of his bloodlines.

After three years learning the trade, Louie inflicted himself upon the industrial world where he was spectacularly unsuccessful. He was hopeless with tools and could not seem to get on with his bosses, who tried him in jobs as complex as making toothpaste tubes, and tapping pipes with a hammer to make sure they were sound.

On the football field his progress was decidedly more rapid. After leaving school he played with Abbotsford in the now-defunct sub-district competition. This was an open-age competition regarded as one of the roughest in the land, and it was heavy going for a smart-alec youngster. “It was the toughest football I ever played and it still makes me wince to think about it,” Lou said once. “To make matters worse, I fancied myself as a good player and had no worries about telling anyone within earshot.”

Lou survived, and learned. By 1940 his uncle and hero, Alby Pannam, thought he was ready for a run with Collingwood seconds. He enjoyed a good season, winning a silver cup as the team’s most consistent player, and was part of a Premiership side. After the grand final, in which Lou had played a wonderful game, senior coach Jock McHale walked up to him and said: “Well played today, son. You’ll be a Collingwood player.” Lou could scarcely believe his ears, but McHale was right. By the sixth game of the next season Lewis Thomas Charles Richards had forced his way into a Collingwood side depleted by war service. He stayed there for the next 15 years.

Bob Rose rated Lou alongside Essendon’s Bill Hutchison and Fitzroy’s Alan Ruthven as the best rovers of his time. Herald critic Alf Brown also believed Lou to be “a great little player — tough, fast and game.” He was not a rover in the classic mould, but a “bite ‘em, kick ‘em, scratch ‘em” type who just hated to lose. He won plenty of the ball and kicked plenty of goals, three times winning the club’s goalkicking.

Lou would do almost anything to help Collingwood win and that would often involve trying to “suck” opposition players into fights and retaliation. There was no better man to do that, because Lou had the happy knack of being able to rile and infuriate opponents almost at will — as is evidenced by his seven visits to the VFL tribunal as a witness.

Lou was a regular in the seniors from his first game in 1941. He first played for Victoria in the 1947 carnival, where he very nearly won the Tassie Medal for best player. In 1952 he became captain, something which provided him with his greatest moment in football when he led the team to its 1953 Premiership (with brother Ron close to best man afield). By 1955 he began to think that the end might be approaching. He kicked five goals against St Kilda in round 14 but only a few weeks later, on the eve of the finals, called it quits after a particularly disastrous game against Essendon.

Lou was actually appointed as coach of the Collingwood reserves for the 1956 season. But Jack Dyer, who wrote for The Sun and broadcast games for 3XY, decided to go to England for a year and Lou, who had enjoyed a brief fling with the media in the 1955 finals, was asked to fill in. He promptly threw in his coaching assignment (without ever having taken charge of even a training session) and embarked on a remarkable career in the sports media.

When it comes to football and the media, Lou has done it all: there is no aspect of the media he has not touched. His columns and outrageous dares in The Sun became legendary, and also provided the vehicle for “The Kiss of Death.” On radio he was heavily involved in both broadcasts and post-match panel discussions. He was a match commentator with Channel 7, but it was his involvement with the long-running TV shows “World of Sport”, “League Teams”, “Wide World of Sports” and “The Footy Show” for which he is probably best remembered by Melburnians.

He was such a popular figure in Melbourne that he was made Court Jester for Moomba in 1972 (to John Farnham), then went one step better in 1981 by being crowned King of Moomba. He was awarded an MBE in 1982 for his services to sport, inducted to Collingwood’s Hall of Fame in the first intake in 2004, inducted to the AFL’s Hall of Fame in 1996 and received an AFL Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.

Not bad for a local lad from Collingwood Tech. Lou Richards has done it all in football, and he will always hold an exalted place in the game’s history – especially at Collingwood.

This is an edited version of the biography of Lou that appeared in A Century of the Best.

Read more

Statistics

CFC Career Stats

Season played Games Goals Finals Win %
1941-1955 250 423 14 60%

CFC Season by Season Stats

Season GP GL B K H T D Guernsey No.
1941 13 19 24

1941 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 6 Carlton L 24 View match >
Round 7 North Melbourne W 1 24 View match >
Round 8 Essendon W 24 View match >
Round 9 St Kilda W 24 View match >
Round 10 Sydney L 3 24 View match >
Round 11 Geelong W 3 24 View match >
Round 12 Richmond W 1 24 View match >
Round 13 Hawthorn W 4 24 View match >
Round 14 Fitzroy W 2 24 View match >
Round 15 Western Bulldogs W 1 24 View match >
Round 16 Melbourne L 3 24 View match >
Round 17 Carlton L 24 View match >
Round 18 North Melbourne W 1 24 View match >
Legend
  • # Guernsey
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • D Disposals
  • M Marks
  • T Tackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1942 13 24 28

1942 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Sydney L 3 28 View match >
Round 3 Richmond L 1 28 View match >
Round 4 Essendon L 3 28 View match >
Round 5 Hawthorn L 3 28 View match >
Round 6 Western Bulldogs L 3 28 View match >
Round 7 St Kilda L 1 28 View match >
Round 8 Melbourne W 2 28 View match >
Round 9 Fitzroy L 1 28 View match >
Round 10 North Melbourne L 1 28 View match >
Round 11 Carlton L 2 28 View match >
Round 12 Sydney L 28 View match >
Round 14 Richmond L 1 28 View match >
Round 16 Hawthorn W 3 28 View match >
Legend
  • # Guernsey
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • D Disposals
  • M Marks
  • T Tackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1943 13 23 19

1943 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 North Melbourne W 3 19 View match >
Round 2 Richmond L 1 19 View match >
Round 3 Western Bulldogs L 1 19 View match >
Round 4 Carlton W 4 19 View match >
Round 6 St Kilda W 2 19 View match >
Round 7 Essendon L 2 19 View match >
Round 8 Melbourne L 1 19 View match >
Round 9 Fitzroy L 2 19 View match >
Round 12 Carlton L 2 19 View match >
Round 13 North Melbourne W 1 19 View match >
Round 14 Sydney L 2 19 View match >
Round 15 Fitzroy W 2 19 View match >
Round 16 Melbourne L 19 View match >
Legend
  • # Guernsey
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • D Disposals
  • M Marks
  • T Tackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1944 18 26 19

1944 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 North Melbourne W 2 19 View match >
Round 2 Fitzroy L 3 19 View match >
Round 3 Western Bulldogs L 1 19 View match >
Round 4 Sydney L 2 19 View match >
Round 5 Hawthorn W 19 View match >
Round 6 Melbourne L 19 View match >
Round 7 Essendon W 1 19 View match >
Round 8 Carlton L 1 19 View match >
Round 9 Geelong W 1 19 View match >
Round 10 St Kilda L 19 View match >
Round 11 Richmond L 2 19 View match >
Round 12 North Melbourne W 3 19 View match >
Round 13 Fitzroy L 1 19 View match >
Round 14 Western Bulldogs L 19 View match >
Round 15 Sydney L 19 View match >
Round 16 Hawthorn W 2 19 View match >
Round 17 Melbourne W 5 19 View match >
Round 18 Richmond L 2 19 View match >
Legend
  • # Guernsey
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • D Disposals
  • M Marks
  • T Tackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1945 22 45 24

1945 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 North Melbourne W 24 View match >
Round 2 Sydney L 2 24 View match >
Round 3 Melbourne W 4 24 View match >
Round 4 Hawthorn W 2 24 View match >
Round 5 Essendon L 1 24 View match >
Round 6 Carlton W 24 View match >
Round 7 St Kilda W 3 24 View match >
Round 8 Fitzroy L 1 24 View match >
Round 9 Richmond W 3 24 View match >
Round 10 Geelong W 4 24 View match >
Round 11 Western Bulldogs L 1 24 View match >
Round 12 North Melbourne W 1 24 View match >
Round 13 Sydney W 4 24 View match >
Round 14 Melbourne W 2 24 View match >
Round 15 Hawthorn W 3 24 View match >
Round 16 Essendon W 1 24 View match >
Round 17 Carlton L 5 24 View match >
Round 18 St Kilda W 1 24 View match >
Round 19 Fitzroy W 2 24 View match >
Round 20 Richmond W 24 View match >
Semi Final Sydney L 2 24 View match >
Preliminary Final Carlton L 3 24 View match >
Legend
  • # Guernsey
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • D Disposals
  • M Marks
  • T Tackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1946 22 50 21

1946 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Hawthorn W 3 21 View match >
Round 2 Fitzroy W 2 21 View match >
Round 3 North Melbourne W 7 21 View match >
Round 4 St Kilda W 3 21 View match >
Round 5 Richmond L 21 View match >
Round 6 Western Bulldogs L 21 View match >
Round 7 Geelong W 6 21 View match >
Round 8 Carlton W 3 21 View match >
Round 9 Essendon L 1 21 View match >
Round 10 Sydney W 3 21 View match >
Round 11 Melbourne L 2 21 View match >
Round 12 Hawthorn W 1 21 View match >
Round 13 Fitzroy W 1 21 View match >
Round 14 North Melbourne W 3 21 View match >
Round 15 St Kilda W 21 View match >
Round 16 Richmond L 1 21 View match >
Round 17 Western Bulldogs W 2 21 View match >
Round 18 Geelong W 2 21 View match >
Round 19 Carlton L 5 21 View match >
Semi Final Essendon D 4 21 View match >
Semi Final Essendon L 21 View match >
Preliminary Final Melbourne L 1 21 View match >
Legend
  • # Guernsey
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • D Disposals
  • M Marks
  • T Tackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1947 18 31 20

1947 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Fitzroy W 1 20 View match >
Round 2 Hawthorn W 20 View match >
Round 3 Geelong W 3 20 View match >
Round 4 Sydney W 3 20 View match >
Round 5 Melbourne L 20 View match >
Round 6 Western Bulldogs L 2 20 View match >
Round 7 Richmond L 1 20 View match >
Round 8 Essendon W 3 20 View match >
Round 9 Carlton W 5 20 View match >
Round 10 St Kilda W 3 20 View match >
Round 11 North Melbourne W 2 20 View match >
Round 12 Fitzroy L 20 View match >
Round 13 Hawthorn W 20 View match >
Round 14 Geelong W 2 20 View match >
Round 15 Sydney D 20 View match >
Round 17 Western Bulldogs W 4 20 View match >
Round 18 Richmond L 20 View match >
Round 19 Essendon L 2 20 View match >
Legend
  • # Guernsey
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • D Disposals
  • M Marks
  • T Tackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1948 21 44 21

1948 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 North Melbourne W 4 21 View match >
Round 2 Sydney W 21 View match >
Round 3 Essendon L 1 21 View match >
Round 4 Geelong W 3 21 View match >
Round 5 Carlton W 21 View match >
Round 6 Richmond L 1 21 View match >
Round 7 St Kilda W 1 21 View match >
Round 8 Melbourne W 3 21 View match >
Round 9 Hawthorn W 2 21 View match >
Round 10 Fitzroy W 5 21 View match >
Round 11 Western Bulldogs W 3 21 View match >
Round 12 North Melbourne W 3 21 View match >
Round 13 Sydney W 2 21 View match >
Round 14 Essendon L 3 21 View match >
Round 15 Geelong L 1 21 View match >
Round 16 Carlton L 2 21 View match >
Round 17 Richmond W 4 21 View match >
Round 18 St Kilda W 2 21 View match >
Round 19 Melbourne L 1 21 View match >
Semi Final Western Bulldogs W 2 21 View match >
Preliminary Final Melbourne L 1 21 View match >
Legend
  • # Guernsey
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • D Disposals
  • M Marks
  • T Tackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1949 11 18 21

1949 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 North Melbourne W 21 View match >
Round 3 Fitzroy L 2 21 View match >
Round 4 Hawthorn W 1 21 View match >
Round 5 Carlton L 2 21 View match >
Round 6 Essendon W 21 View match >
Round 7 Western Bulldogs W 2 21 View match >
Round 8 St Kilda W 5 21 View match >
Round 9 Geelong W 1 21 View match >
Round 10 Richmond W 2 21 View match >
Round 11 Sydney W 2 21 View match >
Round 12 North Melbourne L 1 21 View match >
Legend
  • # Guernsey
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • D Disposals
  • M Marks
  • T Tackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1950 18 35 20

1950 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Sydney L 2 20 View match >
Round 2 Fitzroy W 3 20 View match >
Round 3 Carlton L 20 View match >
Round 4 Hawthorn W 1 20 View match >
Round 5 Geelong W 3 20 View match >
Round 6 Richmond L 4 20 View match >
Round 7 Western Bulldogs W 1 20 View match >
Round 8 Melbourne L 20 View match >
Round 9 North Melbourne L 20 View match >
Round 10 St Kilda W 4 20 View match >
Round 11 Essendon L 3 20 View match >
Round 12 Sydney W 1 20 View match >
Round 13 Fitzroy L 1 20 View match >
Round 14 Carlton W 1 20 View match >
Round 15 Hawthorn W 5 20 View match >
Round 16 Geelong L 2 20 View match >
Round 17 Richmond L 2 20 View match >
Round 18 Western Bulldogs W 2 20 View match >
Legend
  • # Guernsey
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • D Disposals
  • M Marks
  • T Tackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1951 18 19 2

1951 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 North Melbourne W 2 2 View match >
Round 4 Essendon L 1 2 View match >
Round 5 Richmond L 2 View match >
Round 6 Sydney W 2 View match >
Round 7 St Kilda W 2 2 View match >
Round 8 Carlton W 4 2 View match >
Round 9 Hawthorn W 2 View match >
Round 10 Western Bulldogs L 2 2 View match >
Round 11 Fitzroy L 1 2 View match >
Round 12 North Melbourne W 1 2 View match >
Round 13 Melbourne W 2 2 View match >
Round 14 Geelong W 2 View match >
Round 15 Essendon W 2 View match >
Round 16 Richmond W 1 2 View match >
Round 17 Sydney W 2 View match >
Round 18 St Kilda W 1 2 View match >
Semi Final Geelong L 2 View match >
Preliminary Final Essendon L 2 2 View match >
Legend
  • # Guernsey
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • D Disposals
  • M Marks
  • T Tackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1952 20 31 2

1952 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Hawthorn W 3 2 View match >
Round 2 Fitzroy W 3 2 View match >
Round 3 Essendon W 2 View match >
Round 4 St Kilda W 4 2 View match >
Round 5 Carlton W 3 2 View match >
Round 6 Western Bulldogs W 1 2 View match >
Round 7 Melbourne L 2 2 View match >
Round 8 Richmond W 2 View match >
Round 9 North Melbourne L 2 View match >
Round 10 Sydney W 1 2 View match >
Round 11 Richmond W 4 2 View match >
Round 12 Geelong L 2 View match >
Round 13 Hawthorn W 2 2 View match >
Round 14 Fitzroy L 2 View match >
Round 15 Essendon W 2 2 View match >
Round 18 Western Bulldogs W 1 2 View match >
Round 19 Melbourne W 2 2 View match >
Semi Final Geelong L 1 2 View match >
Preliminary Final Fitzroy W 2 2 View match >
Grand Final Geelong L 2 View match >
Legend
  • # Guernsey
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • D Disposals
  • M Marks
  • T Tackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1953 19 25 2 1

1953 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Sydney W 3 1 View match >
Round 2 North Melbourne L 2 1 View match >
Round 4 Carlton W 1 View match >
Round 5 Hawthorn W 1 1 View match >
Round 6 Richmond W 1 View match >
Round 7 Western Bulldogs W 1 View match >
Round 8 St Kilda W 3 1 View match >
Round 9 Melbourne W 2 1 View match >
Round 10 Essendon L 1 View match >
Round 11 Fitzroy L 1 View match >
Round 12 Sydney W 3 1 View match >
Round 13 North Melbourne W 2 1 View match >
Round 14 Geelong W 1 1 View match >
Round 15 Carlton W 1 1 View match >
Round 16 Hawthorn W 1 1 View match >
Round 17 Richmond W 4 1 View match >
Round 18 Western Bulldogs W 1 View match >
Semi Final Geelong W 1 1 View match >
Grand Final Geelong W 1 2 1 View match >
Legend
  • # Guernsey
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • D Disposals
  • M Marks
  • T Tackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1954 8 12 1

1954 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 7 Richmond L 3 1 View match >
Round 8 Carlton W 1 1 View match >
Round 10 Hawthorn W 2 1 View match >
Round 11 Western Bulldogs W 1 View match >
Round 12 Melbourne W 1 View match >
Round 13 Fitzroy L 1 1 View match >
Round 14 St Kilda W 4 1 View match >
Round 15 Essendon L 1 1 View match >
Legend
  • # Guernsey
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • D Disposals
  • M Marks
  • T Tackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1955 16 21 1

1955 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Western Bulldogs L 1 1 View match >
Round 3 St Kilda W 1 View match >
Round 4 Hawthorn L 2 1 View match >
Round 5 Carlton W 2 1 View match >
Round 6 Essendon W 2 1 View match >
Round 7 Fitzroy W 1 1 View match >
Round 8 Geelong W 2 1 View match >
Round 9 Sydney W 1 1 View match >
Round 10 Richmond W 1 View match >
Round 11 Melbourne W 1 1 View match >
Round 12 Western Bulldogs L 1 View match >
Round 13 North Melbourne W 3 1 View match >
Round 14 St Kilda W 5 1 View match >
Round 15 Hawthorn W 1 View match >
Round 16 Carlton W 1 1 View match >
Round 17 Essendon L 1 View match >
Legend
  • # Guernsey
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • D Disposals
  • M Marks
  • T Tackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
Totals 250 423 2
Avg/Game   1.69 0.01
Legend
  • GP Games Played
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • T Tackles
  • D Disposals

Key Facts

CFC Debut Number

435

Total AFL Games
250
Total AFL Goals
423
CFC Debut
Round 6, 1941
CFC Last Game
Round 17, 1955
Recruited From
Abbotsford
Full Name
Lou Richards

Awards

  • AFL Hall of Fame
    1996
  • Life Members
    1952
  • x3
    Leading Goalkicker (Gordon Coventry Trophy)
    1944, 1948, 1950
  • CFC Hall of Fame
    2004
  • x2
    Runner up Best and Fairest (R.T. Rush Trophy)
    1947, 1950
  • Third Best and Fairest (J.J. Joyce Trophy)
    1951
  • x4
    Team Captain
    1952, 1953, 1954, 1955
  • Premiership
    1953
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