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The complete history of the Mighty Magpies

Ron Richards

Ron Richards

1947-1956
20
Other Guernsey Nos.
21

143 CFC Games Played

114 CFC Goals

Date of Birth
11 May 1928
Date of Death
20 September 2013
Recruited From
Abbotsford
Collingwood Debut
Round 11, 1947
Height:
170cm
Weight:
73kg

Biography

One of the most enduring figures in Collingwood history, Ron Richards’ contribution to the Black and White is rivalled by few.

Over the course of six decades, Richards left an indelible mark on Victoria Park, first as a Premiership player, then as coach and finally, administrator, adding a significant yet somehow under acknowledged chapter to the tale of the revered Pannam/Richards Magpie dynasty.

The scope of his contribution was such that Richards would become the first ex-Collingwood player to be recognised for his services to the game when the AFL bestowed upon him the Jack Titus Award in 1990.

The younger brother of Lou, Richards’ outstanding football pedigree seemingly foretold of a lifetime in the game.

However, Richards eventual rise to Collingwood’s senior ranks ultimately proved to be the result of a tenacious, industrious streak which would eventually become his trademark rather than circumstance.

Making his VFL bow at 19, the diminutive Richards found his niche as a rover, his penchant for the contest making him a particularly valued member of a Magpie side which would soon taste the ultimate success.

Alongside Bob Rose and Lou, the trio formed a formidable midfield core, typifying the brand of football then synonymous with the Collingwood name.

To cast Richards as an on-ball grafter however would be to dismiss his reputation as star for the grand occasion, winning Collingwood’s best finals player award in 1951, before finishing runner-up in 1953 as the Magpies claimed a drought breaking 12th flag.

It would prove to be the ’53 decider which came to define Richards’ 145 games in Black and White, when fielded in an unlikely role as wingman, the then 25-year old produced a star turn to inspire the Magpies to victory.

The unorthodox move, a brainchild of Jock McHale, the former coach whose presence on Lulie Street remained influential, sparked a best on ground display from Richards and triggered the high watermark of his on-field career.

While a sojourn with East Hawthorn, commencing in 1956 halted his relationship with Collingwood, the split proved temporary, with Richards appointed Under-19s coach in 1964.

Coaching the likes of Len Thompson and John Greening, Richards’ eight-year tenure at the helm of Collingwood’s thirds brigade reached its zenith in 1965, when the side claimed the Under-19’s Premiership.

He was then sequestered to coach the Magpies’ reserves outfit in 1972, enjoying a 10 season stint in charge during an era ultimately characterised by Collingwood’s well documented ordeal to claim the holy grail of Australian football.

Though his period as Reserves coach failed to yield a flag, it would be in his extended role as member of Collingwood’s match committee, following a year on the club board, where Richards would again play a decisive hand in helping guide the Magpies to Premiership number 14 in 1990.

In some capacity or another, Richards would be involved in over 1300 Collingwood games, a figure which though illustrative, perhaps fails to adequately recognise the level of devotion and dedication demonstrated by the ultimate club servant.

Richards’ contribution across the wide gamut of the football spectrum ensures he will be forever cherished, and never forgotten as a man on whose shoulders, responsibility sat lightly.

Ron Richards lost an extended battle with illness in the early hours of 20 September at the age of 85.

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire described Richards as a Magpie royal, a man who was able to step out from the considerable shadow of his celebrated older brother, Lou, by helping to guide Collingwood for decades.

“In the rich history of the Collingwood Football Club, Ron Richards will always be known as one of its greatest servants,” McGuire said.

“Ron was a member of the Pannam/Richards dynasty, which collectively produced more matches than any other in the game’s history and dates back to 1894, through Charlie Pannam Sr. In all the extended Richards family played in 930 games, kicked 1125 goals and were part of eight premierships.)

“Ron distinguished himself in everything he did at Collingwood, be it as a star of the 1953 Grand Final who had been picked out by Jock McHale for an unaccustomed role on the wing, coach or administrator. Ron was best on ground in the flag triumph, helping his brother Lou, who was captain, to lift the premiership cup.

“Later, as Lou moved into the world of show business and the media, Ron dedicated himself to Collingwood, something he cared for deeply. He served as a thirds and seconds coach. He spent time on the board and he sat by the side of Tom Hafey and Leigh Matthews as chairman of selectors.

“In any discussion of great Collingwood men, Ron Richards – Collingwood life member, AFL life member, legend and premiership star – cannot be overlooked.

“To his family, especially his wife Glenys, we offer our condolences. A wonderful man has been lost and the support of his beloved Collingwood will be sorely missed.”

Murray Weideman, at 17 years of age one of the youngest players on the field in the 1953 Grand Final, remembered Richards typifying Collingwood of that time.

“As a player, Ron was small, but showed that courage which was typical of the Richards and Pannam families. If you look at the blokes from the ’53 team, they were called the Magpie midgets, but they were incredibly tough and always fought to win,” Weideman said.

“It was a great thrill to play in that side, and if you look at Lou (Richards), Des Healey, Bob Rose, Thorold Merrett and all those great, great players to play for Collingwood that year, Ron was one of them.

“He was, above all else, a fine man.”

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Statistics

CFC Career Stats

Season played Games Goals Finals Win %
1947-1956 143 114 9 67%

CFC Season by Season Stats

Season GP GL B K H T D Guernsey No.
1947 5 3 0 21

1947 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 11 North Melbourne W 1 0 21 View match >
Round 12 Fitzroy L 2 0 21 View match >
Round 13 Hawthorn W 0 21 View match >
Round 14 Geelong W 0 21 View match >
Round 16 Melbourne L 0 21 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1948 11 13 0 20

1948 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 3 Essendon L 1 0 20 View match >
Round 7 St Kilda W 0 20 View match >
Round 8 Melbourne W 0 20 View match >
Round 9 Hawthorn W 2 0 20 View match >
Round 10 Fitzroy W 0 20 View match >
Round 11 Western Bulldogs W 4 0 20 View match >
Round 12 North Melbourne W 1 0 20 View match >
Round 13 Sydney W 1 0 20 View match >
Round 14 Essendon L 3 0 20 View match >
Round 15 Geelong L 1 0 20 View match >
Round 16 Carlton L 0 20 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1949 13 15 0 20

1949 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 2 Melbourne W 4 0 20 View match >
Round 5 Carlton L 0 20 View match >
Round 6 Essendon W 1 0 20 View match >
Round 7 Western Bulldogs W 1 0 20 View match >
Round 8 St Kilda W 1 0 20 View match >
Round 9 Geelong W 3 0 20 View match >
Round 10 Richmond W 1 0 20 View match >
Round 11 Sydney W 0 20 View match >
Round 12 North Melbourne L 0 20 View match >
Round 14 Fitzroy W 2 0 20 View match >
Round 15 Hawthorn W 1 0 20 View match >
Round 16 Carlton W 0 20 View match >
Semi Final Essendon L 1 0 20 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1950 13 16 0 20

1950 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Sydney L 0 20 View match >
Round 2 Fitzroy W 1 0 20 View match >
Round 3 Carlton L 0 20 View match >
Round 4 Hawthorn W 0 20 View match >
Round 5 Geelong W 0 20 View match >
Round 10 St Kilda W 3 0 20 View match >
Round 12 Sydney W 2 0 20 View match >
Round 13 Fitzroy L 0 20 View match >
Round 14 Carlton W 5 0 20 View match >
Round 15 Hawthorn W 0 20 View match >
Round 16 Geelong L 3 0 20 View match >
Round 17 Richmond L 0 20 View match >
Round 18 Western Bulldogs W 2 0 20 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1951 20 24 0 20

1951 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 North Melbourne W 0 20 View match >
Round 2 Melbourne W 1 0 20 View match >
Round 3 Geelong W 4 0 20 View match >
Round 4 Essendon L 0 20 View match >
Round 5 Richmond L 0 20 View match >
Round 6 Sydney W 1 0 20 View match >
Round 7 St Kilda W 1 0 20 View match >
Round 8 Carlton W 0 20 View match >
Round 9 Hawthorn W 2 0 20 View match >
Round 10 Western Bulldogs L 1 0 20 View match >
Round 11 Fitzroy L 1 0 20 View match >
Round 12 North Melbourne W 1 0 20 View match >
Round 13 Melbourne W 1 0 20 View match >
Round 14 Geelong W 2 0 20 View match >
Round 15 Essendon W 0 20 View match >
Round 16 Richmond W 1 0 20 View match >
Round 17 Sydney W 0 20 View match >
Round 18 St Kilda W 1 0 20 View match >
Semi Final Geelong L 3 0 20 View match >
Preliminary Final Essendon L 4 0 20 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1952 17 9 0 20

1952 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Hawthorn W 0 20 View match >
Round 2 Fitzroy W 0 20 View match >
Round 3 Essendon W 0 20 View match >
Round 4 St Kilda W 0 20 View match >
Round 5 Carlton W 1 0 20 View match >
Round 6 Western Bulldogs W 1 0 20 View match >
Round 7 Melbourne L 0 20 View match >
Round 8 Richmond W 1 0 20 View match >
Round 9 North Melbourne L 0 20 View match >
Round 10 Sydney W 0 20 View match >
Round 11 Richmond W 0 20 View match >
Round 12 Geelong L 0 20 View match >
Round 13 Hawthorn W 1 0 20 View match >
Round 14 Fitzroy L 1 0 20 View match >
Round 15 Essendon W 1 0 20 View match >
Round 16 St Kilda W 3 0 20 View match >
Round 17 Carlton L 0 20 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1953 19 13 0 0 20

1953 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Sydney W 2 0 20 View match >
Round 2 North Melbourne L 1 0 20 View match >
Round 3 Geelong L 0 20 View match >
Round 4 Carlton W 2 0 20 View match >
Round 5 Hawthorn W 1 0 20 View match >
Round 6 Richmond W 0 20 View match >
Round 7 Western Bulldogs W 1 0 20 View match >
Round 8 St Kilda W 2 0 20 View match >
Round 9 Melbourne W 0 20 View match >
Round 10 Essendon L 0 20 View match >
Round 11 Fitzroy L 0 20 View match >
Round 12 Sydney W 0 20 View match >
Round 13 North Melbourne W 0 20 View match >
Round 15 Carlton W 0 20 View match >
Round 16 Hawthorn W 1 0 20 View match >
Round 17 Richmond W 2 0 20 View match >
Round 18 Western Bulldogs W 0 20 View match >
Semi Final Geelong W 1 0 20 View match >
Grand Final Geelong W 0 0 0 20 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1954 13 5 0 20

1954 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Melbourne W 1 0 20 View match >
Round 2 Fitzroy W 1 0 20 View match >
Round 5 Sydney W 1 0 20 View match >
Round 6 Geelong L 1 0 20 View match >
Round 7 Richmond L 0 20 View match >
Round 9 North Melbourne L 0 20 View match >
Round 12 Melbourne W 0 20 View match >
Round 13 Fitzroy L 0 20 View match >
Round 14 St Kilda W 0 20 View match >
Round 15 Essendon L 0 20 View match >
Round 16 Sydney L 0 20 View match >
Round 17 Geelong L 0 20 View match >
Round 18 Richmond L 1 0 20 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1955 18 13 0 0 20

1955 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 2 North Melbourne W 2 0 20 View match >
Round 4 Hawthorn L 0 20 View match >
Round 6 Essendon W 2 0 20 View match >
Round 7 Fitzroy W 1 0 20 View match >
Round 8 Geelong W 0 20 View match >
Round 9 Sydney W 0 20 View match >
Round 10 Richmond W 0 20 View match >
Round 11 Melbourne W 0 20 View match >
Round 12 Western Bulldogs L 0 20 View match >
Round 13 North Melbourne W 1 0 20 View match >
Round 14 St Kilda W 1 0 20 View match >
Round 15 Hawthorn W 2 0 20 View match >
Round 16 Carlton W 0 20 View match >
Round 17 Essendon L 1 0 20 View match >
Round 18 Fitzroy W 2 0 20 View match >
Semi Final Melbourne L 0 20 View match >
Preliminary Final Geelong W 1 0 20 View match >
Grand Final Melbourne L 0 0 0 20 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1956 14 3 0 20

1956 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 4 Western Bulldogs W 1 0 20 View match >
Round 5 Carlton L 0 20 View match >
Round 6 Geelong W 0 20 View match >
Round 7 Melbourne L 1 0 20 View match >
Round 8 North Melbourne W 0 20 View match >
Round 9 Fitzroy W 0 20 View match >
Round 10 St Kilda W 0 20 View match >
Round 11 Essendon W 1 0 20 View match >
Round 12 Hawthorn W 0 20 View match >
Round 13 Sydney W 0 20 View match >
Round 14 Richmond W 0 20 View match >
Round 15 Western Bulldogs W 0 20 View match >
Round 18 Melbourne L 0 20 View match >
Semi Final Melbourne L 0 20 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
Totals 143 114 0
Avg/Game   0.80 0.00
Legend
  • GPGames Played
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • TTackles
  • DDisposals

Key Facts

CFC Debut Number

505

Total AFL Games
143
Total AFL Goals
114
CFC Debut
Round 11, 1947
CFC Last Game
Semi Final, 1956
Recruited From
Abbotsford
Full Name
Ron A Richards

Awards

  • Life Members
    1956
  • CFC Hall of Fame
    2008
  • Premiership
    1953
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