Collingwood recruited Richardson, the son of a former South Fremantle player, before he had played a senior game. He did not play with East Fremantle under-19s to whom he was residentially tied, because his father hated East Fremantle.
Richardson moved from Fremantle to the WA country town of Trayning in his job as a bank officer, but the Magpies trailed him there and won his signature. Collingwood was aware of Richardson through his friendship with a West Australian family that knew Harry Collier. However, the young Richardson had to stand out of football in 1965 before winning his release in 1966.
He then became one of the finest players of his era and a true Collingwood champion. Richardson had played as a centreman in WA and was tall for a rover, but was so skilful at reading the play that he became an instant hit with the Magpies. He played with a level of coolness and calm that meant he could handle any situation.
He was able to play 140 games in succession at one stage and attributed his resilience to a fitness regime that included extra Wednesday training sessions on his own and a routine of swimming at the St Kilda sea baths every Monday after a game.
Richardson won the Magpie best and fairest in 1971 and 1974 and was club captain from mid-way through the 1971 season (replacing Terry Waters) to the end of the 1975 season.
In 1976 he found out that he was to be dropped to the reserves as a result of his wife hearing committeemen discussing it. He said to the press that the committee was picking the team instead of the coach. He was then suspended for four weeks by the club and could not even enter the premises for training.
A Victorian representative five times, he once kicked the winning goal against a WA side which gave him great satisfaction when he recalled that the WAFL had helped delay his clearance to Collingwood years earlier.
Richardson served Collingwood with tremendous distinction as a player and returned to Victoria Park as a director in 1986.