Matthew Richardson (footballer)

Matthew Richardson (footballer)
Matthew Richardson
Personal information
Full name Matthew Richardson
Nickname(s) Richo, Richo Man
Date of birth 19 March 1975 (1975-03-19) (age 36)
Place of birth Devonport, Tasmania
Original team Devonport (TFL)
Draft Father-Son Selection, 1992
Height/Weight 197 cm / 103 kg
Position(s) Forward
Club information
Current club Richmond
Number 12
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1993-2009 Richmond 282 (800)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)

The Allies
Dream Team
1 (?)
2 (?)
1 (1)
International team honours
1999 Australia 2 (1)
1 Playing statistics to end of R3 2009 season .
Career highlights




Matthew "Richo" Richardson (born 19 March 1975 in Devonport, Tasmania), is a retired professional Australian rules footballer who played for Richmond in the Australian Football League. He was the club's key forward through the late 1990s and the 2000s, the club's leading goalscorer thirteen times and has been selected in the All Australian team in 1996, 1999 and 2008.

He has the second most goals in the history of the Richmond Football Club and the eleventh most goals in the history of the VFL/AFL competition. He was regarded by many as one of the greatest players of the modern era because of his marking prowess, speed and stamina. Richardson was one of the most popular players in the competition, this was shown when the crowd at the 2008 brownlow medal cheered every vote he got. Mark Robinson from the Herald Sun wrote "M. Richardson... I'm sure there wouldn't have been a more popular winner".[1]



Educated at St. Brendan-Shaw and Don Colleges in Devonport, Tasmania, Richardson was the fourth pick (a father-son selection) in the 1992 AFL Draft, and was recruited from Devonport, Tasmania. He is the son of former Richmond and South Melbourne player Alan "Bull" Richardson. Combining a 196-centimetre frame with exceptional speed and athletic capacity for a large man, on his day he has been a dominant presence for the Tigers. He suffered a serious knee injury (torn left ACL) in a collision with the fence in Round 9, 1995 vs Sydney at the SCG and missed the rest of the season after reconstructive surgery on his knee, including the Tigers' finals series. In 1996 he came back strongly, playing all 22 games and finished with 91 goals (49 behinds), earning All Australian selection for the first time. He sustained another knee injury in the pre-season of 2001, but recovered to play 22 games and kick 59 goals.

In 2004, a decision to step back involvement in the Tigers' "leadership group" (the small group of senior players who help lead the club on and off-field) and focus on additional strength training paid off, with a flurry of goals in the early part of the season including a career best 10 against the Western Bulldogs. His 10th goal in that game was a spectacular snap from 30 meters out on his left foot that sent the crowd into a frenzy. However this was to be Richmond's last win of the year as they lost their next 15 games in a row. Richardson finished with a tally of 65 goals for the season.

In 2005 under the coaching of Terry Wallace he kicked 65 goals again, this time with much more consistency throughout the season.

In 2007, in a match against the Essendon Football Club, 'Richo' earned the widespread respect of the football community by playing the game with a fractured eye socket and broken nose sustained only a week before. He still managed to kick four goals, and what appeared to be a match-winning fifth until the umpire awarded a controversial free kick against him.

In the same year, he won his first ever club best-and-fairest, beating young gun Nathan Foley by a single vote.

Richardson is currently ranked second in the AFL for the most marks ever taken in recorded history (recorded since 1987), sitting on 2249 behind Stewart Loewe who has 2316.

In 2008 he passed the career goal-kicking tallies of Saverio Rocca (Collingwood/North Melbourne, 748) and Kevin Bartlett (Richmond, 778) to become the league's eleventh-most prolific goal-scorer of all time. After 282 games, he has booted 800 career goals and 551 behinds and has taken 2,210 marks. Richardson currently holds the record for the most goals kicked at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.[2] He spent a large part of the season playing on the wing, rather than in the forward line, which allowed him to have a much larger part in the play than ever before. Although he did not win the club best-and-fairest, he was selected on the bench in the All-Australian team and finished third in the Brownlow Medal.

Playing in Richmond's first win of 2009, Richardson came off the ground in the first quarter, complaining of Glute soreness. He went back on in 3rd quarter but struggled, came off, for the rest of the match. In round six, against Sydney, Richardson, after kicking his 800th career goal, partially tore his hamstring of the bone; he missed the remainder of the season, and the injury would ultimately lead to his retirement at the end of the 2009 season. Richardson played his 300th overall senior game during 2009 (including pre-season games), earning AFL life membership.

Richardson is a character who probably generates more debate amongst football experts and fans than any other in the modern era.[citation needed] As a player, he is known for his work ethic, stamina, courage and excellent marking prowess (particularly for contested marks), but also for his poor accuracy in front of goal. Some experts[who?] believe he has underachieved for his abilities, while others[who?] believe his record has suffered primarily from playing in an era of weak Richmond teams as well as sustaining serious knee injuries.

Richardson is also known for the high level of emotion he displays on the field. Throughout the early and middle stages of his career, he was heavily criticised for his negative demeanour and his tendency to berate, rather than support, his teammates when they made errors.[citation needed] In the latter stages of his career, he has developed to be a much more supportive teammate, but still showcases very visible emotions which endear his fans and amuse his detractors.[citation needed] In November 2009 Richardson announced his retirement.[3] He got a rousing send-off in Round One of the 2010 season, appearing before the match in Richmond's season opener against Carlton, but the Tigers were unfortunately smashed by the Blues.


Statistics are correct as of round 6, season 2009
Season Team No. Games Goals Behinds Kicks Marks Handballs Disposals Tackles Hit Outs Brownlow Votes
1993 Richmond 12 14 32 24 112 92 53 185 5 0 2
1994 Richmond 12 19 56 40 153 108 32 185 4 1 5
1995 Richmond 12 9 27 3 94 60 21 115 6 0 6
1996 Richmond 12 22 91 49 154 177 77 331 6 1 13
1997 Richmond 12 19 47 35 197 148 49 246 8 4 9
1998 Richmond 12 16 55 41 158 113 48 199 9 2 2
1999 Richmond 12 20 67 41 247 172 75 322 5 6 16
2000 Richmond 12 3 13 8 41 29 9 50 0 0 1
2001 Richmond 12 22 56 36 249 182 54 303 9 8 9
2002 Richmond 12 13 36 21 126 91 26 152 7 7 12
2003 Richmond 12 19 33 34 215 173 77 292 11 25 4
2004 Richmond 12 18 65 50 188 130 44 232 10 1 10
2005 Richmond 12 22 65 46 147 166 49 296 13 1 7
2006 Richmond 12 18 45 40 202 150 67 269 13 9 10
2007 Richmond 12 22 53 40 261 197 72 333 14 18 6
2008 Richmond 12 20 48 30 262 222 102 364 11 3 22
2009 Richmond 12 6 9 13 76 60 31 107 3 3 6
Totals 282 800 551 3058 2249 871 3929 132 88 140

Achievements & Honours




Personal life

His sister, Samantha, is married to retired Hawthorn, Bulldogs and Kangaroos footballer Jade Rawlings, who also coached Richardson when he was the caretaker coach for Richmond for the second half of the 2009 season, albeit while Richardson was out injured.


External links

Further reading

Richardson, Matthew; Flanagan, Martin (2010). Richo. Random House Australia. ISBN 978-1-74166-972-5

Preceded by
Ryan O'Connor
Alex Jesaulenko Medal
Succeeded by
Nathan Buckley
Preceded by
Kane Johnson
Jack Dyer Medal
Succeeded by
Brett Deledio

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