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Lewis Thomas Charles "Lou" Richards, MBE (15 March 1923 – 8 May 2017) was an Australian rules footballer who played 250 games for the Collingwood Football Club in the Victorian Football League (VFL) between 1941 and 1955. He captained the team from 1952–55, including a premiership win in 1953. He later became a hotel manager and a highly prominent sports journalist, in print, radio and television, and was known for his wit and vivacity.

Lou Richards
Personal information
Full name Lewis Thomas Charles Richards
Date of birth (1923-03-15)15 March 1923
Place of birth Collingwood, Victoria, Australia
Date of death 8 May 2017(2017-05-08) (aged 94)
Place of death Windsor, Victoria, Australia
Original team(s) Abbotsford
Height 170 cm (5 ft 7 in)
Weight 73 kg (161 lb)
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1941–1955 Collingwood 250 (423)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
Victoria 3 (9)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1955.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Playing careerEdit

Born in Collingwood, Victoria, Richards' passion for Collingwood grew out of family connections – he followed in the footsteps of his grandfather Charlie Pannam (shortened from Pannamopoulos after migrating to Australia from Greece), and uncles Charles and Alby Pannam, both former Magpie players. His brother Ron Richards also played for the club. The Richards/Pannam dynasty made Collingwood the only club to have been captained by three generations of the one family. As a family they played over 1200 games between them.

Richards played as a rover, resting in the forward pocket.

He was captain of the club for four years, including Collingwood's 1953 premiership team.

Post-playing careerEdit

After his retirement from football, Richards managed a number of Melbourne hotels, including the well-known Phoenix Hotel in Flinders Street, whose regular customers included journalists from the nearby Herald and Weekly Times.[1]

Richards also had a long career in the media, beginning as a sport journalist for The Argus and later The Sun News-Pictorial where he gained the nickname of "Louie the Lip". He was a very popular commentator on both radio and television, the latter on Channel 7 with his great mates Jack Dyer and Bob Davis.[2] He also appeared on the popular World of Sport program. In the 1990s and 2000s, he made regular appearances on both The Footy Show and the Sunday Footy Show.

His radio career commenced just after his retirement in 1955, when he teamed up with Jack Dyer as 3XY's commentary team. In 1959 he transferred to 3DB where, as well as being a football commentator, he participated in sports panels and for four years teamed up with well-known DB personality Dick Cranbourne to host the station's breakfast program.[3]

As a football tipster, Richards was known as a Kiss of Death and regularly backed-up his tips with famous dares: "I'll cut Teddy Whitten's lawn with nail scissors" or "I'll jump off St Kilda pier."[1]

In 1972, Richards was appointed Court Jester to King of Moomba Johnny Farnham and was the King of Moomba himself in 1981.[4]

In 1989, he released a memoir, The Kiss of Death: Memoirs of a Sporting Legend;[5] an updated version was released in 2012, entitled Lou: My Wonderful Life.[6]

At the end of 2008, Richards retired from hosting the handball segment on the Sunday Footy Show, and subsequently made only occasional public appearances.

HonoursEdit

Richards was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1981, received an Australian Sports Medal in 2000, and was awarded a Centenary Medal in 2001.[7][8][9] In 1996 Richards was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame and in 2004, he was named as the captain of the Greek Team of the Century, due to his Greek heritage. He was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2008.[10]

Personal lifeEdit

Richards married Edna Lillian Bowie in 1948; the couple had two daughters.[11] Edna was admitted into care with dementia in 2005. She died, aged 87, in March 2008.[12]

On 8 May 2017, Richards died at his nursing home in the Melbourne suburb of Windsor at the age of 94.[13][14] The Richards family accepted the Victorian Government's offer of a state funeral, which took place at St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral on the 17th of May 2017.[15]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Scott Palmer, 'Top 10 characters of the '70s' (4 Jul 2007), accessed on 9 Sep 2007
  2. ^ Jack Dyer : Richmond Football Club : Tigers
  3. ^ McLaughlin, Bill, From Wireless to Radio: The 3DB Story, The Herald and Weekly Times Limited Melbourne, 1985
  4. ^ Craig Bellamy, Gordon Chisholm, Hilary Eriksen, Moomba: A festival for the people. Archived 5 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine (17 Feb 2006) PDF pp 17–22
  5. ^ Richards, Lou; Phillips, Stephen (1989). The Kiss of Death: Memoirs of a Sporting Legend. Milsons Point, New South Wales: Hutchinson. ISBN 9780091695019.
  6. ^ Richards, Lou; Phillips, Stephen (2012). Lou: My Wonderful Life. Slattery Media Group. ISBN 978-1-921778-78-0.
  7. ^ "Richards, Lewis Charles Thomas, MBE". It's an Honour. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  8. ^ "Richards, Lou Thomas: Australian Sports Medal". It's an Honour. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  9. ^ "Richards, Lewis Thomas: Centenary Medal". It's an Honour. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  10. ^ "Lou Richards OBE". Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  11. ^ Lucy Beaumont, (13 Feb 2005), The Age, 'The two (or three) of us' accessed on 9 Sep 2007 at: [1]
  12. ^ "Lou bids farewell to beloved wife". www.theage.com.au. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  13. ^ The Age (8 May 2017). "Collingwood legend Lou Richards dies". Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  14. ^ "Lou Richards dead: Collingwood great and famous broadcaster passes away at age 94". Fox Sports. 8 May 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  15. ^ Victoria, Department of Premier and Cabinet. "State Funeral Service for Mr Lewis (Lou) Richards MBE | Victorian Government". www.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 12 May 2017.

External linksEdit