Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Richard Telford

Known as
Dick Telford

2 April 1945

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 21y 77d
Last game: 22y 62d

Height and weight
Height: 175 cm
Weight: 70 kg

Senior clubs
Collingwood, Fitzroy

Jumper numbers
Collingwood: 34
Fitzroy: 8

Recruited from
Collingwood (1967)

Dick Telford

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV

AFL: 7,831st player to appear, 10,277th most games played, 11,665th most goals kickedCollingwood: 680th player to appear, 1,098th most games played, 1,041st most goals kickedFitzroy: 856th player to appear, 1,006th most games played, 1,099th most goals kicked


A talented all round sportsman, Dick Telford was unsure early on whether he wanted to concentrate on football or baseball. He played reserves football with Collingwood, but then quit in order to concentrate on his baseball with Melbourne University. After a short while, however, he decided that he preferred football, and returned to the Magpies, for whom he managed a single senior VFL game in 1966 before being released to Fitzroy. Things started off well at the Lions, and he made his senior debut in 1967 as a rover, but in only his second game he suffered a badly broken thumb and did not play again that year. Given that he had performed quite well in both his games, Telford felt confident of producing his best and most consistent football so far in 1968, and so it proved - but it was not to be with Fitzroy. At the end of the 1967 season the Lions surprisingly told him that his services were no longer required, and he ended up transferring to VFA side Preston. After a game with the seconds, he made his senior debut in round 5, and, playing mainly in the centre, went on to enjoy a superb season, winning the Liston Trophy by 5 votes from Oakleigh's Norm Luff. He also won the first of two Bullants best and fairest awards. The highlight of Telford's debut year with Preston, however, was his participation in the side's 15.8 (98) to 12.12 (84) 1st division grand final defeat of Prahran, when he was one of the best players on view. When the Bullants went back to back in 1969 thanks to a 12.11 (83) to 10.11 (71) grand final win over Dandenong, he had no fewer than 32 kicks to be best afield.

Owing to pressures of work and study, Dick Telford retired in 1972, still aged just twenty- seven, after 68 VFA games. He later returned to Preston as non-playing coach in 1975 and spent two seasons in the role.

Author - John Devaney


* Behinds calculated from the 1965 season on.
+ Score at the end of extra time.