Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Laurie James Richards

Known as
Laurie Richards

14 January 1947 (age 76)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 24y 93d
Last game: 27y 229d

Height and weight
Height: 183 cm
Weight: 78 kg

Senior clubs
West Perth; Fitzroy; Woodville

Jumper numbers
Fitzroy: 8

Recruited from
West Perth (1971); Fitzroy (1975); Woodville (1977); West Perth (1981)

Laurie Richards

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
West PerthWANFL1966-1970, 1977-19791192412.03
WoodvilleSANFL1975-1976, 198150611.22
Total1966-1979, 19812483711.50

AFL: 8,356th player to appear, 3,046th most games played, 1,568th most goals kickedFitzroy: 889th player to appear, 151st most games played, 67th most goals kicked

A spectacular high-flier with a keen goal sense, West Australian Laurie Richards was one of a rare group of individuals to enjoy a top-line career encompassing all three main football states. Recruited locally by West Perth he made his senior debut in 1966 and finished the year as his club's top goal kicker with 34 goals. Although he was normally used at the goalfront, Richards was adaptable, often giving highly effective service on the ball, for example.

The 1969 season saw him topping his club's goal kicking list for a second time, with the last seven of his 72 goals for the year coming in the Grand Final demolition of East Perth. The Cardinals' 21.21 (147) to 10.14 (74) win that day was memorable for many things, but ask anyone who was at the game what sticks in their mind the most and chances are it will be Richards' exhilarating aerobatics on the forward line. Among those taking admiring note of the Richards Air Show that day were representatives of VFL club Fitzroy, which was where Richards would spend the second phase of his career, from 1971 to 1974.

After a slow start to his time with the Lions he developed into a consistently damaging performer whose talent was recognised in 1973 with selection in the VFL team that scored a four-point win over South Australia on the Adelaide Oval. Many of his best games with Fitzroy were played on the ball or in the centre, but he could also be a valuable forward as his tally of 69 goals in 79 games attests. Runner-up in the Lions' best and fairest award voting in 1972, he was given the vice-captaincy the following year, affording clear evidence of the high regard in which he was held.

In 1975 Laurie Richards crossed to Woodville in the SANFL where he added another 32 senior games in two seasons, booting 38 goals. After that, he returned home to West Perth, taking his final tally of games with the club to 119 by the time he finished in 1979. His form over these three seasons was excellent, and in 1978 he was chosen to represent Western Australia against the Victorians at Subiaco. Richards' final port of call was Woodville once more, for whom he played another 18 games and kicked 26 goals in 1981.

Author - John Devaney


Full Points Footy's WA Football Companion


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