Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Michael Bowden

Known as
Michael Bowden

21 March 1947

11 April 2020 (aged 73)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 20y 74d
Last game: 24y 125d

Height and weight
Height: 185 cm
Weight: 94 kg

Senior clubs
Richmond; Camberwell

Jumper numbers
Richmond: 11

Recruited from
Robinvale (1975)

Family links
Sean Bowden (Son)Joel Bowden (Son)Patrick Bowden (Son)Rhett Bowden (Son)Kane Bowden (Son)

Michael Bowden

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
Total1967-1971, 1975-197692520.57

AFL: 7,955th player to appear, 3,801st most games played, 3,647th most goals kickedRichmond: 694th player to appear, 268th most games played, 293rd most goals kicked

A creative player who battles hard in the packs and brings others into the game with his intelligent handball. One of the best handball artists in the game today.¹

Michael Bowden was a ruck-rover and half back flanker much admired for his intelligent and creative use of handball. He joined Richmond from St Kevin’s Old Boys and his 59 VFL games for the club from 1967 to 1971 included the winning grand final of 1969, when he was widely rated the second best player afield, after team mate Michael Green. In 1969 he executed 40 more handpasses than any other player in the VFL, despite missing the first three matches of the season.

After leaving Richmond, Bowden spent three seasons with Robinvale before taking on the captain-coaching role at VFA second division side Camberwell. In 1975-6 he played 33 games and kicked 32 goals for the club whilst overseeing second and fifth place finishes. He later had stints at Red Cliffs, Mildura Imperials (as non-playing coach) and West Alice Springs.

Three of Michael Bowden’s sons — Joel, Sean and Patrick — later both played for Richmond.

Author - John Devaney


1. “SA Football Budget”, 11/10/69, page 11.


Full Points Footy Publications, Crème de la Crème


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