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Pies mourn passing of Ron Richards

Ron Richards (left) with brother Lou in 2011. Picture: AFL Media

COLLINGWOOD is mourning the death of one of its favourite sons, Ron Richards. 

Richards died on Friday morning, aged 85. 

He played 143 games for Collingwood, including the 1953 premiership where he played alongside his brother, Lou, who was captain of the club. 

Richards made his debut at the age of 19 in round 11, 1947, and played 10 seasons with the club before he retired in 1956. 

Known as a big-game player, he won the club's award for player of the finals series in 1951 and was runner-up in the same award in 1953. 

He coached the seniors for two games in 1974 and served as a match committee chairman and director. 

Richards also coached the clubs thirds between 1964-71 and the seconds from 1972-81. He became a familiar face to several generations of Collingwood fans as the sidekick to coaches Tom Hafey and Leigh Matthews. 

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire paid great tribute to Richards, who he said would always be known as one of the club's greatest servants.  
"Ron was a member of the Pannam/Richards dynasty, which collectively produced more matches than any other in the game’s history and dates back to 1894, through Charlie Pannam Sr.  (In all the extended Richards family played in 930 games, kicked 1125 goals and were part of eight premierships.)
"Ron distinguished himself in everything he did at Collingwood, be it as a star of the 1953 grand final who had been picked out by Jock McHale for an unaccustomed role on the wing, coach or administrator. Ron was best on ground in the flag triumph, helping his brother Lou, who was captain, to lift the premiership cup."

"To his family, especially his wife Glenys, we offer our condolences," McGuire said. 

"A wonderful man has been lost and the support of his beloved Collingwood will be sorely missed."
Richards is survived by his wife Glenys, brother Lou, children Shar, Dean, Kane and Cameron and grandchildren Andrew, Annabel, Sam, Abby, Georgia and Edward.